The new equipment, which includes the electron beam welder, and many other industry-standard technologies, not only expands learning opportunities for students but also benefits companies that had already been scrambling to hire the college’s real-world ready welding graduates.
The electron beam welder was acquired through a partnership with Cambridge Vacuum Engineering of England with sales and service based in Agawam, Massachusetts.
“Industry has been calling us and asking us if our students have any training on this type of equipment,” Allen said, “now we can actually say yes.”
Each year more than 200 Penn College students will gain hands-on experience with the EB welder.
“I have read job postings that asked for experience in electron beam welding,” the soon-to-graduate Lyon said. “That used to be a little intimidating, but it won’t be for long.”
“Giving them (students) the opportunity to have hands-on exposure to this stuff I think is going to bring them to a whole new level, and is going to take us with them,” said Ryan P. Good, assistant professor of welding.
Good, Allen and four other welding faculty members received training on a similar EB welder at CVE Inc. in Massachusetts before the college’s equipment was delivered. After a day and a half of training, Tony Slater, technical sales manager for Cambridge Vacuum Engineering, gave the group a quiz. “They scored higher than I’ve seen anyone do before”, Slater said.
Slater was the driving force within Cambridge Vacuum Engineering for the placement of the welder at Penn College.
“After visiting (Penn College), I realised they are forward thinking, and their attitude toward the students would be a perfect match for us,” Slater said.
The expansion of the Penn College welding lab has also brought the addition of a laser welding cell, a dedicated CNC robotic welding lab, an air pressure-controlled specialised welding room, additional capabilities and space for non-destructive testing, rigging and crane operations for work with larger parts, expanded space for pipe welding, and space for hands—on training in Occupational Safety and Health Administration standards.
Pennsylvania College of Technology currently offers the following courses:
- Bachelor’s Degree
- Welding and fabrication
- Engineering technology
- Associate Degree
- Metal fabrication technology
- Welding technology