Principal investigator: Jeremiah Mbindyo

University: Millersville University

Industry partner: Fontana Candles

Fontana Candle company is a manufacturer of clean burning candles and other products made with all-natural ingredients. Their manufacturing process involves blending various ingredients to achieve desired properties. The company would like to study the properties of the blends and how the ingredients interact to optimize the production process. This will reduce the amount of products that have to be discounted and sold in seconds due to defects, which causes a loss of revenue. Millersville University will partner with the company to provide quality assurance and develop process control protocols for the manufacturing process. A systematic study of properties as a function of blend compositions will be done. The University will provide expertise and access to the instrumentation needed to characterize the blends. The work will increase the competitiveness of the company through the establishment of data-driven streamlining of manufacturing protocols, and the development of new product lines. Four students will participate in the project, with one working directly at Fontana. They will have a unique and rare opportunity to apply skills and knowledge learned in class to solve a real-world problem of interest to industry.