IIE Career Fair Breaks Records

An engineering student engages with a corporate recruiter during the 2013 IIE Career Fair.

An engineering student engages with a corporate recruiter during the 2013 IIE Career Fair.

If you were near the Hintz Alumni Center on Wednesday evening, you may have wondered what the line of students around the building was all about. They were not there for tickets to the Jay Z concert, but waiting in line to enter the 2013 Industrial Engineering Career Fair.

Organized by the Penn State student chapter of the Institute of Industrial Engineers (IIE), the career fair provided an opportunity for industrial engineering students to meet with representatives from 21 different companies looking specifically to hire IEs for internships, co-ops, and full-time positions. After outgrowing the Leonhard Building lobby, the IIE leadership moved the event to Hintz in order to accommodate the growing number of interested companies, as well as the largest-ever enrollment of students in the department.  More than 280 students attended this year’s career fair making it by far the largest ever held by the department.

Students line up outside Hintz Alumni Center for the 2013 IIE Career Fair

Students line up outside Hintz Alumni Center for the 2013 IIE Career Fair

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3-D Printing Goes to the Next Level

I am a nerd at heart. Or is it a geek? I fall somewhere on the spectrum according to this graphic, but in any case…

When I was given the opportunity to be one of the first people to see The Learning Factory’s newest 3-D printer, the Stratasys Objet 260 Connex, I jumped at the chance.

I was not disappointed. Bill Genet, Learning Factory Supervisor, gave me an overview of the machine that was nothing short of WOW!

We all know that 3-D printing is cool and cutting edge. I’m here to tell you that printing with the Objet 260 Connex is even cooler because it brings together different compounds – some rigid and some flexible – to create intricate prototypes, which engineering students can use when working on class projects. When I was an undergraduate student here, I was happy when we switched from 5 ¼” floppy disks to 3 ½” floppies so to see that Penn State students have access to leading edge technology such as this 3-D printer (or rapid prototype machine), is pretty amazing.

Bill explained that students create the pieces they need in a typical computer-aided design program and then the rendering is translated, so to speak, by the printer’s software to take the needed part from concept to reality.

He showed me some things that he and his staff have created with the new machine, including this very cool piece with intricate gears that move seamlessly (check out the video of this piece made by the Stratasys Object 260 Connex) and a hinged sample that integrates all types of motion, materials and flexibility, which was built, layer by layer, as one piece with the new printer.

It’s the first printer of its kind at Penn State University Park. The purchase of this 3-D printer was made possible through the Richard and Marion Leonhard Endowment to Support Entrepreneurship and Manufacturing, with contributions from the Naren and Judith Gursahaney Excellence Fund in Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering, the industrial and manufacturing engineering department and the Applied Research Laboratory.

To see a really cool video of the Objet 260 Connex in use, check out this YouTube video.

 

 

Dana Marsh, director of marketing and communications for the College of Engineering, freely admits that she’s not an engineer but is fascinated by how the work of engineers impacts every aspect of a human’s day-to-day existence: from the houses we live in and the roads we drive on, to the smartphones and computers we rely upon. She’s now made it her mission to educate non-engineers about the real-world applications of leading-edge engineering initiatives. 

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PSFEI serves all of Pennsylvania

The Penn State Facilities Engineering Institute (PSFEI) proudly boasts on its website: WE ARE PENN STATE to thousands of Pennsylvanians who come in contact with us everyday.

I got the opportunity to hear just how that happens from PSFEI Director Jim Myers, PE, when I visited the Institute today.

PSFEI works with government-related organizations across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to consult on the maintenance and operations of their facilities, including energy-related issues. Jim explained that a client may call the Institute to uncover a simple maintenance item, consult on a large building or renovation project, or provide training and education for employees.

And when Jim says they ARE Penn State to many Pennsylvanians, he’s not kidding. PSFEI does work in all 67 counties – through relationships with the State System of Higher Education, PA Department of Transportation, Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, Department of Corrections, PA Historical & Museum Commission, and many more.

What I found amazing, beyond just how efficiently the Institute serves its clients (there are 31 engineers, technicians and staffers on the team, supplemented by student interns who have the opportunity to learn from experienced engineers and take this real-world experience to jobs in the ‘real’ world), is that the Institute was working with clients to deal with energy markets, energy procurement, and energy savings programs long before it was ‘cool.’ Jim joked during our conversation, “We were Green before it was even a color!”

Jim has been with PSFEI since 1985, rising to director in 1995 and seeing the 66-year-old organization through a period of intense growth. And it’s easy to see how he’s contributed to that growth. Jim’s passion for the work PSFEI does is truly contagious. He’s just hired an assistant director, John Hajduk, MBA, to help in the next phase of growth for the Institute.

I look forward to working with Jim and his team to highlight the value that PSFEI brings to its clients, the residents of Pennsylvania and the many, many others who are touched by the work that PSFEI does. And, of course, to see what happens next!

 

Dana Marsh, director of marketing and communications for the College of Engineering, freely admits that she’s not an engineer but is fascinated by how the work of engineers impacts every aspect of a human’s day-to-day existence: from the houses we live in and the roads we drive on, to the smartphones and computers we rely upon. She’s now made it her mission to educate non-engineers about the real-world applications of leading-edge engineering initiatives. 

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