About

The Digital Foundry at New Kensington is more than a state-of-the-art facility. It is a dynamic regional hub for innovation, problem-solving, learning, and collaboration. Our commitment is to foster the growth and economic vitality of our region through education, training, and the accelerated adoption of digital/smart manufacturing technologies. We aim to bring the latest digital technologies to Southwestern Pennsylvania and Rustbelt communities, driving progress and transformation.

EXCHANGING IDEAS. EXPLORING TECHNOLOGIES.

CREATING OPPORTUNITIES.

Our Vision and Mission

The Digital Foundry at New Kensington vision is improving lives and strengthening businesses through access to digital technologies.

We will achieve this vision through our mission of driving the growth of ideas, learning and problem solving through application of digital technologies.

  • Delivering education & workforce training
  • Accelerating innovation through technology demonstration
  • Networking of business, academia and community for economic growth

Our Core Values

Innovation &
Continuous Learning

Collaboration & Partnering

Equitable Access

Staff

Sherri McCleary

Executive Director

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Sherri is an experienced executive leader with over 30 years of technology and business development expertise. Her passion lies in connecting people and technology to drive value. Throughout her career, she has successfully launched new technologies, products, and partnerships in various industries, including automotive, commercial transportation, aerospace, defense, energy, architecture, and consumer electronics. Sherri's achievements have been recognized through multiple patents, publications, corporate awards, and an R&D Magazine Top 100 Technologies Award. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry from Gannon University, a Master of Science degree in material and surface science from Carnegie Mellon University, and certifications in MBA Essentials, Intellectual Property and Contract Law, and Executive Leadership.

Foundry Fun Fact: Sherri is an avid traveler who has explored 5 continents, 19 countries, and 41 U.S. states.

Vincent Petrelli

Senior Manager of Projects & Technology

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Vince is an experienced senior manager with over 40 years of technology development and deployment expertise. He is passionate about delivering smart manufacturing solutions and leading cross-functional teams. Throughout his career, he has successfully launched new technologies and implemented digital automation systems in industries such as automotive, aerospace, metals, biotechnology, and additive manufacturing. Vince's achievements include a U.S. patent and corporate awards for sustainable automation, productivity, and safety. He holds Bachelor and Master of Science degrees in electrical engineering from the University of Pittsburgh, along with certifications in project management and smart manufacturing. Vince is also actively involved as a volunteer for Habitat for Humanity and the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank.

Foundry Fun Fact: Vince has been writing software for digital automation and control systems for over 40 years.

Stephen Leonard

Manager, Workforce Development & Education

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Steve is an experienced industrial designer and innovator with over 30 years of expertise across various industries, including industrial/commercial products, aerospace, defense, medical equipment, and consumer electronics. He is the Founder and Managing Director of GrayMatterz™, a consulting firm specializing in business model innovation and strategy for startups and established organizations. Steve has successfully led productivity improvement projects resulting in cost savings exceeding $10 million. He currently serves as an adjunct professor at Carnegie Mellon University's Integrated Innovation Institute. Steve holds a bachelor's degree in industrial design from Syracuse University and a Master of Science degree in new product development from Northwestern University.

Foundry Fun Fact: Steve enjoys playing golf and once achieved a double eagle.

Nitin Hattangady

Technical Specialist

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Nitin is an experienced mechanical engineer with over 30 years of expertise in developing, managing, and supporting simulation and modeling tools for product and process design. Previously, he served as the Engineering Manager of Simulation & Analysis at Northrop Grumman Corp, where his team supported over 40 applications used by approximately 4000 engineers across multiple locations. Prior to that, Nitin spent 24 years at the Arconic Technology Center, focusing on developing modeling tools for manufacturing processes like extrusion and 3-D printing.

Nitin holds a bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Mumbai, India, and a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He has authored 20 publications and served as a reviewer for various peer-reviewed journals.

Foundry Fun Fact: Nitin is not only a music enthusiast who plays the guitar but also a devoted fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers!

Josh Brion Stearman

Automation and Controls Engineer

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Josh is a versatile engineer with expertise in both electrical and mechanical engineering in the industrial manufacturing sector. He gained valuable experience at Oberg Industries, where he worked as a controls engineer on automation lines for leading medical companies. Josh handled projects from design to machine installation for external clients and Oberg. He holds a Bachelor's degree in Electro-Mechanical Engineering Technologies from Penn State University.

Foundry Fun Fact: Josh is an enthusiastic outdoorsman who loves kayaking, hunting, biking, swimming, hiking, and camping.

Joseph Cuiffi, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor & Program Coordinator, Electro-Mechanical Engineering Technology at Penn State New Kensington

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Joe is an experienced project manager with a diverse engineering background, specializing in nanofabrication for semiconductors and medical devices. He has worked in industrial production, research and development, and held academic positions at Florida Gulf Coast University and Penn State University. Joe co-founded NanoHorizons Inc. and worked at Draper Laboratory before transitioning to academia. Currently, he serves as an assistant teaching professor and program coordinator for Penn State New Kensington's electro-mechanical engineering technology degree program. He holds a Bachelor of Science and Ph.D. in engineering science and mechanics from Penn State University, with a focus on nanofabrication and device development. Joe's recent research has focused on smart manufacturing and engineering education, emphasizing educational training and outreach.

Foundry Fun Fact: Joe is an avid motorcycle enthusiast who enjoys both wrenching on bikes and riding them in his free time.

Logan Pearce

Proposal and Award Generalist

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Logan is a dedicated self-starter driving positive change in rust belt communities. With a proven track record in budget management, he empowers local businesses through technology and effective communication. As a Penn State alum, Logan makes a positive impact in organizations.

As an intern at Vagabond Cruise, Logan transformed the consumer experience, feedback, and future travel through a company-wide data analysis system. This enhanced client reach, digital presence, and consumer retention.

As a sales/logistics manager at a leading consumer tools company, Logan maximized P&L impact through analytical thinking, workforce development, training, and controlled expenses. Revenue growth and KPI increases exceeded expectations under his leadership.

 

Foundry Fun Fact: Logan was born and raised in Northern California in a town named Redding. 

Matthew Ingram

Programmer Analyst

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Matthew is a highly motivated recent graduate who has successfully transitioned from an intern to a Programmer Analyst at the Digital Foundry. He holds a degree in Information Security Technology with a minor in Security Risk Analysis from Penn State New Kensington, showcasing his passion for safeguarding critical digital infrastructures. Matthew's leadership as head of the Gamer's Club at Lenape Tech illustrates his ability to balance academic excellence with community-building skills. With his technical expertise and dedication to professional growth, he is a valuable asset to Digital Foundry's dynamic team, poised to make a significant impact in technology and cybersecurity.

Foundry Fun Fact: In his free time, Matthew enjoys writing.

Steven Albright

Automation and Controls Engineer

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Steven is a creative engineer with experience in both electrical and mechanical engineering, with his main interest being automation. He is a recent graduate with a Bachelor’s Degree in Electro-Mechanical Engineering Technology from Penn State University. Prior to becoming an Automation and Controls Engineer, Steven completed three summer internships in the manufacturing field, working on a wide variety of projects including industrial part design and prototyping, electrical wiring, and programming.

 

Fun Fact: Despite being born and raised in Pittsburgh, Steven is a devoted Philadelphia Eagles fan.

Alyssa Pistininzi

Business Operations & Nextovation Membership Services Manager

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Alyssa is a dedicated community advocate with experience in community and economic development, small business ownership, and organizational administration. Alongside her role at the Digital Foundry, she manages Penn State New Kensington's Invent Penn State innovation hub, The Corner Launchbox, and leads business support and community outreach initiatives for the local area. Alyssa is a co-owner of two small businesses and serves on the boards of various organizations, including the Tri-City Historical Society, the City of New Kensington Recreation Commission, Valley Points Family YMCA, and Business New Ken. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Clarion University.

Foundry Fun Fact: Alyssa has a lifelong love for animals and has owned a diverse range of pets, including a cow, a pig, a deer, and horses.

Corinne Coulson

Director of Strategic Communications & Marketing

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Corinne is passionate about community engagement, storytelling and communications. After working in the broadcast journalism field, she led a nonprofit organization for eight years before venturing into higher education, where she is currently the Director of Strategic Communications and Marketing at Penn State New Kensington. She is a founding member of Nextovation™, a collaborative initiative led by the campus focused on inclusive change and revitalization of a Rust Belt region through sustainable economic opportunities for individuals and businesses in the digital economy. She is the 2019 recipient of the Westmoreland County Rising Star award;  immediate past President of the Burrell-New Kensington Rotary Club; an instructor for the Rotary Leadership Institute; a member of the United Way's Women's Leadership Council and Bridges Society; a member of the American Society of Public Administration; and ongoing supporter/volunteer of various community groups and nonprofits. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in communications media and journalism from Indiana University of PA and a Master of Public Administration degree from Penn State. 

 

Foundry Fun Fact: Corinne was featured in an inclusive skateboarding magazine recognizing adult women learning to skateboard.

Founders

Highlights

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