Radioactive: SUNY-ESF offers course on environmental-friendly manufacturing process

Illustration by Andy Casadonte | Art Director

SUNY-ESF is offering courses in radiation curing for the first time this fall with the Advanced Certificate program.

Radiation curing is used to bond materials and create waxy coatings and inks in an environmentally friendly manner, according to RadTech, the ultraviolet light and electron beam processing company that the school has partnered with to create the program.  It is a fast-growing technological area that costs less than traditional methods, said Howard Hollander, outreach program manager for the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry.

It is often used to dry the coatings of cavities and make the waxy coating on cereal boxes, Hollander said.

The program will also have an interactive webinar series on the trends and issues experienced in radiation curing technologies, which includes videos detailing the production line process, Hollander said.

Students graduating from this program will have the opportunity to go into a variety of scientific fields, including engineering and technology, he said. Different companies may also send employees to become certified in radiation curing through the program, he said.

“It provides many benefits to students, in that it gives additional knowledge on a growing industry,” Hollander said.

The course includes three 500-level classes, a total of nine credits, according to the SUNY-ESF website.

The courses include: Introduction to Polymer Coatings, Radiation Curing of Polymer Technologies and Radiation Curing Equipment, Instrumentation and Safety. For the classes, students have three options: to take at least one class for no credit, at least one class for credit or all three classes for credit while earning an Advanced Certificate in radiation curing, Hollander said.

He said it costs the same amount as yearly tuition and is similar to a graduate degree in that students apply for admission and it is accredited by the SUNY system.

The program will also offer the first completely online SUNY course, Hollander said. This means that students can receive all materials online, correspond with professors via email and take tests on Blackboard, he said.

For funding, SUNY-ESF received a grant from the Department of Labor in 2012, titled “Enhancing American Jobs and Global Competitiveness: A Collaborative Initiative in Sustainable Materials and Manufacturing.”

Currently, the program faces low enrollment rates, Hollander said. But the program only takes one semester to get an additional degree and students will have a “leg up” compared to others going into the same industry, Hollander said.

Said Hollander: “The biggest beneficiary is the practitioner, but the benefits can extend to others within a company, through the spread of knowledge.”


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