Weather Forecast for Philadelphia

Partly Cloudy
Sunday 05/29 20%
Partly Cloudy
Clouds and some sun this morning with more clouds for this afternoon. A stray shower or thunderstorm is possible. High 88F. Winds S at 5 to 10 mph.
Monday 05/30 100%
Cloudy with periods of rain. Thunder possible. High around 75F. Winds light and variable. Chance of rain 100%. 1 to 2 inches of rain expected.
Partly Cloudy
Tuesday 05/31 20%
Partly Cloudy
Intervals of clouds and sunshine. High 86F. Winds light and variable.
Partly Cloudy
Wednesday 06/01 0%
Partly Cloudy
Partly cloudy skies. High 84F. Winds ENE at 5 to 10 mph.
Partly Cloudy
Thursday 06/02 10%
Partly Cloudy
Intervals of clouds and sunshine. High 78F. Winds E at 10 to 15 mph.


Philadelphia University architecture students recently presented their plans to redesign the East Falls train station–including options for food, drink and fitness–to SEPTA officials, community members and others, WHYY Newsworks reported May 23.

The architecture students, with the help of two occupational therapy students, had to envision the current and future roles of the train station, including meeting the needs of those with disabilities at a challenging site, for the semester-long project in collaboration with SEPTA and East Falls Development Corp.

“It’s really great to see the students get involved in that kind of context, where they understand design as being a result of a collaborative project,” said David Kratzer, associate professor architecture.

After seeing the students’ designs, SEPTA project architect Warren Williams said, “this is an exciting way to challenge our ideas and status quo.”

Recent architecture graduate Alex Klohr designed a winning parklet–in the space of a parking spot–as part of a design competition sponsored by the American Institute of Architects and Saint-Gobain, Philly Voice reported May 20. The parklet won the people’s choice award.

Philadelphia University textile design students developed innovative new uses for Sunbrella fabrics as part of a competition sponsored by Sunbury Textile Mills and Glen Raven Custom Fabrics, reported the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Casual Living and other news outlets.

Graduate student Samantha Fletcher was awarded first place for her innovative, limit-pushing approach which featured melted PVC yarn. Second place went to industrial design graduate student Valerie Gibbins for her design influenced by street art, and third-place winner Jessica Newman, a junior, was noted for her design based on bone-cell patterns. Honorable mentions were presented to Becky Flax, Nyasha Chivaura and Yi-Chun Liu.

The story also was published by the Albany Times Union, San Antonio Express-News and Stamford Advocate.

Philadelphia University awarded an honorary doctorate to University City Science Center President and CEO Stephen Tang at the May 14 Commencement ceremony, where Tang told graduates, “There is no progress without risk, and there is no risk without failure. Progress and growth lead to the opportunities to reinvent ourselves and our lives,” Technically Philly reported May 20.

Philadelphia University has been ranked in the top 50 fashion schools in the world by CEOWorld Magazine. The magazine ranked PhilaU’s fashion program 45th overall, based on academic reputation, employer reputation, quality of teaching and diversity, in its just-released ranking of the top 100 programs worldwide.

CEOWorld, aimed at top-level executives, surveyed former students, fashion houses, fashion recruitment consultants, fashion designers, and industry professionals to calculate the rankings.

The student work on display came out of PhilaU’s multi-disciplinary Special Topics: 3D Textiles course.

Philadelphia University students showcased a collection of innovation design projects at the prestigious International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF) in New York this week.

The 24 students in four design disciplines presented projects ranging from a woven hanging lamp and knitted chair to a stool with hand-knotting and a bomber jacket.

“It’s the most important contemporary design venue in the U.S., with international furniture, lighting, textile and home-goods designers and manufacturers exhibiting,” said Lyn Godley, associate professor of industrial design, noting that only a handful of schools are selected to exhibit there each year. “Attendees include architects, interior designers and manufacturers who are looking for the latest in home furnishings design. The opportunity for the students to meet this large of an audience is unparalleled.”

The student work came out of Special Topics: 3D Textiles, a multi-disciplinary course last semester that included architecture and textile, industrial and fashion design students who learned to knit, crochet, weave and knot. Through exploration of a range of interlacing techniques, materiality, form and function, students collaborated to create three-dimensional products. Kihong Ku, associate professor of architecture, and Marcia Weiss, director and associate professor of textile design and Harold Neuman Textile Design Chair, co-taught the course with Godley.

Twenty-three PhilaU students had their work showcased at the prestigious ICFF, including graduate textile design student Yi Chun Liu ’16 and undergraduate architecture student Javier Villarroel ’16.

Twenty-three PhilaU students had their work showcased at the prestigious ICFF, including graduate textile design student Yi Chun Liu ’16 and undergraduate architecture student Javier Villarroel ’16.

For the architecture students, the course also served as a pilot offering in the Interdisciplinary Design and Experimental Architecture Studio program, which received the 2015 National Council of Architectural Registration Boards Award. The program aims to facilitate and enhance design research of textile design and applications through cross-disciplinary collaborations and student-practitioner partnerships involving material investigations, theoretical discourses, physical and digital design, and prototyping.

“Through the ICFF, our students learned the importance of setting realistic goals, managing the process and production of their projects, and presenting and interfacing with a large international audience beyond the classroom,” Ku said. “Building on the success of this semester, we will continue to examine the potential of cross-disciplinary explorations between textile, fashion, industrial and architectural design.”

Speaking from the ICFF exhibition floor, Weiss said the students have garnered much interest from attendees due to the interdisciplinary nature of their work.

PhilaU’s ICFF participants include undergraduate architecture students Feras Alsaggaf ’16, Manny Eshun ’16, Rich Vilabrera ’16, Javier Villarroel ’16 and Clarissa Kelsey ’17; undergraduate industrial design students Austin Becker ’16, Ian Cooke ’16, Colin Heston ’16, Chloe Muller ’16, Nicky Topete ’16, Jacob Brosius ’17, Maria Cipolla ’17, Aria Lee ’17, Jasmine Mealy ’17, Louise Lotten Sandstroem ’17 and Shane Siever ’17; undergraduate fashion student Gabriella Hudson ’17; undergraduate textile design student Megan Onuskanych ’17; graduate textile design students Ananya Bevinakatti ’16, Yi Chun Liu ’16, Drew McKevitt ’17, Soumya Mohanty ’17 and Insiyah Shahpurwalla ’17; and graduate industrial design student Valerie Gibbins ’17.

Expo2In a wide-ranging display of talent, Philadelphia University’s largest Innovators’ Expo ever showcased some 300 senior student projects May 9-13 in the Gallagher Athletic Center.

The expo celebrated the creativity of PhilaU seniors in animation and digital media, architecture, communication, engineering, fashion design, graphic design, industrial design, interior design, landscape architecture, law and society, sustainability and textile design. It featured 90 projects that received the Eileen Martinson ’86 Fund for the Undergraduate Capstone Experience Grant.

“Visitors always say it’s so inspiring to be in this space,” said Michael Leonard, David and Lillian Rea Dean’s Chair and academic dean, School of Design and Engineering, Kanbar College of Design, Engineering and Commerce. “You can see more work on display from all the disciplines than at any other exhibition during the year.”

Mechanical engineering students Davin Pagan and Gussan Alkulaibi won a Nexus in Action award for their Dehumidifying Backpack that generates drinking water; engineering professor Muthu Govindaraj is on the left.

Mechanical engineering students Davin Pagan and Gussan Alkulaibi won a Nexus in Action award for their Dehumidifying Backpack that generates drinking water; engineering professor Muthu Govindaraj is on the left.

For her senior capstone, industrial design student Cecilia Griffin created the Daypack+, a day pack for hikers that has a built-in tent that can be deployed in case of emergency along with other survival essentials, including a flashlight, first aid kit, fire starter, whistle and matches in a waterproof case.

“Hikers need to be prepared, but a lot of them aren’t,” she said, noting that when a search-and-rescue mission exceeds 24 hours, the survival rate drops to 76 percent for adults and a dismal 38 percent for children.

With his Project Pollinator, industrial design student Jeffrey Piotrowski hopes to help find out why half the commercial honeybee colonies have disappeared over the past 30 years. “There’s no good way to study pollinators,” he said. “We just don’t know enough.”

Rather than make this painstaking research solely the work of scientists, his system allows average gardeners to monitor pollinators like bees and butterflies in their own backyards and to contribute their findings to a widely accessible database.

Industrial Design student Nicky Topete won an Entrepreneurship Award for her magnetic soft toys Ambigos.

Industrial Design student Nicky Topete won an Entrepreneurship Award for her magnetic soft toys Ambigos.

Other projects on display included a rowing shell using engineered composites to reduce weight, improve strength, lower costs and make repairs easier; kinetic buoys that harvest energy from the motion of the waves and change the water landscape by adding light and fostering interaction between the waves and the surrounding structures; a vision clearing system for motocross riders; an accessory for blind people to enhance social interaction; and a bar that features vintage arcade games for millennials.


Student winners included:

Entrepreneurship Awards
Nicky Topete, BS Industrial Design–Ambigos
Jeanlouise Hornberger, BS Industrial Design–Flash the Firefly
Caroline Noebels, BS Graphic Design; Veronica Llamas, BS Graphic Design; and Nicole Meyer, BS Graphic Design–Chess at 3

Approximately 300 senior student projects were on display.

Approximately 300 senior student projects were on display.

Nexus in Action Award
Gussan Alkulaibi, BSE Mechanical Engineering; Maihtab Malhi, BSE Mechanical Engineering; and Davin Pagan, BSE Mechanical Engineering–Dehumidifying Backpack

Change the World Award
Suvir Hira, B. Architecture; Feras Alsaggaf, B. Architecture; and Dylan Catino, B. Architecture–LOOP

2016 PhilaU Innovation Fan Favorite
Nick Artale, BS Industrial Design–RISE Smart Sleep System


The EPA applauded PhilaU for supporting cleaner renewable energy alternatives.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has recognized Philadelphia University as an Individual Conference Champion of the 2015-16 College & University Green Power Challenge for using more green power than any other school in the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference.

Since 2006, EPA’s Green Power Partnership has tracked the collegiate athletic conferences with the highest combined green power use within the program. The Individual Conference Champion Award honors the school that uses the most green power in a qualifying conference.

PhilaU beat its conference rivals by using nearly 16 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of green power, representing 100 percent of the school’s annual electricity usage. The University procures utility green power products from WGL Energy and Direct Energy, which the agency says “demonstrates a proactive choice to switch away from traditional sources of electricity generation and support cleaner renewable energy alternatives.”

“As a University that has many majors directly related to sustainability, it is important to demonstrate sustainability as an operational commitment,” said J. Thomas Becker, PhilaU’s associate vice president for operations.

PhilaU is a signatory to the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment and has embarked on a climate action plan to reach carbon neutrality by 2035, he said.

“The wedge diagram of programs to do that strategizes a preference toward electrical power over fossil fuels, but that only makes sense if the energy used to create that power is from renewable sources,” Becker explained. “We have been tracking ahead of our interim goals, and this award confirms we have acted decisively on our commitments. We have become a leader among universities in green power and in the reduction of our carbon footprint.”

PhilaU’s green power use of nearly 16 million kWh is equivalent to the electricity use of more than 1,400 average American homes annually, according to the EPA.

Mentored by PhilaU students, the Roberto Clemente Middle School SeaPerch team won first place in the Greater Philadelphia SeaPerch Challenge.

Mentored by PhilaU students, the Roberto Clemente Middle School SeaPerch team won first place in the Greater Philadelphia SeaPerch Challenge.

The Roberto Clemente Middle School SeaPerch team that Philadelphia University mentors and sponsors through the Navy-funded McKean After School Grant won first place in the Greater Philadelphia SeaPerch Challenge on April 29. The team, which bested 38 other schools, now will participate in the national SeaPerch competition that takes place at Louisiana State University on May 21.

Open to middle and high schools in the Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware region, the Greater Philadelphia SeaPerch Challenge aims to increase student interest in robotics, science, mathematics, engineering and technology and to introduce students to naval engineering. The event is structured to give students an overall experience in the engineering process.

“I want to give a special recognition to our recent graduate and winner of the engineering excellence award Parth Patel who has lead the team and engineering students mentoring at Clemente for the past three years,” said Fernando Tovia, associate professor of engineering at PhilaU’s School of Design and Engineering. “He truly got the team on his shoulders and took them from fifth place last year to first place this year.”

The program will provide an immersive and interactive experience for participants, said Barbara Klinkhammer, executive dean of PhilaU’s College of Architecture and the Built Environment.

With the support of Philadelphia University alumni and faculty, Women in Architecture (WIA) is partnering with the Charter High School for Architecture and Design to launch Philadelphia Architects Teach Innovation, Networking + Agency (PATINA), a one-on-one mentorship program for female students interested in design.

“The aim is to provide an immersive and interactive experience for participants that will pair students with a design professional to foster a meaningful bond over the course of their high school careers,” said Barbara Klinkhammer, executive dean of PhilaU’s College of Architecture and the Built Environment, noting they hope to expose students to design thinking and professions, primarily focused on the built environment.

PhilaU alumni and faculty involved include Klinkhammer (WIA co-chair); Karen Blanchard ’98, graduate of the architecture program (WIA co-chair); Toma Bubelyte ’12, graduate of the architecture program; Sara Schmidt, adjunct professor in the College of Architecture and the Built Environment; and Susan Frostén, associate provost and associate professor in the College of Architecture and the Built Environment.