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Plastics Engineering Technology
News and Publications

Students Travel to Nebraska for Company Visits & Society of Plastics Engineers Meeting

Six students (Blake Davis, Jacob Hine, Elliott Ivory, Natalia Pagnoncellia Lorandi, Jordan Soucie, and Jeff Swanson) and Rebeca Book went to Omaha & Lincoln, Nebraska on February 9th and 10th  to visit three companies and attend a Society of Plastics Engineers meeting.  The group traveled 12+ hours in the van to visit three companies, and attend a business dinner, and survey the devastation done by the August floods of the Missouri River in Omaha & Council Bluffs area.

Companies visited and contacts:

Airlite Plastics Co. - 700+ employees - two buildings - food containers (Blue Bunny, Lloyd's meats, Kozy Shack) & expanded foam products
*Saw fast molding cycles (under 4 seconds), IML (inline mold labeling), fast ink decorating (450 parts/minute), stack molds.
Websites: and

Majors Plastics -  200+ employees - two buildings - custom injection molder - 3M gas masks, Motorola scanners, communion cups, battery housings for backup cell phone towers, push-up popsicles, BD syringes & products
*Use Toyo machines (had 76 machines)  and one machine was 700 tons.  Had 2 shot molding and had clean rooms for medical products. 

Nebraska Chapter of Society of Plastics Engineers Meeting -attended the chapter meeting at Misty's Restaurant in Lincoln, NE.  Over 25 attendees. 

Kawasaki - 2500+ employees - 2 million sq. ft. facility - (foreign trade zone - one of only a couple in the country because they ship all over the world) - produce atvs, jet skis and rail car parts
*Kawasaki Lincoln is an OEM and only has two plastics machines - 3000 ton SMC machine (second largest in North and South America - can produce a jet ski body in 2 1/2 minutes) and a 3000 ton Mitsubishi injection molding machine with QMC (quick mold change). 


Plastics Engineering Technology Students Travel to Winfield for Company Visits

On Friday, April 23rd, the PSU Plastics Engineering Technology Program took a chartered bus trip to Winfield, KS. Eighteen students and four faculty went on the trip to visit the following companies: Rubbermaid, Galaxy Tool, Winfield Consumer Products and KSQ Blow Molding/ Western Industries.

Plastics Engineering Technology Students Attend National Plastics Exposition -- June 2009

he PSU Plastics Program took 4 instructors and 17 students to the National Plastics Exposition in Chicago.  The conference was sponsored by the Society of Plastics Industry. 

The conference was held in June 2009 at McCormick Place.  Students and instructors attended the conference for two days where over 2000 exhibits and 1000 technical presentations were showcased. 

The group also attended the PSU alumni gathering at South Pier.  Other sites visited included Navy Pier, Soldier Field, Shedd Aquarium Museum of Science & Industry, and a Chicago White Sox game. 

News and Publications

Nicholas Cruz, Scholarship RecipientPlastics Engineering Technology Student Receives Scholarship at International Blowmolding Conference

The PSU Plastics Program took 4 instructors and 10 students to the International Blowmolding Conference in Bartlesville, OK which was sponsored by the Society of Plastics Engineers. 

The conference was held Oct. 7-9, 2008, with a display area, papers, and a tour of the Chevron-Phillips Plastics Research Center.  Pittsburg State University had a display highlighting the plastics engineering technology program at PSU. 

An evening banquet was held at the Woolaroc Museum where Nicholas Cruz, a plastics major, received a $4,000 scholarship award and was honored. 

International Blowmolding Conference 2008

SPE Student Chapter Receives 2008 Outstanding Student Chapter Award

Pittsburg State University's student chapter for the Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE) was selected as the 2008 Outstanding Student Chapter. PSU will be officially receive the award at the Student Chapter Awards Luncheon on Wednesday, May 7 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

National Plastics Conference Honors PSU Students

Two students in the plastics engineering program at Pittsburg State University were given top placement at this spring's Society of Plastics Engineers' Global Plastics Environmental Conference. Michael Thurman, a senior from Chanute, Kan., and Semonti Sinharoy, a senior from India, attended the March conference in Orlando, Fla., and presented their research in the undergraduate student poster presentations.

Plastics Students Take Top HonorsThurman, who is interested in a career in the aerospace industry, designed his 4-foot by 3-foot poster with information about the efforts to bring the plastics industry into a more environmentally friendly environment - specifically by creating trash can liners that are biodegradable to a certain degree.

"These plastics materials are overcrowding landfills. They don't go away for generations," he said of his research that took second place overall. "The industry has a tough reputation for not being greener, so there's a lot of effort in making changes."

Sinharoy, a dual plastics and chemistry major who hopes to go to work for a petro chemicals company, designed her first-place poster around her work with PSU's Kansas Polymer Research Center. The KPRC uses polymers and polyols from soybean oil to create everyday products such as foams and plastics. As a student worker there, she assists in research that focuses on making polyols recyclable so that the end products are biodegradable.

With competition from schools including Clemson University, Georgia Tech and Penn State, the two say they were surprised when they were called forward at the next morning's breakfast to receive their cash prizes.

"When they announced Michael had placed second, I didn't think I would place at all," admits Sinharoy. "They told us PSU is doing a good job in research, but I didn't think two of us from the same school would both win."

Thurman agrees the university was warmly welcomed. "This is the first time anyone from PSU has attended that conference, so a lot of people there were unfamiliar with us until now. They told us they were really impressed with our program."

Their adviser, Rebeca Book, says the students have made their department proud.

"So many times you hear of other universities receiving awards," she said. "So when our students go to conferences and win, our buttons are bursting with pride."