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York College of PA Student Research Project Earns Second Round of Funding from Manufacturing PA Initiative

April 11, 2022
Campus MRG Funding
Mikaela Domingo ’23

A student research project at York College of Pennsylvania was chosen to receive a second round of funding – nearly $70,000 – from Manufacturing PA Initiative (MPI), as announced by Gov. Tom Wolf. York and 16 other colleges or universities are receiving nearly $2.3 million as part of the initiative, which funds student research projects that will help advance innovation in several sectors of manufacturing, from 3D printing to waste sustainability, to autonomous navigation, and more.

York College’s project, “The Use of Mobile Modular Automation to Improve the Efficiency of Sample Handling and Laboratory Analysis,” paired it with MRG Laboratories, a client company located in the College’s J.D. Brown Center incubator, local manufacturer Airline Hydraulics, and the College’s Chemistry Department. “This project is a continuation started through the first MPI grant,” said Associate Professor of Chemistry Greg Foy, “and continues our focus on mobile modular automation, where the automation not only increases efficiency but frees the chemists’ time to work on development work instead of repetitive sample preparation and analysis tasks.”

Civil Engineering major and team captain Mikaela Domingo ’23 was the first of several students to work on the project as an intern. She recently participated in a video competition for awardees sponsored by the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED). The competition gave students 60 to 90 seconds to produce a video recapping their project, with the top five receiving an award at the 4th Annual Manufacturing PA Innovation Program Expo on April 8. Domingo’s video earned second place in the commonwealth, behind Pennsylvania State University Main Campus.

"We were excited to receive the grant funding through what proved to be a very competitive process,” said Jeff Vermeulen, assistant vice president for external relations. “On top of that, taking second place in the video competition increased our excitement to a whole new level. This recognition from DCED is a testament to the skill and hard work of our students, faculty, and industry partners."

The approved projects are part of Manufacturing PA’s fellowship program. The program embeds the commonwealth’s best and brightest graduate and undergraduate students with local manufacturers. Once paired, the students embark on research projects to develop new technologies and advance innovation statewide. Universities that have partnered with a manufacturer can apply for and receive between $25,000 and $70,000 in funding for specific student research projects.

“Pennsylvania’s manufacturing industry has seen continued growth and innovation, and I am amazed at the work these students and companies do,” Gov. Wolf said. “My administration continues to be committed to providing funding to students involved in this important industry. I am proud to fund these 36 projects and look forward to seeing what they create.”