The Digital Foundry at New Kensington is more than a state-of-the-art facility. It is a regional hub for innovation, creative thinking, problem solving, learning, and collaboration. We are committed to support the growth and economic health of our region through education and training, accelerating and de-risking adoption of digital/smart manufacturing technologies, and bringing exposure to the latest in digital technologies to Southwestern Pennsylvania and our rustbelt communities.



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


Sherri McCleary

Executive Director

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Sherri is an experienced executive leader with a strong passion for connecting people and technology to deliver value. Her career spans more than 30 years of technology and business development experience, driving strategy, technology transfer and the launch of new business opportunities. She has successfully launched new technologies, products and partnerships across automotive, commercial transportation, aerospace, defense, energy/oil & gas, architectural products and consumer electronics industries. Sherri’s accomplishments have been recognized through the award of several U.S. and foreign patents, publications, corporate achievement awards and an R&D Magazine Top 100 Technologies Award. Sherri holds a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry from Gannon University and a Master of Science degree in material and surface science from Carnegie Mellon University, along with certification and accreditations in MBA Essentials, Intellectual Property and Contract Law and Executive Leadership.


Foundry Fun Fact: Sherri loves to travel and explore, and so far, she's been to 5 continents, 19 countries and 41 states in the U.S.

Vincent Petrelli

Senior Manager of Projects & Technology

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Vince is an experienced senior manager with a strong passion for delivering smart manufacturing solutions and leading distributed, cross-functional teams. His career spans more than 40 years of technology development and deployment. He has successfully launched new technologies, program management and digital automation systems across the automotive, aerospace, metals, biotechnology and additive manufacturing process disciplines. Vince’s accomplishments have been recognized through the award of a U.S. patent and corporate achievement awards for sustainable automation, productivity and safety. Vince holds Bachelor and Master of Science degrees in electrical engineering from the University of Pittsburgh, as well as certificates in project management and smart manufacturing. He has been active as a volunteer for Habitat for Humanity and the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank. 


Foundry Fun Fact: Vince has written software for digital automation and control systems that span 40+ years.

Stephen Leonard

Operations & Program Manager

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Steve has been a practicing industrial designer and innovator for over 30 years and has worked in a variety of industries including industrial/commercial products, materials, aerospace, defense, children’s toys, medical/surgical equipment, consumer electronics and fast-moving consumer products. He is the Founder and Managing Director for GrayMatterz™, a business, design and innovation consulting firm that provides business model innovation and strategy consulting to startups and established organizations. He has led productivity improvement projects that have yielded cost savings in excess of $10 million. Steve is currently an adjunct professor for Carnegie Mellon University's Integrated Innovation Institute Master of Integrated Innovation in Products and Services program. 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 plays golf and once shot a double eagle.

Nitin Hattangady

Technical Specialist

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Nitin is an experienced mechanical engineer with over 30 years of demonstrated history in developing, deploying, managing, and supporting simulation, and modeling tools for product and process design.  In his most recent role, Nitin worked as the Engineering Manager of Simulation & Analysis in the Engineering Environment & Development Services group at Northrop Grumman Corp.  His team worked with key stake holders to assess, evaluate, and recommend simulation and analysis applications and was responsible for supporting over 40 applications spanning mechanical, electrical, systems and manufacturing engineering domains and used by ~4000 engineers across multiple locations within the Mission Systems sector.  Prior to Northrop, Nitin worked for 24 years at the Arconic Technology Center where he developed modeling tools for extrusion, 3-D printing, and other manufacturing processes enabling automation to significantly reduce design time.

Nitin completed his bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Mumbai, India and a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy NY.  He has 20 publications and has served as an invited reviewer for several peer-reviewed journals. 

Foundry Fun Fact:  Nitin is a music and sports enthusiast – he plays the guitar and is a huge fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers!

Josh Brion Stearman

Automation and Controls Engineer

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Josh is an ambitious engineer with experience in both electrical and mechanical engineering within the industrial manufacturing environment. During his years at Oberg Industries, his primary responsibility included working as a controls engineer on automation lines for nationally renowned medical companies. He often worked on projects from the design phase, all the way through to machine installation, for both external companies and Oberg itself. Josh has a Bachelor’s degree in Electro-Mechanical Engineering Technologies from Penn State University. 

Foundry Fun Fact: Josh is an avid outdoorsman who enjoys activities such as 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 broad engineering background focusing on nanofabrication for semiconductors and medical devices. He has industrial production, research and development experience and has held academic positions at Florida Gulf Coast University and Penn State University. Joe co-founded NanoHorizons Inc and worked for Draper Laboratory before pursuing his career in academia. Currently, he is 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.  His engineering background is in nanofabrication and developing devices for varied applications. Joe’s recent research has concentrated on educational training and outreach with a current focus on smart manufacturing and engineering education.


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

Alyssa Pistininzi

Business Operations & Nextovation Membership Services Manager

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Alyssa is a passionate community advocate, with a background in community and economic development, small business ownership and organizational administration. In addition to her role with the Digital Foundry, she currently manages Penn State New Kensington’s Invent Penn State innovation hub, The Corner Launchbox, and leads business support and community outreach efforts within the local area on behalf of the New Kensington campus. Alyssa co-owns two small businesses and serves on the board of several organizations including the Tri-City Historical Society, the City of New Kensington Recreation Commission, Valley Points Family YMCA and Business New Ken. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Clarion University.


Foundry Fun Fact: Alyssa is a lifelong animal lover and has owned a wide variety of pets over the years 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.



Contact Us

Interested in learning more about the Digital Foundry at New Kensington, our training programs, memberships, becoming a technology partner, or other opportunities? We’d love to hear from you.

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