New engineering building at Penn State Scranton

Newswatch 16’s Courtney Harrison says this may benefit area companies looking to hire engineers.

LACKAWANNA COUNTY, Pa. — Penn State University officials and members of the engineering program at Penn State Scranton cut the ribbon on the new engineering building at the campus in Dunmore.

Over the past couple of years, the university spent $9 million on the property and renovating the state-of-the-art facility with new classrooms, study pods, and equipment students might use when they enter the workforce.

“We have robotics class this semester, which has been really fun. We use different robots and these types of things that we’ve never had on this campus before. So just being the first group of students to use them has been an awesome experience,” said senior Nicholas Drago.

This new facility allows mechanical engineering students to get a four-year degree without having to transfer to another campus to complete it.

“The closest to engineering we had here was the Two Plus Two program, so I have a four-year mechanical engineering program here. It’s really, really powerful. I hope it can get a lot of students to come here and enroll here,” said senior Frank Genell.

“This is going to be influential, not just for our students, but for our employers and for the economy of the entire region,” said Penn State University President Neeli Bendapudi.

Marwan Wafa is the chancellor at Penn State Scranton and says area companies who were shorthanded for mechanical engineers had reached out to express the importance of having a program in which they could pick from a pool of graduates.

“The advantage that we have is that the majority of our students are local, and they want to stay local as well,” Wafa said. “That brings stability in terms of employment to area employers.”

Frank Genell is from Moosic and says getting his mechanical engineering degree close to home is a plus.

“I’m currently working an internship with Highland Associates. There I do various things, such as architectural plans. I work in the mechanical department of design, HVAC systems, so I plan to work with them after I graduate.”

The four-year mechanical engineering program at Penn State Scranton will have its first group of graduates in May. School officials hope to expand the program to other engineering concentrations in the future.

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