DuBOIS, Pa. – Throughout high school, Dylan Treaster was always interested in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, which is often placed under the educational umbrella term of "STEM." He was involved in the technology student association, future farmers of America, the science Olympiad team and he was responsible for setting up and operating the hydroponics garden at Penns Valley Area Junior/Senior High School as well. But he also had several side interests as well. In addition to completing more than 15 hours towards his private pilot’s license and attending the National Flight Academy in Pensacola, Florida, Treaster had a strong interest in personal finance and investing. His passion for the engineering field, personal finance and investing left him with a predicament when it came time for him to determine what his educational path would be when he attended college.
Prior to choosing his major, Treaster knew he wanted to try to continue his athletic career at the collegiate level. Being an athlete and a four-year player on his high school baseball team, he searched for a place that would allow him to play at the highest possible level. That opportunity came when he was offered a spot on the baseball team at Penn State DuBois. While this was a big factor in his decision, it wasn’t the only one.
On my multiple visits I was able to see the small, inclusive, family type environment Penn State DuBois has. Along with the one-on-one engagement with courses, I knew this is an environment that I would thrive in as a student.
—Dylan Treaster , Penn State DuBois graduating Honors Scholar student
“I really liked the atmosphere on campus,” Treaster said. “On my multiple visits I was able to see the small, inclusive, family-type environment Penn State DuBois has. Along with the one-on-one engagement with courses, I knew this is an environment that I would thrive in as a student.”
Even after choosing to attend Penn State DuBois, Treaster still had the dilemma of what he would area he would focus his studies on. After meeting with a career counselor and several faculty members, the perfect solution was found.
“The counselor and faculty members at Penn State DuBois found the perfect way to bridge the gap between my interests,” Treaster said. “We came up with the idea of majoring in engineering and minoring in business and entrepreneurship, which is exactly what I did.”
By using this approach for his education, Treaster has been able to get the education he wanted in the STEM field while also gaining a great background in business and finance, allowing him to stay in touch with both sides of his interests coming into his college years.
Another point that caught his eye at Penn State DuBois was the Honors Scholar program. After reading about the program online, Treaster felt that he would be a good candidate for the program given his efforts inside and outside of the classroom during high school. He completed and submitted the application and writing requirements for the program and was later selected for an interview. That, however, is where his journey took him to a place he had never been before.
“Being selected was very exciting but also very nerve-wracking,” Treaster said. “I had never done an interview before, let alone one in a room full of multiple people. I decided to just go in with confidence and be myself and it ended up getting me a follow up call telling me I had been accepted!”
On the baseball diamond, Treaster has been a member of the Nittany Lion baseball team for all four years he has attended Penn State DuBois. Coming into the current spring season, he has appeared in 27 games overall, with 24 for those appearances coming last season. In 2022, Treaster hit for a .357 average, with 10 hits on the year including a home run, drove in 10 RBIs and scored seven runs. He is looking to expand upon those numbers during his senior season this spring.
For several years, Treaster has also been involved with the Idea Lab, which is part of the North Central PA LaunchBox, powered by Penn State DuBois. The Idea Lab offers students, faculty, and staff the opportunity to utilize various levels of 3D printers and a commercial vinyl printer to create prototypes, marketing materials and more. It was his exposure to additive manufacturing and 3D printing that ultimately sparked his interest into doing more research on this topic, specifically dealing with aluminum 7075 repair applications.
Since aluminum 7075 is used for many applications, typically aerospace, which experience extreme environments over long periods of time, repair is inevitable. However, traditional repair of this material is not feasible and often has the possibility of ruining the integrity of what is trying to be repaired. Treaster’s research is looking into the viability of laser directed energy deposition to create a readily available repair process for aluminum 7075. His research is still ongoing with the help of his research adviser, laboratories and research students at University Park. It is his hope that he will share his results, titled “optimizing parameters to repair aluminum 7075 application using laser based directed-energy deposition,” at the 2023 PowderMet & Additive Manufacturing Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada, that will take place from June 18-21.
Treaster credits his research project with allowing him to gain a large amount of real work experience and letting him know that he is on the right path for his future career.
Seeing everything come full circle and applying what I have learned to problem solve helped me solidify that I made the right decision in choosing engineering.
—Dylan Treaster , Penn State DuBois graduating Honors Scholar student
“The biggest gain was seeing what I have been taught in class applied to real world applications,” Treaster said. “Seeing everything come full circle and applying what I have learned to problem solve helped me solidify that I made the right decision in choosing engineering.”
Treaster is currently determining what will come next for him after graduation. Ideally, he would like to continue his education in grad school and would like to secure a position as a research assistant or teaching assistant while he continues his studies. However, he is keeping all avenues open and is also considering a position within his field and starting his professional career while working towards his advanced degree as well.
The Honors Scholar Program at Penn State DuBois provides opportunities for students who excel academically to participate in specialized courses and activities, allowing them to engage at a higher level. All current students are welcome to apply at the beginning of the fall semester for the Honors Program. The application for Honors Scholars opens in the fall to incoming students for the following fall semester. You can visit the program website to find more information and to learn how to complete an application to the program.