Industry contributes to newly expanded building automation lab
Pennsylvania College of Technology has expanded the size and technical capacity of its building automation lab, thanks in part to the support of Honeywell and Ecosave Automation Inc.
Both companies donated equipment and supportive software for the lab, which provides invaluable hands-on training for students enrolled in the college’s building automation technology bachelor-degree major. The lab has doubled to approximately 1,500 square feet and can accommodate 84 students.
“When we approached them about expanding the building automation technology major, and we discussed the need to support such growth, both companies were extremely supportive and instrumental in helping us bring this vision to realization,” said Penn College President Davie Jane Gilmour. “The larger lab allows us to increase the number of students we can enroll in the building automation technology major, which in turn, will provide more graduates who are well-educated and prepared to meet industry needs.”
The building automation technology major is geared for students who have completed four semesters of an applied-technology curriculum in a technology-related field. The final two years consist of advanced course work related to building automation.
Career opportunities for graduates include building automation engineering technician, automation design engineer, remote site operations supervisor and building automation system applications engineer.
Three graduates of the major attended the lab’s recent dedication ceremony: William J. Stachnik (2008), Andrew D. Warwick (2011) and Beau C. Woodrick (2011). They were joined by John A. Crane, who graduated in 2011 with a bachelor’s degree in heating, ventilation and air conditioning design technology. All four alumni are employed by Ecosave Automation, which recently acquired DVL Automation Inc.
“The partnership with Penn College has been one of those truly great long-term relationships that has payoff for both entities year in and year out,” said Jack Clift, vice president and general manager of Ecosave Automation. “As the program has grown, the core competencies of the graduates have markedly improved, and as these graduates have matured within Ecosave Automation, we have become a more professional organization.”
David Teston, operations director, and Gary Drew, operations manager, represented Honeywell at the dedication ceremony.
“There are huge opportunities, both in the United States and globally, to turn facilities into strategic assets, not expenses,” Teston said. “But to extract the potential savings and maximize productivity requires the type of sophisticated, practical education Penn College delivers in its building automation lab. Honeywell is proud to be part of the effort to develop tomorrow’s professionals in this important industry.”
Both companies are regularly on campus attending career fairs, conducting in-class presentations, and providing assistance to faculty and students in the building automation technology major.
“The willingness of Honeywell and Ecosave Automation to provide the much-needed upgrade of equipment and software enables Penn College to continue to provide the hands-on experience on state-of-the-art equipment that makes this institution a national leader in applied technology education,” Gilmour said.