Plastics students benefit from industry conference experience

Nine Pennsylvania College of Technology plastics students recently enhanced their education at the Society of Plastics Engineers 31st annual Blow Molding Conference in Pittsburgh.

The students, all seeking a bachelor’s degree in plastics and polymer engineering technology, attended several technical presentations related to blow molding and engaged in networking opportunities during the three-day event.

“Our students gained an even greater understanding of the blow molding industry,” said Tom J. Van Pernis, instructor of plastics technology. “The technical presentations provided insights to areas not necessarily covered in our curriculum. Networking was also an important aspect. Students handed out resumes and business cards. Companies are extremely interested in interns and graduates from Penn College.”

The plastics and polymer engineering technology degree prepares graduates for management and supervisory roles, as well as technical, sales, service or research positions. Graduates work in all phases of new plastics product development for prominent companies, including Honda, Toyota, General Electric, DuPont, Tyco and General Motors.

“We are quite proud of our nearly 100-percent placement rate for graduates of both our associate-degree program and bachelor-degree major,” said Timothy E. Weston, associate professor of plastics and polymer technology and department head. “Giving our students the opportunity to attend major industry functions, like the Blow Molding Conference, certainly adds an important component to their education.”

The students who attended the Blow Molding Conference are: Logan A. Bower, of Williamsport; Jacob W. Fry, of Hughesville; Austin N. Klingelhofer, of Hampstead, Maryland; Joshua K. Kryder, of Lock Haven; Jared W. Mahaffey, of Linden; Zachary A. Meredick, of Danville; Cody A. Rathmell, of Hughesville; Thomas J. Ryder, of Muncy; and Brady B. Taylor, of Hughesville.

The Society of Plastics Engineers Blow Molding Division paid for the students to attend.

SPE is the largest plastics professional society in the world, offering technical information, training, networking and knowledge sharing. Its Blow Molding Division focuses on the manufacturing process that forms hollow industrial parts and containers from thermoplastic materials.

Penn College is one of only five colleges in the nation offering plastics and polymer degree programs accredited by the Engineering Technology Accreditation Commission of ABET. For more information on the majors, call 570-327-4520 or visit www.pct.edu/icet.