Student Teacher Fosters Entrepreneurism… For a Good Cause

Mr. Todd Garber and his student teacher, Millersville University senior Mr. Thomas Eby, were looking for a challenge to engage their design engineering students this fall and found it by turning students into entrepreneurs for a good cause. They put the class to work designing, pouring, marketing, and selling candles to benefit The Ryan N. Smith Relentless Fund.

Read all about it on the Lampeter-Strasburg News Blog by clicking here.

Green Team: Marauder Eco-filament Project Under Way

The AEST department has been investigating uses for recycled, single-use plastics from around campus. In partnership with the Sustainability Club, the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) has worked to collect, clean, shred, and sort various plastics and implement them in new and useful ways. This has led to a variety of interesting and useful student-produced tooling and products such as keychains, frisbees, and flower pots. This academic year, an offshoot of the recycled plastics program began a new project centered around the idea creating 3D printing filament.

The project, named Marauder Eco-filament is a collaborative research project where AEST faculty and students work together to investigate and innovate on existing, open-source filament production systems. One of the goals of this project is to develop a working extrusion system that has the capability to use the shredded, recycled plastic and reliably create 3D print materials from it. To that end, AEST students Ashla Durbin and Alex Nikkanen have created two proof of concept systems, one that uses shredded materials and another that uses intact two-liter soda bottles to create filament. These systems have been produced and are being iterated upon by Ashla and Alex to optimize their designs for more consistent products and ease of construction.

Upon completion of the systems, the second phase of the project will begin. Dissemination is a key aspect of any project and as such the Marauder Eco-filament team will take a multifaceted approach to sharing the work. One dissemination strategy is sharing through the academic community. Our team aims to presenting our work at Made in Millersville as well as producing several academic articles designed to suit the 3D printing and education communities. Additionally, plans for the systems will be drafted and shared with the 3D printing community. The spirit of open-source sharing is a foundational component to this work and our initial designs were sourced in the 3D printing community. Given this, the Marauder Eco-filament team is committed to sharing our knowledge and findings with those who can best use and innovate on them as we have done.

We encourage folks to stop by the production area and learn more about our recycled plastics program, the Marauder Eco-filament project, and the wide variety of manufacturing-related labs and activities we offer in Osburn Hall. We would also like to thank our Ashla and Alex for their continued hard work, Dr. Dominick Manusos for his work with the recycled plastics program, and Millersville University for their support of this project.

By: Dr. Alex Johnson and Dr. Justin Egresitz

New Robotics WorX Program

The new Robotics WorX program at MU will advance the automation and manufacturing industry. 

Want to learn more about the robotics world? High school and college students interested in robotics now have the opportunity to gain experience in an internship thanks to a $75k grant awarded to Precision Cobotics, Inc. and Millersville University’s Applied Engineering, Safety & Technology department.

The grant, provided by the Lancaster STEM Alliance, provides support for the  Workforce Development & Career Exploration in Robotics Engineering (Robotics WorX) program – a partnership between Precision Cobotics and AEST. It will provide internships for students in local high schools and at Millersville.

Dr. John Haughery, assistant professor of Automation & Electric Technologies and the program coordinator of Automation & Robotics Engineering Technology at MU, explains what the program entails. “The Robotics WorX program brings together Lancaster area high school partners, workforce development agencies, the University and private industry partner of Precision Cobotics for an innovative internship/mentorship program for high school and university students. Precision Cobotics will work with and guide student interns towards proof-of-concept solutions that will be realized in a newly outfitted robotics Solutions Lab at Millersville University.”

Continue reading “New Robotics WorX Program”

Keeping People Warm for the Holidays

On December 1, Millersville University’s student chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) successfully concluded its second annual winter clothing drive for families in need at the MU Ware Center in Lancaster City. The NSBE student chapter at MU collaborated with Millersville University Applied Engineering students, the American Society of Safety Professionals club, the Construction club, the Robotics club, the Lancaster STEM Alliance, the Bright Side Opportunity Center, the Young Women’s Christian Association, and the Lancaster Food Hub. This collective effort resulted in the collection of over 100 different coats, hats, and gloves, all of which were donated to the Lancaster Food Hub for distribution to individuals and families in the Lancaster area.

In addition to the clothing drive, NSBE presented class projects and showcased sample technologies for the local community to explore, including various 3D printing technologies, investment casting, and recycled plastics injection molding. Jordan Branch, the president of NSBE, remarked, “It was an amazing opportunity to be a part of an incredible team giving back to the community while showcasing the sustainability efforts and exciting developments happening on our campus.” This initiative is aimed at inspiring and building a pipeline for minority and underrepresented youth in local communities to explore careers in STEM fields.

Thanks to everyone who contributed to the success of this event. We hope to see you again next year!

Contributed by Jordan L. Branch

Grant Donation Brings New Equipment to the ‘Ville

Millersville students studying automation and robotics engineering technology will soon have access to new equipment, thanks to a grant donation from Phoenix Contact.

The Automation and Controls Lab in Osburn Hall will receive new equipment. Phoenix Contact donated close to $50,000 worth of hardware to Millersville as a part of their EduNet educational partnership. This includes industrial-grade computer systems used to digitize and control industrial processes. The equipment is being installed this semester and will be available to students starting in January.

The new equipment is an upgrade to previous equipment in the lab. “Our previous equipment was almost 15-20 years old, and while it’s still valid as industry grade, it is becoming technologically ‘old,’” says Dr. John Haughery, assistant professor in Applied Engineering, Safety & Technology at MU. This updated hardware will allow students to get hands-on practice with equipment that is relevant to their education and future careers.

The new technology will allow students opportunities to develop and work with Industrial Internet of Things for local and remote connectivity and control. Internet of Things is an industry term that refers to collective networks of connected devices and the technology that facilitates communication among itself. It’s especially relevant to students looking to be automation engineers, controls engineers and manufacturing engineers. “Individuals in these careers are becoming more and more valuable to the industry, as they have the skill set to solve some of the toughest engineering problems facing the industry that supply essential and non-essential products,” says Haughery.

Phoenix Contact aims to prioritize sustainability through its business practices and with its equipment. Millersville’s own emphasis on sustainability is supported by the use of this new equipment. “This hardware provides students opportunities to gain experience using technologies necessary to control environmental and industrial systems efficiently with a mind to sustainability,” says Haughery. This includes consideration of lowering energy consumption, using less materials and tracking system health proactively.

Click here for more information on Millersville’s Automation and Robotics Technology degree.

By: Hannah Sutton ’24
Reprinted from Millersville NEWS, November 21, 2023.

Recollections & Aspirations of a Three-Term Department Chair

Dr. Len S. LitowitzI originally prepared my comments for the last faculty meeting of my term as department chair. Those of you who know me best know that I am highly emotional and it would have been a difficult meeting for me to preside over. So, I’m offering my comments in writing as we navigate this changing of the guard. But first, time for a little more baseball talk, just like when Donna Hernandez retired. One reason I like baseball is that it is about impossible to get good at. For example, win 6 out of 10 games all year long and you have likely won your division. Bat .300 and you are considered a very good hitter. Bat .325 and you are an all-star. Approach .350 and you are the league MVP. And bat .400? It has not been done in the modern era of specialty pitching. Ted Williams did it last – in 1941. So, why I would have ever headed into the department chair role thinking that I would have been able to accomplish everything I set out to do? I am not sure. But I did – chalk it up to unbridled optimism, I suppose. What I found out was that my baseball analogy is a good metaphor for life. Do we ever really accomplish everything we set out to do? It certainly didn’t work out that way for me. The last several years have been particularly challenging. I would not have predicted getting upended by a pandemic, a cyber-hack, and in recent years, a constant fight to even keep the building properly climate controlled, no less get some faculty lines back.

Here are some accomplishments I am proud of. Although I was supportive, they are far from my efforts alone. Rather, they are the collective results of a lot of hard work by a lot of individuals and committees, and they just happened in my time. In keeping with my baseball theme, I will count many of these accomplishments in the win column. Continue reading “Recollections & Aspirations of a Three-Term Department Chair”

Summer Institute: Teaching Across the Curriculum Using Problem-Based Learning

Click here to download the information!

Attention all teachers: Spots are still available for this summer institute.

This course focuses on how problem-based learning experiences appropriate for your content and grade level can be incorporated into your curriculum.
For many of today’s students the didactic approach is not enough. Increasingly, they need to see meaning and value in what they are learning. The “just in case” philosophy of education that served public education well in the 20th century is being replaced by the “just in time” approach of PBL. Click on the link above or below to view the information flyer.

If you have any questions, please contact Dr. Scott Warner or Dr. Molly Miller.

Click here to download the information!

‘Ville Robotics Wins Big

25 teams from around the world entered the 2023 IGVC AutoNav competition – only two (Millersville included) completed the AutoNav Course.

Millersville University’s Robotics Team scored big at the 2023 Intelligent Ground Vehicle Competition held June 2-5 in Rochester, Michigan. Their latest autonomous robot, named ALiEN 4.0 (Autonomous LiDAR-based Environment Navigator), won 1st to Qualify, 2nd Place Performance, and 2nd Place Overall in the AutoNav Class. They also won 3rd Place in the Grand Award, which combines the results of both AutoNav and Self-Drive class competitions.

“This was an outstanding performance for the team,” says Dr. John Wright, professor of Automation & Electronics Technologies. “We are quickly establishing ourselves as a top-ranked IGVC team.”

With these accomplishments, the team has now won 49 1st-3rd place individual awards and won seven championships since 2001.

25 teams from around the world entered the 2023 IGVC AutoNav competition. Only two completed the AutoNav Course, the University of Oklahoma and Millersville University over the 4-day event. This was MU’s third year competing in the international competition with their unique distributed intelligence control approach.

“Congrats to our hard-working engineering students for this outstanding accomplishment this year at IGVC,” says Wright. “Over 2000 student hours were spent on the 8-month project.”

You can watch ALiEN’s best run here –

There is additional information on the competition here.

Interested in studying automation and robotics engineering technology? Click here.

Up Close and Personal with Motor Drive Tech!

Justin Vipperman (MU alumni) and Peter Fischer of SEW Eurodrive, a global leader in drive technologies, recently visited the Applied Engineering, Safety & Technology (AEST) department at Millersville University to demonstrate their latest products to students.

During the demonstration, Justin and Peter showcased the latest motor drive technologies, which offer improved efficiency, performance, and reliability for precise control of motor speed and torque, allowing for better energy efficiency and reduced maintenance costs vs. traditional motor drive systems. SEW’s technologies also features advanced safety features such as built-in safety controls and emergency stop buttons, ensuring maximum safety for operators. Product features, advantages, and potential applications were coved leading to great engagement of AEST students in Q/A after.

The AEST department was thrilled to have SEW visit with our students! Thank you Justin and Peter for helping us provide our them with hands-on experience and exposure to the latest technologies in the field. Your demonstration was a valuable learning opportunity and has provided them examples of the latest advancements in motor drive technology and how it is applied in real-world settings.

– Contributed by Dr. John Haughery

AEST Students Earn Professional Certification

May ‘23 marked the end of another academic year and the opportunity for AEST students to earn professional certifications as part of their educational experience in the Department of Applied Engineering, Safety & Technology. This year, 61 AEST students sat for three different certification exams administered by the Association of Technology, Management and Applied Engineering (ATMAE). Historically, the national pass rates for these exams have been between 55% – 75%. This year, 76% (47 students) of AEST students passed (see Table 1 – 3 for a full listing)!! This is quite an accomplishment and illustrates the profession-ready competencies that Department students take with them into their careers.

As part of Dr. John Haughery’s AENG 427 Programmable Logic Controller course, 23 AEST students sat for the Certified Controls Engineer (CCE) exam with 16 passing (70%). This exam is a 120-question, multiple-choice, open-book exam that focuses on 14 topic areas including Automated Systems, Electrical Safety, Energy Management/Alternative Energy, Networking Fundamentals, Electrical Power, Robotics, Controls (Open Loop/Closed Loop), Fluidics/Fluid Power, Electronics Fundamentals, Programming Fundamentals, and Instrumentation.

Students with passing scores on the ATMAE CCE professional certification exam:
Eric Burns, William Ehlers, Nicholas Elzer, Joseph Favoroso, David Fermani, Aaron Garner, Jackson Harral, Kevin Luckey, Thomas Mahoney, Dennis Nguyen, Elias Peluso, Zachariah Severn, Ian Troop, Aidan Ward, Zane Weaver, and Benjamin Wright.

Professor Cindy English offered her students in AENG 448 Machine Tool Design the chance to sit for the Certified Engineering Graphics (CEG) exam. Of the 23 who took the certification exam, 19 passed (83%). This is significantly higher than the national pass rate of 56%! This exam is also an open-book, multiple-choice, 145-question exam geared for individuals with a background in the expression of industrial design ideas through engineering graphics, including Geometric Construction, Orthographic Views, and Standardized Annotation.

Students with passing scores on the ATMAE CEG professional certification exam:
Luke Blizzard, Michael Burns, Eric Burns, Nathaniel Detweiler, Nik Duke, Nicholas Elzer, Sydney Geist, Jackson Harral, Emma Hirons, Alexis Kellogg, Taso Novak, Maximillian Meland, Harry Prince, Andrew Samsel, John Schweidler, Calder Sellen, Nathaniel Tagert, Owen Thoma, and Seth Worley.

Twenty-three of Dr. John Wright’s AENG 494 Total Quality Management students took the Certified Technology Manager (CTM) exam with 19 passing (83%). This exam is also an open-book, multiple-choice examination with 160-questions that focuses on Leadership/Self-Management, Systems, Processes, Operations, People, Project, Quality, and Risk. AEST students significantly exceeded the national average of 76% for this exam!

Students with passing scores on the ATMAE CTM professional certification exam: 
Jason Bello, Coulson Bittner, Ashly Dodd, Nikolas Duke, Casey Englehart, Sydney Geist, Stephen Hammond, Forrest Hartman, Emily (Blue) Hirons, Dalton Kephart, Kevin Luckey, Michael Martinez, Julia Meassick, Samuel Merilus, Michael Stanley, Regan Stump, Kaylena Travitz, Lauren Walsh, and Charles Livingston.

The CCE, CEG, and CTM are a few of several professional certifications offered by ATMAE, which is also the professional accreditor for the Department’s Applied Engineering & Technology Management Bachelor of Science degree program. Congrats to all the students for passing the CCE, CEG, and CTM exams! We hope to see them register with ATMAE and complete their formal application.

– Contributed by Dr. John Haughery, Dr. John Wright, and Prof. Cindy English