Graduate student Aditya Krishnaswamy is complementing his supply chain and logistics-focused industrial engineering studies with a graduate assistantship at Penn State’s Pennsylvania Technical Assistance Program (PennTAP).
PennTAP’s statewide network of expert technical advisors helps organizations improve facility efficiencies, cut costs, and reduce pollution output through in-person and virtual consultations, unbiased technical advice, online educational resources, and connections to Penn State experts, resources and programs.
As part of his assistantship, Aditya collects, analyzes, and builds reports on data regarding the economic and environmental benefits of both the recommendations made by PennTAP advisors and the upgrades implemented by clients. These data reports are then provided to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), one of the organizations that financially enables PennTAP to provide businesses with no-cost energy assessments.
“Aditya’s work has been crucial in reporting out our impact to our grant providers,” said PennTAP Director Tanna Pugh. “Our graduate assistants are key members of our team, and they all receive the opportunity to learn from and collaborate with our expert technical advisors as well as to work on projects with direct impact on our clients and our organization as a whole.”
“PennTAP client visits and the opportunity to analyze client sites introduces me to a lot of manufacturing processes, which has helped me build my domain knowledge,” Aditya said. “I am also using PennTAP projects to fulfill my curriculum projects, which helps me focus on a limited number of tasks so that I can give my 100%.”
In addition to analyzing site data, Aditya also compiles case studies on specific Energy Efficiency/Pollution Prevention (E2/P2) practices which PennTAP advisors recommend to clients and that the clients have successfully implemented.
For example, PennTAP Advisor Alanna Colvin completed an E2/P2 assessment of Cedar Grove Farm in January of this year. Colvin determined that a new grain dryer would not only save the farm on energy and money, but would also reduce the time spent drying and improve the quality of the crop output. The farm was able to install the new equipment this past summer, and the new system is expected to increase yield as well as save 3,947 gallons of propane and 4,185 kilowatt-hours per year, equivalent to $7,640 annually.
Aditya will be completing a case study on this project, detailing the specifics of the P2 practices that were implemented. These case studies will then be used to build and share a body of knowledge of P2 practices, functioning as a roadmap for other technical assistance programs or companies to replicate.
“Working at PennTAP has given me an opportunity to continue my professional growth,” Aditya said. “I absolutely love tackling the new challenges I am presented with every day, and the learnings that come along with each challenge makes the work even more exciting. I hope that through the projects I am working on, we can use the funding from the EPA to continue to help our clients and set examples for other environmental professionals through our work.”
Students interested in the graduate assistantship opportunity with PennTAP should contact Tanna Pugh at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Pennsylvania Technical Assistance Program (PennTAP) at Penn State is a federal, state and University partnership to stimulate statewide economic development. PennTAP helps organizations maximize their competitiveness through in-person consultations, unbiased technical advice, and connections to Penn State experts, resources, and programs.