Monday, June 17th, 2024
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Transforming Trash into Treasures

Our aim is to collaborate with University City in Ghana to initiate a recycling program within their engineering department.

Paige Guinther, a sophomore from Souderton, Pa., is pursuing dual majors in manufacturing engineering technology and automation and robotics engineering technology. During the spring semester, she had the opportunity to present about the Society of Manufacturing Engineers Club during a visit to campus by Secretary of Education Khalid Mumin and Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education Chancellor Dr. Dan Greenstein. The presentation focused on the club’s initiatives, particularly its efforts in recycling plastics on campus.

The club has strategically placed collection bins across campus, situated in high-traffic areas where students can conveniently deposit their used plastic bottles. These collected bottles are then transported to Osburn, where they undergo a thorough cleaning process in an industrial washing machine. After cleaning and drying, the bottles are meticulously sorted based on their color and plastic type. Following sorting, the plastics are shredded and, if necessary, injected with color dye to achieve the desired hue. They are then made into new, usable things, such as key chains.

Paige Guinther shows products made from plastics recycling.
Paige Guinther shows products made from plastics recycling.

Q: Are you involved in any clubs on campus?
A few friends and I (John Saveriano, Camdyn Brunner and Josh Gingrich) are starting a Forging and Blacksmithing club at MU, so I am one of the founders and vice president of that club and the current SME Club Outreach officer. I’m also a member of the Technology Engineering Education Collegiate Association, the Honors College and a Resident Assistant in East Village.

Q: Are you involved with any projects?
John, Camdyn and I promoted our engineering department’s plastic recycling program at Made in Millersville. We showcased our department’s work in recycling multiple types of plastics and presented our discoveries in the field of polymer engineering. We are also exploring the capabilities of our department’s automated injection molding machine. Our aim is to collaborate with University City, a college in Ghana, during a weeklong visit this summer. Together, we plan to initiate a recycling program within their engineering department similar to our own here at Millersville University.

Q: What do you like to do in your free time?
With the scarce amount of free time I have, I’m usually either working as a lab tech for the engineering department to clean and organize our various production labs (such as woods lab, metallics lab, 3D printing lab or polymers and ceramics lab) or working to expand upon my current class projects and take a deeper dive by learning more about the areas that interest me most. Or sleeping.

Q: What has been your favorite class so far?
My favorite classes are always my engineering classes, just because they fascinate me. If I had to choose, I’d say it’s between my metallic materials class from freshman year and the polymers and ceramic materials class I took spring semester, just because I love the topics so much!

Q:  What do you plan to do after you graduate?
After I graduate, I plan to attend graduate school to earn a master’s degree. My end goal is to become a professor, but I’d like to work in the industry between my master’s and doctorate to get firsthand experience.

You can follow Paige and the SME club’s other projects on their Instagram page.



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