Shawnee State University receives donation from WestRock Company

PORTSMOUTH, Ohio – Shawnee State University Development Foundation received a generous donation from WestRock, a leading provider of paper and packaging solutions in consumer and corrugated markets, that is helping students gain invaluable experience with industry-scale technology.

WestRock donated a Wilmington 6-Layer Hydraulic Co-Extrusion Pilot/Lab Rotary Blow Molder. The new extruder offers new capabilities, with a 15” color touchscreen, programmable machine start-up with Parison Profiling and live temperature tracking, new ANSI compliancy safety features with programmable alarms, and new proportional hydraulic valves, “cool to touch” barrel heater shrouds and barrel cooling fans.

“WestRock is very pleased to make this donation of a pilot scale co-extrusion rotary blow molder,” said Bob Feeser, president of Consumer Packaging for WestRock. “This equipment will assist Shawnee State in providing students the opportunity for hands-on industry training of the extrusion blow molding process utilizing current engineering controls.”

Blow molding is a plastics production process used to form hollow parts. The most common product formed using blow molders are bottles, such as milk jugs, soda bottles, or detergent containers. Additionally, this piece of equipment will provide the capability to produce items with multiple (up to six) layers. Products made with multiple layers combine the benefits of multiple materials into one product. The donation of the blow molder from WestRock allows the program the ability to produce multi-layered products that were not possible before.

“We are grateful for WestRock’s donation and what it means for our students,” Skip Miller, Chair, Engineering Technologies and Professor, Plastics Engineering Technology at Shawnee State, said. “This allows students in our plastics program to gain experience with industrial scale blow molding equipment with modern control systems. One of the biggest advantages of the Plastics Engineering Technology program at SSU is our ability to provide students a “hands-on” experience in our labs that prepare them for the technologies used by leading manufacturers.”

This type of experience, say professors, complements the instruction given in the classroom and set SSU graduates apart.

“These types of hands-on experiences are what drive employers to seek out SSU graduates and give them an advantage in the job market,” Adam Miller, Assistant Professor of Plastics Engineering Technology and Assistant to the Dean of the College of Professional Studies, said. “WestRock’s donation complements the technologies we currently have in our lab and enhances our ability to provide the valuable experiences for our students.”

WestRock is a company with a long history of entrepreneurship, leadership and innovation that includes developments in papermaking, packaging design and retail solutions. They are focused on working with brands to help them win across the board by building unbeatable packaging solutions. For more information about WestRock, visit their website at

For more information about SSU’s Plastics Engineering Technology program, please visit, or contact Cindy Hopkins, Secretary for the Department of Engineering Technologies, at 740.351.3224 or at