Intercom Online......August 13, 1998


Robert Y. Sigworth, former Penn State supervisor of utilities who helped shape University Park campus and State College borough's utilities infrastructure, died July 25. He was 104.

Known as the father of Penn State's power plant, Sigworth wrote a number of historical pieces on the early utility systems of State College and Penn State.

Sigworth earned a degree in mechanical engineering from Penn State in 1919. He was then hired as assistant superintendent of grounds in 1920. Sigworth went on to direct the development of growth of power generation, water supply and telephone service for Penn State. He suggested that the University and the borough synchronize electrical systems, implementing a cogeneration system in 1930. That same year, he was Penn State's representative to build a new power plant on Burrowes Road and in later years, he was responsible for the erection of two water towers on campus. Sigworth retired from the University in 1955.

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