Thankful in AEST

The Department of Applied Engineering, Safety & Technology met on Monday, November 21 for its annual Thanksgiving luncheon.  The luncheon is a time  to set aside daily activities for a moment or two to express gratitude and friendship to each other, graduate assistants, student lab aids, and the building staff.

Nobody can remember exactly when the first Thanksgiving luncheon was held, but it has been an anticipated event for well over 25 years. The luncheon has gone through several iterations ranging from the traditional turkey and trimmings, to a soup and baked potato bar, to the pot luck that we now enjoy with delicious deli sandwiches purchased locally.





Happy Thanksgiving from your friends in AEST!

– Contributed by Bill Horst

Quantitative Respiratory Fit Testing Equipment Donation from OHD

After a few years of collaboration in providing quantitative respiratory fit testing education and lab experiments with OHD, Dr. Khalighi managed to secure the most recent state of the art QuantiFit2, Quantitative Respiratory Fit Testing Instrument from OHD. The market value of the equipment with carrying case and 3 adapters is above $10K. OHD serves the occupational health market worldwide as it is the global provider for key respiratory protection devices.

According to Dr. Khalighi, the ability to learn and work with quantitative fit testing equipment will be very beneficial for the education of Occupational Safety and Environmental Health students in using advanced Industrial Hygiene instruments in the workplace to help protect employees and manage occupational risks. It also provides research opportunities for students in the OSEH program.


‘Ville Robotics Team Hits Gold Again at 2022 ATMAE Student Division Robotics Competition!

This competition marked the 20th year ATMAE has run its collegiate Student Division Robotics Competition. Unlike years past, this year teams were given an open design challenge to design, develop, and demonstrate a semi- or fully-automated robotic system to perform a user-defined function that pushed against the bounds of their abilities to innovation at the edge of the problem space of robotics (e.g., flexible material handling, autonomous guided vehicles, swarm systems, machine vision/learning, etc.).

‘Ville Robotics Team with their ATMAE Student Division Robotics Competition 1st place trophy and awards (from left to right: Dr. John Wright, Zane Weaver, Liz Maschke, Jeremiah Buck, Ben Ambler, Ian Troop, Ashton Kunkle, Ben Wright, Joseph Favoroso, Dennis Nguyen, Dr. John Haughery).

The ‘Ville Robotics Team answered the call by entering their A.Li.E.N. 2.0 (Autonomous LiDAR-Based Environment Navigator) distributed control fully automated self-driving vehicle to follow GPS waypoints, avoid obstacles, all while staying within roadway lanes. Equipped with smart sensors (LiDAR, Machine Vision, and GPS/Compass) connected to a 32-bit microcontroller, A.Li.E.N. 2.0’s functionality resembled that of a self-driving car. While the competition was fierce, the ‘Ville Robotics Team was able to secure the overall 1st place Stephen Harris Cup, named after the late Rixan Associates CEO, longtime sponsor of the ATMAE Student Robotics Competition, and donor of nearly $1M of in-kind equipment and software to Millersville University’s Automation & Controls Lab. In total, the ‘Ville Robotics Team came home with the following awards, pushing their 1st – 3rd place competition awards in the past 20+ years to 45+, including 7 championship trophies.

‘Ville Robotics Team Awards:

    • 1st Place Overall (Stephen Harris Cup)
    • 1st Electrical/Controls Design
    • 1st Innovative Problem Solution
    • 2nd Mechanical/Manufacturing Design
    • 2nd Technical Communication Design
    • 3rd People’s Choice Award

Of note, Ohio Northern won 2nd Place Overall, 1st Place in the Technical Communication Design, and Mechanical/Manufacturing Design; East Carolina University won 3rd Place Overall; and Morehead State University won the People’s Choice Award.

Also, a special thanks to our team sponsors: Millersville University of Pennsylvania (AEST, SGA, OGSPR) and Phoenix Contact for travel support. And Todd Echterling for donating the wheelchair base!

For more information about the ‘Ville Robotics Team, please contact Dr. John Haughery (

–  Contributed by Dr. John Haughery

MU Awarded $5,000 for Manufacturing Technology Scholarships

The department of Applied Engineering, Safety and Technology at Millersville University was recently granted $5,000 by the Gene Haas Foundation.  

Dr. Alex Johnson, an assistant professor at the University, applied for the funding. Dr. Len Litowitz, the AEST department chair, explains that the University’s programs related to manufacturing engineering technology helped secure the grant.  

“The scholarships are awarded by the department to students majoring in qualifying degree programs such as manufacturing engineering technology or those interested in teaching about manufacturing technology in K-12 schools,” says Litowitz. “There is no application process.” 

As per the award letter, half of the funding will be applied to student scholarships, with the other half applied to supporting AEST-related clubs.  

Litowitz adds that the department is planning on using part of the funds to enter a Baja buggy competition sponsored by the Society of Automotive Engineers in the future. In this competition, University students would design and craft an off-road vehicle that would be put to the test in various terrains, utilizing hands-on manufacturing and building experience, along with teamwork and communication.  

The Gene Haas Foundation was established in 1999 after Gene Haas, founder of Haas Automation, Inc., saw a growing need for skilled manufacturing employees. The foundation provides scholarships and funds to improve manufacturing training worldwide.  

“We have received similar funding from the Gene Haas foundation in the past, but not within the last couple of years during the pandemic, so we are thrilled to have this funding back again,” Litowitz concludes. “We would like to thank the Gene Haas Foundation for their generous support of our programs.”   

– By: Mary Miller, Millersville News, November 15, 2022

TEECA@MU Scores Big at East Coast Regional Conference in Rehoboth Beach, DE

TEECA @ MU brought 25 members to the TEECA Eastern Regional Conference in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware on November 3-5, 2022.

Three faculty advisors also joined the trip to help serve as contest judges, including Dr. Sharon Brusic, Dr. Len Litowitz, and Dr. Alex Johnson. All student members participated in one or more contests, competing against students from other Eastern seaboard universities at the conference. There was also a team building experience (including a polar plunge!), a job fair, and a dinner banquet with a keynote speaker. MU TEECA took second place in the ice breaker 3 on 3 basketball tournament. We are very proud of ALL student participants for their professional representation of MU and their hard work and effort in preparing and competing in their respective contests.

CONGRATULATIONS & thanks for competing at the East Coast TEECA Regional held in Rehoboth Beach, November 3-5, 2022

    • Manufacturing Contest – First Place
    • Robotics Contest – First Place
    • Transportation Contest – Second Place
    • Communications Contest – Second Place
    • K-5 STEM Challenge – Third Place

Click Continue Reading to meet the teams! Continue reading “TEECA@MU Scores Big at East Coast Regional Conference in Rehoboth Beach, DE”