Dr. Karen Wosczyna-Birch at White House for National Week of Making

Today kicks off the National Week of Making, a celebration of the Maker Movement and all maker initiatives around the United States. Events include an invitation-only gathering of 50 maker leaders - one from each state- at the White House which our PI and Executive Director, Dr. Karen Wosczyna-Birch is attending. Participants will discuss maker initiatives in their own states and how to ensure the continued expansion of the Maker Movement. Another exciting event will be the National Maker Faire taking place over the weekend.

Here at the Regional Center for Next Generation Manufacturing we have embraced the Maker Movement as a forum for teaching the community that if you have an interest in making at home, there are educational pathways that can turn those interests into a career in an engineering or technology field, such as manufacturing. We were able to demonstrate this last October during our first Greater Hartford Mini Maker Faire at Tunxis Community College. Over 1500 attendees were able to interact with over 45 makers of all ages and backgrounds. We also sponsor and participate in other Maker Faires in New England such as the Champlain Mini Maker Faire and the Rhode Island Maker Faire - East Bay Edition.

For more information on these events:

Greater Hartford Mini Maker Faire

Week of Making

National Maker Faire

Met^2 Student Presentations

On April 22, 2016 in the Wilde Auditorium at the University of Hartford, students in the Met^2 program presented their semester long, student managed projects.  Met^2, or the Mechanical and Manufacturing Technologies Program, builds on the success of the Life Support & Sustainable Living program in enabling students to showcase their entrepreneurial skills in addition to integrating research, collaborative and technical aptitudes.  

EPT '16: A Closer Look at the Honorary and Faculty Honororees

Honorary Inductees:

This year's Epsilon Pi Tau initiation class included 9 members of our local community who demonstrated the spirit of the honor society's commitment to excellence to students and their preparation as practitioners of the technology professions.  From backgrounds including both the public and private sectors, congratulations to this year's group!

  • Sabrina Beck, Owner & VP of Business Development, Altek Electronics
  • Lisa Szewczul, VP of Environment, Healthy & Safety, United Technologies
  • Dr. Kelli Vallieres, President/CEO, Sound Manufacturing
  • Kittakone Panasay, Sr. Airframe Design Engineer, Sikorsky Aircraft
  • Dr. Estela Lopez, Provost & Sr. VP of Academic & Student Affairs, CT Board of Regents
  • Dr. Paul Broadie II, President, Housatonic Community College
  • Dr. James Mulrooney, Associate Dean, School of Engineering, Science & Technology, CCSU
  • Tracy Ariel, Director of Advanced Manufacturing Centers, CT Board of Regents
  • Michelle Hall, Project Director, CAMI, CT Board of Regents

Faculty Inductees

Three faculty Inductees were also recognized for their contributions this year:

  • Dr. Mobin Rastgar Agah, Engineering Program Coordinator, Norwalk Community College
  • Michael Gentry, Engineering Faculty, Three Rivers Community College
  • Dr. Douglas Hoffman, Math Faculty, Northwestern CT Community College

Distinguished Service Award

And our Executive Director, Dr. Karen Wosczyna-Birch, was recognized with the Distinguished Service Award by EPT's Executive Director, Dr. Kevin Howell!  Dr. Wosczyna-Birch is the only Gamma Phi chapter member to receive such a distinction!


Another Great Year for the Epsilon Pi Tau Gamma Phi Chapter!

On April 22, 2016 the Gamma Phi Chapter of Epsilon Pi Tau (EPT) held its annual Induction Ceremony at Manchester Community College. Over 140 students were inducted from all 12 Connecticut Community Colleges and partner 4-year universities. EPT is an international honor society that recognizes academic achievement for students in engineering and technology fields. Student inductees came from more than 13 countries, had service in United States Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines; volunteered at more than 25 organizations, and included members of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society and the National Honor Society of Leadership and Success. 

During the ceremony Dr. Karen Wosczyna Birch, EPT Co-Trustee for the Gamma Phi Chapter and Two-Year Institutional Director on the Epsilon Pi Tau Board of Directors was awarded EPT's Distinguished Service Award, by Dr. Kevin Howell, Executive Director of EPT. In her role as EPT Regional Director for Community Colleges, Dr. Wosczyna-Birch oversees all Community and Technical College Chapters.

The Chapter also inducted nine honorary members and three faculty members. 

Click here for more pictures!


The RCNGM is Proud to Sponsor the Manufacturing & Mechanical Engineering Technologies Program Student Presentations

In December of 2015, over 50 community college and university students were recruited from Connecticut College of Technology member institutions for the Mechanical & Manufacturing Engineering Technologies (MET2) Program, funded in part through an NSF ATE grant and the Regional Center for Next Generation Manufacturing, an NSF Center of Excellence. These outstanding students have been working in teams on projects initiated by industry and faculty. Past projects partnered with medical hospitals and government entities, including NASA, the U.S. Coast Guard, the U.S. Geologic Survey and the CT Children’s Medical Center.

In January of 2016, the students completed a two-week Winter Intersession workshop that provided them with the necessary technical, professional and entrepreneurial skills required to begin their research. Currently interinstitutional, self-managed student teams are exploring their projects. A few examples of this year’s projects include Prosthetics for Children, Green Infrastructure, a Smart Guitar, Smart Fabrics, and Wireless E Data.

On April 22, participants will present their research and prototypes to representatives College of Technology partner institutions as well as friends and industry partners.

Applications Available for the 2016 Engineering Technology Challenge Summer Teacher Dissemination Workshop

Applications are now being accepted for the annual Engineering Technology Challenge Teachers’ Dissemination Program on July 11, 2016 through July 15, 2016 at Tunxis Community College in Farmington, CT. This is a greatprofessional development opportunity for community college faculty and high school teachers to engage in problem based learning exercises while learning how to successfully integrate professional skills into curriculum. Professional and technical skills include teambuilding, understanding behavioral diversity, 3D printing, computer-aided drafting (CAD), and microcontrollers. The Connecticut College of Technology's Regional Center for Next Generation Manufacturing is a proud sponsor of this workshop!

Teachers' Dissemination Workshop Application