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R&T Technologies Donates Funds to Student Organization’s Project


From left, Kevin M. Vanderbeck, Penn College Society of Manufacturing Engineers student chapter member%3B Alan J. Wertz, Penn College SME president%3B John G. Upcraft, Penn College SME faculty adviser%3B Christopher A. Hunter, Penn College SME vice president and Mini Baja team captain%3B John Terefencko, R%26T Technologies president%3B Mike Reed, R%26T Technologies vice president of operations%3B Zachariah J. Thull, Penn College SME member%3B and Zachary R. Mazur, Penn College SME member and Mini Baja fabrication team head.Canton-area manufacturer R&T Technologies recently donated funds to a Pennsylvania College of Technology student organization for the group’s entry into a Mini Baja competition for off-road vehicles.

The Society of Automotive Engineers hosts three regional Mini Baja competitions in the United States. Members of the Penn College student chapter of the Society of Manufacturing Engineers are building a vehicle for the SAE Mini Baja Midwest competition, which is hosted in Elkhorn, Wis., by SAE and the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

R&T Technologies President John Terefencko and Vice President of Operations Mike Reed presented a $2,000 check to the Penn College SME members on Jan. 17 to help them continue developing the vehicle.

“At R&T, we have a very high respect for Penn College,” Terefencko said, noting that Penn College graduates hold key positions at the company. “We like the professionalism, the education and the real-world training that Penn College provides to its students. The students graduating from Penn College are the underpinnings for the future of our company.”

The Mini Baja competitions simulate real-world engineering design projects and their related challenges. Engineering students are tasked to design and build an off-road vehicle that will survive the severe punishment of rough terrain.

The Mini Baja Midwest contest is slated for May 24-27 and includes five events: an endurance race and acceleration, mud-bog, chain-pull, and maneuverability competitions. Penn College hopes to send 12 students.

The object of the competition is to provide students with a challenging project that involves the planning and manufacturing tasks found when introducing a new product to the consumer industrial market. Teams compete against one another to have their design accepted for manufacture by a fictitious firm.

Students must function as a team to not only design, build, test, promote and race a vehicle within the limits of the rules, but also to generate financial support for their project and manage their educational priorities.

The Penn College group has been working on the project since the beginning of the Fall 2005 semester. This is the first year the college has participated, and it is among 140 teams from colleges and universities across the continent that have registered for the event.

The SME student chapter is advised by John G. Upcraft, instructor of machine tool technology. The Mini Baja project is being advised by Upcraft and Keith H. English, instructor of machine tool technology/automated manufacturing.

“The $2,000 donation from R&T Technologies to our SAE Mini Baja program will be a great advantage in helping us to continue building the car for our May competition,” said Alan J. Wertz, president of the SME student chapter and secretary of the Mini Baja project. “We would also like to thank the School of Industrial and Engineering Technologies and the entire machine shop faculty and staff for their time and donations to our effort.”

For more information about the Penn College SME student chapter, visit online.

For more information about the academic programs offered by the School of Industrial and Engineering Technologies at Penn College, call (570) 327-4520, send e-mail or visit on the Web.

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