Plastics Professionals Converge at Penn College for Workshop

Published 08.11.2016

Faculty & Staff
Polymer Engineering
Workforce Development
Industrial, Computing & Engineering Technologies News

Pennsylvania College of Technology and its Plastics Innovation & Resource Center brought plastics professionals from 10 states and Canada to campus for the recent Seventh Annual Hands-On Thin-Gauge/Roll-Fed Thermoforming Workshop.

The 32 participants, representing 21 companies, experienced presentations and hands-on sessions during the three-day workshop. Topics included heating technology, diagnostic tools, and thermoforming process techniques and troubleshooting.

Mark Strachan, senior technology director for First Quality Packaging Solutions in West Palm Beach, Florida, and former president of the Society of Plastics Engineers Thermoforming Division, served as keynote instructor.

Plastics and polymer engineering technology major Noah L. Martin (third from left, in blue shirt), of South Williamsport, works closely with participants in the recent Thin-Gauge/Roll-Fed Thermoforming Workshop at Penn College.

Other industry presenters were Conor Carlin, sales and marketing manager at CMT Materials in Boston and editor of Thermoforming Quarterly; Matt Banach, senior vice president of sales and marketing at Processing Technologies International in Chicago; Julie Griswold, sales and customer service at W.R. Sharples in Providence, Rhode Island; and John Perdikoulias, vice president of Compuplast in Toronto, Canada.

Penn College faculty, staff and students played a major role in facilitating several sessions, including Kirk M. Cantor, professor of plastics and polymer technology; Joseph E. LeBlanc, assistant professor of physics; Christopher J. Gagliano, PIRC program manager and technical service manager of the Thermoforming Center of Excellence; Gary E. McQuay, PIRC engineering manager; and Brennan B. Wodrig, PIRC laboratory supervisor and project coordinator.

Plastics and polymer engineering technology majors Logan A. Tate, of Williamsport; Noah L. Martin, of South Williamsport; Wilson R. Michael, of Hughesville; and Omar Aljallal and Abdulaziz S. Alomani, both from Saudi Arabia, assisted throughout the workshop.

Participant testimonials praised the presenters and the material.

“Excellent presentations! Brings a level of certainty to the industry that will help to bring all aspects together for a new level of maturity,” said Dale Akin, manager at Jamestown Plastics in Brocton, New York.

“This was my third workshop and I plan on attending more. Every one of the presenters is top notch. … They show a passion for sharing what they know,” said Ed Lengen, quality manager at Multi-Plastics Extrusions in Hazleton.

“The Hands-On Thin-Gauge Thermoforming Workshop is a must for anyone looking to learn more about the thermoforming process,” added Michael Klos, manufacturing engineer at Universal Protective Packaging in Mechanicsburg.

The PIRC at Penn College is a globally recognized leader in plastics education and training by combining academic, government and industry resources to facilitate clients’ production efficiency and new-product commercialization.

The Thermoforming Center of Excellence at the PIRC is an 1,800-square-foot facility dedicated to research and development and education for thermoformers, sheet extruders, resin suppliers, mold builders and equipment manufacturers.

To learn more about the PIRC and its Thermoforming Center of Excellence, call 570-321-5533.

Penn College is among just a handful of institutions nationwide offering plastics degree programs that are accredited by the Engineering Technology Accreditation Commission of ABET.

For additional information regarding the plastics majors and other programs offered by the college’s School of Industrial, Computing & Engineering Technologies, call 570-327-4520.

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.