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Welding Projects Well Worth Their Weight

Instructor Colton (left) rises to better assess welding and fabrication engineering technology students Sean A. Moore (center), of York, and Michael J. Dippold II, of St. Marys, as they add more and more weight to their bridge. The pair's creation carried the Thursday afternoon leg of the annual competition, withstanding 494 pounds of pull.
Instructor Colton (left) rises to better assess welding and fabrication engineering technology students Sean A. Moore (center), of York, and Michael J. Dippold II, of St. Marys, as they add more and more weight to their bridge. The pair’s creation carried the Thursday afternoon leg of the annual competition, withstanding 494 pounds of pull.
Adding style to strength, the Moore/Dippold team topped its bridge with Old Glory.
Adding style to strength, the Moore/Dippold team topped its bridge with Old Glory.
Circling the makeshift arena, welding students gather for the competition and cheer on their classmates.
Circling the makeshift arena, welding students gather for the competition and cheer on their classmates.

Combining the thrill of competition with a display of what they’ve learned in class, Penn College welding students recently constructed metal bridges that were strength-tested in front of their peers. This year’s competition involved 55 students from three sections, allowed to work individually or in groups of two. James N. Colton II, an assistant professor of welding, said bridge materials are limited to two pieces of 1/8-inch, two pieces of 3/32-inch and four pieces of 1/16-inch welding wiring. The bridge also has to be within a weight range of 270 to 310 grams and meet all dimensional criteria. This year’s overall winner was built by welding and fabrication engineering technology majors Andrew P. Hatch, of Williamsport, and Michael A. Cramer, of Punxsutawney, and held 565 pounds. (The record – 640 pounds – was set in 2015 by now-alumni Devin A. Whiteman and Colby D. Macomber.)

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