YSU participates in European Union exchange program

Peter Sedlacko

A doctoral student from Slovakia is serving as a visiting scholar at Youngstown State University this summer under a European Union-sponsored study abroad program.

Peter Sedlacko, a PhD student in mechatronics at the Technical University of Kosice in Slovakia, came to YSU in the spring for an independent study in additive manufacturing as part of the Erasmus+ program.

In addition, a YSU faculty member will travel to Technical University of Kosice when Sedlacko returns later this month.

“We hope that this initial Eramus+ award begins an ongoing productive technical exchange and strong academic relationship between our universities,” said Mike Hripko, associate vice president for Research.

Erasmus+, which stands for the European Region Action Scheme for the Mobility of University Students, was established in 1987 to offer university students in Europe the possibility of studying or doing an internship abroad.

Hripko said that YSU applied for Eramus+ nearly two years ago at the encouragement of former Regional Chamber Vice President Eric Planey, who learned of the opportunity while meeting with the Slovak Consulate of New York. YSU was notified of the award in January.

The program includes funding for Sedlacko’s travel expenses to and from Youngstown, as well as a daily stipend. The award also covers travel expenses for the YSU faculty member’s visit to Slovakia.

Sedlacko said this is his first time in the United States. He said he feels very welcome, noting the large Slovak community in the region. He also said he is impressed by YSU’s additive manufacturing efforts.

“There is a huge knowledge about additive manufacturing and materials science here in Youngstown,” he said. “I hope our universities will continue to collaborate in the future.”

Sedlacko is investigating new additive manufacturing technologies using high-impact plastic materials and is also interested in biomechanical applications of 3D printing. He is working with YSU faculty and a Youngstown Business Incubator-portfolio company Juggerbot, founded by two YSU alumni. During his time at YSU, Sedlacko was also able to attend RAPID, a week long international additive manufacturing conference in Pittsburgh.

While at YSU, Sedlacko is under the supervision of Eric MacDonald, professor of Electrical Engineering and the Friedman Chair in Engineering, and Virgil Solomon, associate professor of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering.