State-of-the-Art Facilities, Expert FacultyPenn College's plastics faculty are industry experts with real-world experience who have led multimillion-dollar projects, published books and software, and written standards for training. Under their instruction, you will experience hands-on training in our on-site Plastics Innovation & Resource Center (PIRC), a global leader in plastics education, training, and research & development. Laboratories include:
- Injection Molding
- Blow Molding
- Thermoforming Center of Excellence
- Polymer Testing Lab
- Computer Aided Design Lab
- Composites Lab
- Shell Polymers Rotational Molding Center of Excellence
Cutting-Edge Knowledge & SkillsAs a plastics and polymer engineering technology student, you will learn:
- The five major plastic processes. Working with industrial-scale processing equipment, you will gain knowledge on thermoforming, extrusion, rotational molding, injection molding, and blow molding processes.
- Polymer essentials. You will become knowledgeable in the science of polymer materials, test procedures, designing for manufacturability, large quantity processing, and quality assurance.
- Design fundamentals. All plastic products come from a mold designed specifically for the product, the type of plastic, and for longevity. Coursework in mold design and development will enable you to design new products, understand mold building and repair processes, and gauge manufacturability.
- Problem-solving. Classes and labs focus on identifying, analyzing, and solving problems using the tools, techniques, and practices common to the industry and the engineering profession.
- Collaborative skills. Acquire the skills needed to lead projects and collaborate with engineering and development teams, allowing you to work in all phases of plastics product development.
- Project management. Define, plan and estimate the cost of engineering projects as part of your senior capstone or industry internship.
Graduates of the Plastics and Polymer Technology associate degree (PS) can transfer into the Plastics and Polymer Engineering bachelor degree (BPS) without losing any credits.
Graduates have a diverse set of skills and abilities that could prepare them for "green" careers focused on energy, renewable energy, and the environment.
About the curriculum
View the classes you will be attending in the College Catalog.
Accreditation & Industry Connections
Accredited by the Engineering Technology Accreditation Commission of ABET (www.abet.org)
Objectives and Outcomes
Production manager/engineering technologist, materials technologist, process engineering technologist, research and development technologist, product development management, mold and die development specialist, sales and service representative, engineer assistant, facilities manager, quality control specialist.
Graduates from these programs are in high demand to fill plastics industry career positions in manufacturing operations, process technology, supervision, research and development, product and machine design, and many more.
Graduates of the department are currently employed at companies across Pennsylvania and the country, including Honda, Toyota, General Electric, DuPont, Tyco, General Motors and many more. As opportunities like this continue with a bright future, consider a career in plastics.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for materials engineers was $94,610 in May 2017. The top 10 percent earned more than $149,860.
Industries with the highest published employment for this occupation are:
|Industry||Employment||Hourly mean wage||Annual mean wage|
|Aerospace Product and Parts Manufacturing||3,340||$54.64||$113,660|
|Architectural, Engineering, and Related Services||3,030||$43.61||$90,720|
|Semiconductor and Other Electronic Component Manufacturing||2,390||$53.60||$111,490|
|Scientific Research and Development Services||2,140||$52.03||$108,230|
|Machinery Manufacturing (3331, 3332, 3334, and 3339 only)||1,400||$50.89||$105,860|
Statistics reported in May 2017
This major is subject to the transfer standards established by the College. Exceptions must be approved by the school dean.
Tools, Uniforms & Supplies
Necessary equipment will be addressed in courses as needed.
Uniforms and tools are available for purchase through The College Store.
Clubs & Activities
Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE)
Plastics & Polymer Technology Advisory Committee
- Mr. Matthew Leatherman, '95, '97, Process Manager, Carlisle Construction Materials Inc.
- Mr. Steven D Morgan, '93, '95, Plastics Engineer, Bausch & Lomb
- Mr. Sean M Stabler, '04, '06, Business Development Engineer, Arkema Inc.
- Ms. Adriana Velasquez, TS Engineer, Shell Polymers
- Mr. Ralph Wolstenholme, Vice President, Med Plast Westfield
- Mr. Adam R Wrench, PMP, '06, Process Excellence Manager, West Pharmaceutical Services
Advisory committees, which act as recommending bodies to the faculty and administration, consist of in-field professionals who act as partners in the development of curriculum. Their curricular and equipment advice as well as their industry connections and internship opportunities are invaluable to our students and to the growth of our institution.