New Engineering Program Launched

Natalie Bombatch

posted October 09, 2015

Pitt-Johnstown President Dr. Jem Spectar addresses the crowd Thursday, Oct. 8, 2015, at the PPAC during the official launch of the University's new engineering program.

Pitt-Johnstown, at a ceremony held on October 8, officially launched its new engineering program, which will culminate in the Bachelor of Science in Engineering (BSE) degree – a historic achievement for the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown and the community. In addition to transitioning their current engineering technology programs (civil, computer, electrical, and mechanical) to engineering programs, Pitt-Johnstown also launched a new and much-needed program in Chemical Engineering.


Pitt-Johnstown President Jem Spectar said, “This transformational initiative has been a centerpiece of campus long-range planning for decades.” He continued, “Offering the highly sought-after engineering degree is essential to meet emerging workforce needs of the Johnstown community and our region, raise the institutional profile and strengthen student recruitment, and advance the Campus’ mission of preparing students for success in the Real World.”

Speakers included, Pitt-Johnstown Vice President for Academic Affairs and Nursing and Health Sciences Division Chair Janet Grady, President and CEO for Windber Research Institute and Windber Medical Center and Chair of the Pitt-Johnstown Board of Advisors Tom Kurtz, Pitt-Johnstown President Jem Spectar, CEO of Pasquerilla Enterprises and Pitt-Johnstown Board of Advisors Member Mark Pasquerilla, President of CME Engineering and Pitt-Johnstown Board of Advisors Member Sean Isgan ‘82, Engineering Division Chair Jerry Samples, and Founder of CEO of PN Hoffman Monty Hoffman ‘83.

Hoffman, the keynote speaker, formed PN Hoffman in 1993 with a single townhouse conversion, and has built the company into a market leader in the Washington, DC metro area. With more than 30 years of experience, Hoffman actively leads the company’s business development and market strategy as well as the design initiatives for every PN Hoffman project. Hoffman is listed in Washington’s Smart CEO’s Future 50 list and Washington Business Journal Power 100. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil/Structural Engineering Technology at Pitt-Johnstown.

Hoffman said, “The ‘new urbanism’ is altering the way we plan and build at ‘breakneck’ speed and the only constant is the ability to think critically with every new challenge. My Pitt-Johnstown education, and the construction skillsets taught by my dad, provided me with the foundation I needed to succeed.” He continued, “Urbanization commands an entrepreneurial spirit, as it is real estate’s form of ‘market disrupter’ reimagining and transforming whole communities within our lifetime. It is truly an exciting time to be part of today’s urban redevelopment.

Also a Pitt-Johnstown graduate, with BS degree in Civil Engineering Technology, Isgan established CME Engineering Inc. in Somerset. In 2002, Isgan’s organization rescued the Quecreek miners who were trapped underground through new technology that was used to drill an air hole 240 feet into the ground to provide the miners with oxygen.

Pasquerilla, a longtime proponent of the transition from Engineering Technology to Engineering, became Chairman and CEO of Crown American Realty Trust, which later merged with Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust (PREIT). He serves on the boards of PREIT, Amerserv Financial, and Concurrent Technologies Corporation. Pasquerilla also serves as Chair of the Johnstown Area Heritage Association, the Community Foundation of the Alleghenies, and the Greater Johnstown Regional Partnership.

Enrollment into the new chemical, civil, computer, electrical, and mechanical engineering programs will begin in fall 2016.


Founded in 1927, Pitt-Johnstown is located in the Laurel Highlands of Western Pennsylvania and is the first and largest regional campus of the University of Pittsburgh. The University is the regional leader, educating for the Real World. The distinctive combination of our people, programs, and place results in exceptional performance in preparing students for career and professional success. Pitt-Johnstown is recognized by the Princeton Review as a “Best in the Northeast” college, by G.I. Jobs as a “Military Friendly School,” by AC Online as one of the “Highest ROI Colleges in Pennsylvania,” and by Pennsylvania Business Central as a "Top 100 Organization.” Additionally, Pitt-Johnstown has been presented with The Seven Seals Award by the US Department of Defense’s office of Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR).