Engineering Class Hosts Speaker Series

Penn State Greater Allegheny is hosting an Engineering Speaker Series for students in the Introduction to Engineering Design Class (EDSGN 100) during the 2007-2008 Fall and Spring semesters. Initiated by Dr. George Crawford, senior instructor in engineering, and Dr. Eric Lipsky, instructor in engineering, the series is meant to acquaint PSUGA students with professional engineers employed by local companies. Guest lecturers address the daily responsibilities of an engineer and how those responsibilities fit into their company's organizational structure.

The Engineering Design class has a community engagement component as part of the campus's new civic and community engagement minor. As part of their message to the students, the guest engineers describe how their employers impact the community as well as the type of community outreach in which their employers participate. The speaker series also addresses career opportunities for PSUGA students, identifying local engineering firms and obtaining information, from the speakers, on various career paths available to engineering graduates.

Speakers for the class are invited to the campus by our engineering faculty and the Office of Institutional Advancement (IA). The IA office also helps identify campus alumni who are employed as engineers in the local area.

One recent speaker was John Traina, a mechanical engineer and engineering consultant.  Mr. Traina and his wife, Nancy, have been major benefactors to the Greater Allegheny campus and its scholarship fund. Corporate engineering firms who have had representatives address PSUGA students during 2007-2008 include: Allegheny Power, Alion Science and Technology, Crucible Research, Elliott Company,  Industrial Energy Engineering, MAGLEV, Mathews International, National Instruments, Quality in Manufacturing, Respironics, and U.S. Steel.

Government and educational institutions are also represented in the speaker series. An environmental engineer from the PA Department of Environmental Protection, Department of Mining,  addressed the students in the fall and a representative from Penn State's PennTAPP office spoke to the students during the spring term.  

The series will continue in the 2008-2009 academic year as Drs. Crawford and Lipsky hope to make the series a permanent part of the EDSGN curriculum. Plans also call for the opening of the lectures to other engineering classes and PSUGA students, faculty, and staff interested in attending.