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Penn State Beaver Engine Wins 3 Blue Ribbons at Maker Faire Detroit

Penn State Beaver engineering students won three Editor’s Choice blue ribbons at Maker Faire Detroit, July 28-29 in Dearborn, Mich.

The students caught the attention of executives of the Henry Ford Museum and the editors of Make Magazine with their reproduction of Henry Ford’s first combustion engine.

The students’ project involved researching Henry Ford, creating 3D models and schematics of the engine, and building the replica from parts that they often had to make themselves.

 “We built a working engine out of scratch,” said Brennen Koji, petroleum engineering major from McMurray, Pa. “We harnessed explosions and turned them into mechanical energy.”

Ten Maker Faire officials had five ribbons each to hand out to exhibits they felt were outstanding. More than 460 makers exhibited at the fair.

“I liked Penn State Beaver’s engine particularly because it’s using a preeminent historical story and object and reinvestigating that,” said Christian Overland, executive vice president of The Henry Ford, who presented the first of the three ribbons to the students. “It’s obviously a piece that works. More importantly, when I talked to the students about it, I could see there’s a real team here.”              
Eleven sophomores built the engine from donated and fabricated parts for their spring 2012 Engineering Mechanics: Dynamics course taught by James Hendrickson, instructor in engineering. Penn State Beaver in Monaca is one of 24 Penn State locations across the state.

Ford’s first combustion engine was never installed in a vehicle. Instead, it served as a proof of concept for his 1896 Quadricycle.

“On Christmas Eve 1893 Henry Ford had his wife put down the turkey and come to the kitchen sink to help him start this thing,” said Hendrickson. The engine, which had no battery, was plugged into a wall socket, and Ford and his wife, Clara, regulated the fuel intake by hand. “Even he had trouble getting it started,” Hendrickson said.

The museum has the original engine, which isn’t allowed to be started, in storage. A replica is on display in the museum’s Greenfield Village, but it has a problem.

“The replica they have doesn’t work. Ours does,” Hendrickson said.

That fact alone drew the attention of Jim Johnson, the museum’s senior manager of creative programs.

“When we found out that the Penn State Beaver students had a reproduction that actually works, we were very interested,” said Johnson, who invited the students to show their engine at Maker Faire alongside reproductions of the 1896 Quadricycle, the 1885 Benz Patent-Motorwagen, the 1885 Daimler Reitwagen, and Ford’s 1901 “Sweepstakes” race car.

“Everyone loved seeing the engine run and hearing the students talk about it,” said Johnson.

One of those people was Clara Deck, the museum’s senior conservator of historical resources. Deck choked up when she saw the reproduction running.

“That brought a tear to my eye,” she said. “We have the original, but I’ve never seen it run.”
Deck uncrated the original engine and allowed the students to view it in a storage area of the museum.

“That was a rare opportunity,” said Hendrickson. “We thought the original had been thrown away, and here we got to actually see it. These students will never forget that.”

Dalton Petrillo, a mechanical engineering major from Cheyenne, Wyo., found out how big an honor it was when he told one of the Henry Ford Museum workers about it. “He was jealous. He said they never show it to anyone.”

Hendrickson receives eighth U.S. patent

James A. Hendrickson, P.E., instructor in engineering at Penn State Beaver, is the recipient of his eighth U.S. patent. He also holds U.S. patents in the fields of superconductive energy storage, power generation, thermal imaging, personal protective equipment, and continuous steel casting.

Hendrickson’s current patent is being sold by MSA as a critical component of their self-contained breathing apparatus and is related to firefighter safety. For more than ninety years, MSA has been the world’s leading manufacturer of high-quality safety products which are recognized internationally for their highly sophisticated devices and protective gear. Many of the company’s most popular products integrate multiple combinations of electronics, mechanical systems, and advanced materials to ensure user safety.

In 2010 Hendrickson received the Penn State Engineering Alumni Society Outstanding Teaching Award which recognizes engineering educators’ excellence in teaching as well as contributions to the art of teaching. According to the University, the award is given to individuals whose inspiration and contributions to learning are truly memorable.

In addition, he was the 2007 recipient of the Penn State Beaver Advisory Board Michael Baker Jr., Inc. Faculty Excellence in Teaching Award, and he has served as a member of the campus Honors Program Committee.

Hendrickson’s work with students in his engineering design classes has been widely recognized by both University and manufacturing officials. Last month his students from his spring 2012 Engineering Mechanics: Dynamics course received three blue ribbons at the Maker Faire Detroit which they were invited to attend by officials of Ford Motor Company.

Several years ago a class worked on the restoration and redesign of Gaston’s Mill in Ohio’s Beaver Creek State Park which included a Waterwheel Water Bypass Safety System and the Waterwheel Brake and Power Generation System. Other class design projects have included the Reverse Engineering of Bessemer Oil Field Pumping Engine project sponsored by Moraine State Park/Muddycreek Historical Oil Field Site and the Wind Power Generation Project sponsored by Beaver campus.

Hendrickson worked for more than 10 years as principal engineer for Mine Safety Appliances Company in Cranberry Township and also was senior engineer for Westinghouse Electric Corporation’s Science and Technology Center and Nuclear Service Divisions, Pittsburgh. He joined the Beaver campus faculty in 2006.

He holds a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Pittsburgh and a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Penn State. Hendrickson can be contacted at jah64@psu.edu or 724-773-3859.

Continuing Education offers 30 required hours of Act 58 for PA nurses

The Penn State Beaver Office of Continuing Education is offering 30 required hours of Act 58 credit for Pennsylvania nurses. Courses begin Monday, Sept. 17. Courses will be held through November.

Penn State University School of Nursing is an approved provider of continuing education by PA State Nurses Association, an accredited approver by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation. These programs have no commercial support. Approval of this program refers to the educational integrity of the program and does not imply an endorsement of any product by the ANCC Commission on Accreditation, PSNA, or Penn State School of Nursing. Program planners and presenters have no conflicts of interest.

Penn State Beaver is an approved provider for Personal Care Home Administrator 100 hour and annual training under PA Code 2600 (35Pa.B.2499). Beaver campus is also an approved provider for the 55 PA Code Chapter 2800, Assisted Living Administrator 15-hour training.

For information, visit http://www.beaver.psu.edu/CE/profdev.htm, or call the Continuing Education Office at 724-773-3700.

Brodhead Cultural Center’s free concerts continue through August 

Free concerts continue at the Penn State Beaver Brodhead Cultural Center in August. All shows are held on Tuesdays at 7:30 p.m. The North Star Kids will perform August 14, Mark and Donna Groom will be in concert August 21, and the season will close with a concert by The Joe Grkman Polka Band on August 28.
In the event of inclement weather, shows will move into the campus auditorium.

The Beaver Valley Area Chapter of the Penn State Alumni Association will sell concessions prior to and during the show. In addition, the group will sell Penn State Berkey Creamery ice cream in cups from 6-7:30 p.m. prior to the concert on August 28. Proceeds from concession and ice cream sales benefit the Alumni Chapter’s scholarships for Beaver campus students.

Co-sponsors of this summer’s programming are The Times, Beaver Valley Musicians Union Local 82-545, and Eat’n Park Hospitality Group, Inc.

For information, contact the Brodhead Cultural Center at 724-773-3610 or br-bcc@psu.edu, call the Events Hotline at 724-773-3600, or visit www.beaver.psu.edu/Brodhead.