Penn State Behrend and FMC Technologies Open World-Class Design Center

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A $500,000 expansion at FMC Technologies Measurement Solutions, an Erie-based manufacturer of precision metering products for the oil and gas industry, will provide hands-on job training – and job offers – to engineering students at Penn State Erie, The Behrend College.

Penn State Behrend and FMC Technologies Open World-Class Design Center

Mitch Reckner '08, '10 M.B.A., an ultrasonic engineer at FMC Technologies Measurement Solutions, shows a workspace in the new engineering Design Center to Brad Kasperski and Nick Morganti. Both will work as interns in the Design Center.

The new, 2,000-square-foot engineering Design Center will boost the Erie division’s role in FMC Technologies’ global subsea engineering work. When fully staffed, the center will employ 12 interns from Penn State Behrend. They will spend 20 hours each week at FMC Technologies, with the option of working full-time during the summers.

The center builds on a 10-year partnership between FMC Technologies and Penn State Behrend. The college has provided 30 interns to the company's engineering department during that period; seventeen went on to accept full-time positions at the company after graduation.

“We are proud of our strong and longstanding relationship with Penn State Behrend and its School of Engineering,” said Jim Ertl, vice president and general manager of FMC Technologies’ Erie-based operation. “We are both leaders in our respective disciplines, and this Design Center allows us to provide tomorrow’s engineers with the skills and experience necessary to make a lasting, positive impact in our communities and in the business world.”

High-caliber engineers are always in demand, Ertl said, but FMC Technologies is entering a period of unprecedented growth: The company expects to hire approximately 8,000 people at its global sites over the next five years. The engineering Design Center will funnel local talent into that jobs pipeline.

“This partnership with FMC Technologies is a progressive model of collaboration between industry and academia,” said Dr. Ralph Ford, director of the School of Engineering at Penn State Behrend. “It will provide invaluable practical experience and professional growth for our students, preparing them well to compete globally.”

The Subsea Technologies business is the largest segment of FMC Technologies’ global operations, accounting for approximately two-thirds of its $5.1 billion in 2011 revenue. The business designs and manufactures a wide range of equipment and technologies that enable its customers – including Shell, ExxonMobil, Statoil, Petrobras and others – to explore, drill and develop offshore oil and gas fields in all of the world’s major basins.

Penn State Behrend interns will receive valuable first-hand experience with the industry’s most advanced software and other engineering tools and will contribute to the design of equipment including wellheads and control systems intended for use in reservoirs across the world. They will work alongside experienced professionals at various sites and will be supervised in Erie by an on-site Design Center manager.