CCAC Mechatronics Technology students attend PACK EXPO, four receive merit scholarships

Article by: CCAC Public Relations

CCAC students at PACK EXPOPITTSBURGH—Nine students in CCAC’s Mechatronics Technology program at West Hills Center visited Chicago from Oct. 15 to 18 to attend the PMMI PACK EXPO International trade show held by the Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies (formerly Packaging Machinery Manufacturers Institute). Accompanied by CCAC Assistant Professor Patricia Thompson and CCAC Adjunct Professor Janine Mickey, the second-year students had the opportunity to witness cutting-edge technology and to meet with more than 2,000 vendors of automated equipment used in the packaging industry. 

At the show, two of the students interviewed with Niagara Bottling and were offered positions with the company as field engineering technicians, which they accepted. CCAC was one of 18 PMMI partner schools to host a booth in the education pavilion, where students and faculty spoke with representatives from many local industries. Four CCAC students also participated in the Amazing Packaging Race, in which 20 teams of students from around the country completed a series of challenges across 1.2 million net-square-feet of exhibit space. CCAC’s Christopher Bice was on the winning team and received a $500 Visa gift card. 

CCAC student Crystal Daughtry, of Mt. Washington, was recognized at the show for receiving one of six merit scholarships awarded by PMMI in the U.S. and Canada in the amount of $5,000. Receiving scholarships in the amount of $4,000 each were CCAC students Austin Fitch, of McDonald; Kalie Conner, of Washington, Pa.; and Henri Siyapdje, of Penn Hills.

“All of the students expressed how much they benefitted from attending the expo and learning about the opportunities that await them after graduation,” said Thompson. Our students really made a great impression on everyone. An engineer from Siemens told me how impressed he was with the mechatronics knowledge that the CCAC students possess.” 

An emerging technology, mechatronics integrates mechanical and electronic components with hydraulics, pneumatics, electronics and computer controls in the manufacture of industrial products and processes. Skilled workers are in high demand due to the increasing use of these sophisticated and complex manufacturing operations.

For more information about CCAC’s Mechatronics Technology program, visit

Photo: Gathered around the CCAC booth at PACK EXPO are (left to right): CCAC students Spencer Griffin, Henri Siyapdje, Matthew Schaeffer and Crystal Daughtry; CCAC faculty member Janine Mickey; and CCAC students Kalie Conner, Robert Szymanski and Christopher Bice. Not pictured are CCAC students Tom Gerlach and Austin Fitch. 

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