Industry Headlines

Sigma Plastic Services Donates $3.7M Gift to Penn State Erie

September 26, 2011
/ Print / Reprints /
/ Text Size+

SCHAUMBURG, IL-SIGMA Plastic Services Inc. has donated Sigmasoft polymer process simulation software to Penn State Erie’s School of Engineering at Penn State Erie, The Behrend College, a gift valued at $3.7 million.

With this software, the campus has new technical capabilities for its soon-to-open Medical Plastics Center of Excellence and current Medical Plastics certificate program, two initiatives that address the emerging medical plastics market.

The U.S. market for medical plastics is growing at a rate of 5% to 10% annually and sales are projected to reach $6.55 billion in 2012."Thanks to SIGMA Plastic Services, our students and faculty members will be able to develop the next generation of medical devices,” says Ralph Ford, director of the School of Engineering. “This is a great partnership between academia and industry that ultimately benefits our students."

The $3.7 million gift supports Penn State Behrend's goal of raising $32 million during the University's current capital campaign, For the Future: The Campaign for Penn State Students. To date, the college has secured 81% of that goal.

Penn State Behrend's Medical Plastics Center of Excellence is an applied research and outreach center that supports companies in the development of new medical devices and packaging, technologies that could not exist without advanced plastics materials. Sigmasoft software, designed for the molding of advanced elastomer, silicone and thermoplastic materials, supports these technologies.

Students enrolled in the Plastics Engineering Technology bachelor's degree program can pursue the Medical Plastics certificate. The 14-credit certificate program prepares graduates for careers in medical product development with courses in advanced materials, new product design, manufacturing, and FDA regulatory issues. Nationwide, this is the only medical plastics certificate or degree program offered at the undergraduate level.

"Students will acquire in-depth knowledge of SIGMA products and will be better prepared to put what they have learned into practice after graduation," says James Chiamardas, president of TPStek. "This is the first gift of Sigmasoft to a college or university in the United States. We're pleased to work with Penn State Behrend on this important initiative."

James Chiamardas, a Penn State Erie plastics alumnus and Erie native, played a key role in securing the gift. Chiamardas earned his associate and bachelor's degrees in Plastics Engineering Technology. He is president of TPStek, LLC, a Sigmasoft reseller.

TPStek will provide technical support for the software, which is included in the value of the gift.

Christof Heisser, President of Sigma Plastic Services Inc. says, "We are happy to provide the School of Engineering at Penn State Erie, The Behrend College, with 25 seats of Sigmasoft, thereby giving students access to state-of-the-art Polymer System Simulation. Simulation has revolutionized the manufacturing world in the last 25 years and has become an integral part of the manufacturing process. It is, therefore, essential to integrate this technology into the education of the next generation of engineers and we at SIGMA are proud that one of the leading universities in the manufacturing world has decided to work with our simulation tool."

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to Quality Magazine. 

You must login or register in order to post a comment.




Charles J. Hellier has been active in the technology of nondestructive testing and related quality and inspection fields since 1957. Here he talks with Quality's managing editor, Michelle Bangert, about the importance of training.
More Podcasts

Quality Magazine


2014 October

Check out the October 2014 edition of Quality Magazine for features!

Table Of Contents Subscribe

The Skills Gap

What is the key to solving the so-called skills gap in the quality industry?
View Results Poll Archive

Clear Seas Research

qcast_ClearSeas_logo.gifWith access to over one million professionals and more than 60 industry-specific publications,Clear Seas Research offers relevant insights from those who know your industry best. Let us customize a market research solution that exceeds your marketing goals.


facebook_40.png twitter_40px.png  youtube_40px.pnglinkedin_40px.png