Plastics professionals converge on Penn College campus

June 19, 2018

WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. ­– Plastics industry professionals representing 28 companies, 11 states and Kuwait enhanced their knowledge at the 20th Annual Extrusion Seminar & Hands-On Workshop at Pennsylvania College of Technology’s Plastics Innovation & Resource Center.

Forty participants attended the three-day session led by extrusion experts Chris Rauwendaal and Kirk M. Cantor. President of Rauwendaal Extrusion Engineering Inc. in Auburn, California, Rauwendaal has more than 40 years of industry experience. Cantor, a professor of plastics and polymer technology at Penn College, has taught extrusion for 30-plus years.

The workshop featured multimedia classroom presentations and training on a variety of equipment, including single- and twin-screw extruders, blown film line, capillary rheometer, melt indexer, and tensile tester. 

Course evaluations indicated a very positive response to both aspects of the program.

“The hands-on labs gave real-life, practical examples of the industry and helped bring the lecture full circle,” said Mike Esposit, a process engineer at General Cable in Williamsport.

“Dr. Rauwendaal’s knowledge is incredible and invaluable. Having the opportunity to ask him questions has allowed me to expand my knowledge and helps immensely,” said Dylan Hollinger, pultrusion operator II at Tecton Products in Fargo, North Dakota.

“One of the best seminars that I have ever attended,” added Casey Ellis, production manager at Ward Manufacturing in Lawrenceville. “Such a great learning experience to be able to take back so much information and utilize it in the shop.”

Plastics faculty – Adam C. Barilla, Gary E. McQuay and Tim E. Weston – assisted with the workshop along with PIRC staff: Christopher J. Gagliano, program manager of the Thermoforming Center of Excellence; Brennan B. Wodrig, laboratory supervisor and project coordinator; and student research assistants Noah L. Martin, of South Williamsport, and Wilson R. Michael, of Hughesville, both of whom are plastics and polymer engineering technology majors.

The PIRC is a globally recognized leader in plastics education and training. It supports industry growth by providing companies with customized training and access to resources available through Penn College’s academic programs and facilities. To learn more, call 570-321-5533 or visit

Penn College is one of six institutions nationwide offering plastics degrees that are accredited by the Engineering Technology Accreditation Commission of ABET. For more about the plastics majors and other programs offered by the college’s School of Industrial, Computing & Engineering Technologies, call 570-327-4520 or visit

For more about Penn College, a national leader in applied technology education and workforce development, visit, email or call toll-free 800-367-9222.

Last Updated June 19, 2018