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West Chester Company Donates Gas Chromatograph to Penn College


Students enrolled in natural sciences courses at Pennsylvania College of Technology will benefit from a recent donation of a PeakSimple 2000 gas chromatograph by Al Silkroski, president and chief executive officer of Hilltop Enterprises, based in West Chester.

“The gas chromatograph is an essential piece of equipment that separates, identifies and quantifies a wide variety of organic chemicals in a mixture,” said Justin M. Ingram, assistant professor of biology. “This GC gives our organic chemistry students hands-on experience with a sophisticated instrument found in many different types of industries, and allows students to monitor their chemical reactions and check the purity of their products.”

The equipment will also be used in science courses required for the college’s new associate degree in brewing and fermentation science, which officially launches in Fall 2017.

Michael J. Reed, dean of the School of Sciences, Humanities & Visual Communications at Penn College, accepts a donated PeakSimple 2000 gas chromatograph from Kate Bowes Harris, of Hilltop Enterprises, based in West Chester.
Michael J. Reed, dean of the School of Sciences, Humanities & Visual Communications at Penn College, accepts a donated PeakSimple 2000 gas chromatograph from Kate Bowes Harris, of Hilltop Enterprises, based in West Chester.

“In brewing, the GC can be used to analyze the purity of raw ingredients such as water, hops, yeast and grain,” Ingram said. “The purity and chemical signature of each of these ingredients is essential for making high-quality and highly reproducible beer. The GC can also be used to test beer at various stages in processing and identify impurities and off-flavors. The goal is to identify these impurities prior to distribution to ensure a high-quality product every time.”

The PeakSimple 2000 gas chromatograph (Model 910) was delivered to the college by Kate Bowes Harris, an employee at Hilltop Enterprises who is also the parent of twin daughters enrolled at Penn College. Colleen and Kristen Bowes, of Wayne, are seniors in the web and interactive media major.

Hilltop Enterprises is a full-service transportation and disposal, ash management and on-site treatment services company. It provides contaminated soil removal and remediation services throughout Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Jersey, New York and Delaware.

The company offers innovative and unique remediation treatment methods that cover on-site remedial treatment and removal to dedicated off-site treatment facilities. Their remediation solutions range from facilitating regulatory approvals and community relations activities to developing management plans and arranging engineering design for onsite retention.

To learn more about natural sciences courses or the new brewing and fermentation science degree offered by Penn College, visit its School of Sciences, Humanities & Visual Communications.

For more information about making a gift to support Penn College and its students, email the Institutional Advancement Office or call toll-free 866-GIVE-2-PC (866-448-3272).

For more about Penn College, a national leader in applied technology education and workforce development, email the Admissions Office or call toll-free 800-367-9222.

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