RJ Lee Group News

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Marc Hugus to Present on Respirable Crystalline Silica in New York City

December 12, 2017

Event Date: December 18, 2017

Marc Hugus, Manager of Business Development at RJ Lee Group, will present “Respirable Crystalline Silica (RCS) – Understanding the Regulations, Science and Results” at the Advanced Environmental Symposium – Significant Code Issues in the PALMS of Your Hands on December 18, 2017. Marc will discuss the new OSHA regulations related to respirable crystalline silica, which affect a variety of industries including construction, oil and gas, maritime, mining, and more.

The event, hosted by New York City Transit, focuses on environmental contaminants such as PCBs, asbestos, silica, mold, and others. For more information on PALMS, please click here.

Post-disaster Assessment: Objective Scientific Analyses in the Aftermath

September 25, 2017

When disaster strikes, whether it is a natural or man-made occurrence, we are faced with many questions that must be addressed. Could the impacts from the disaster have been avoided or lessened? How can we learn from the event to protect people and property in the future? What data should be gathered and analyzed to answer these critical questions, and how can the answers be used to diminish the effects of future incidents?

Decades of Post-disaster Assessment Experience

Over the past three decades, RJ Lee Group has been called into action in regions impacted by disasters to assist early responders in conducting damage and risk assessments relating to infrastructure (bridges, buildings, roadways, concrete structures, etc.) and human health (toxic emissions, chemical impact to materials, air quality testing, water analysis, etc.). Our strengths lie in our broad range of expertise, decades of experience, and analytical capabilities that can be utilized for a wide range of post-disaster disaster assessments, including train derailments, hurricanes, and terrorist attacks. RJLG experts provide sampling and analytical support to evaluate material damage; environmental contaminants in the air, water, and soil; and to assist in remediation planning.

Hurricane Katrina

Louisiana Superdome After Hurricane Katrina

Louisiana Superdome after Hurricane Katrina

Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans and the surrounding area, and the full extent of the damage was assessed over the next few years. Water damage was revealed as the water receded, including mold that quickly began to grow in the buildings and homes affected by the storm. RJLG provided oversight of the remediation of the mold, as well as conducted damage assessments and environmental contamination analysis involving potentially hazardous contaminants. During the housing boom that followed in the mid-2000s, a shortage of domestic building materials led to the import of Chinese-manufactured drywall to meet the new demand. Within months, homeowners who had utilized the Chinese drywall encountered sulfur-like fumes, blackened metal surfaces, and failing air conditioning systems. Property owners were faced with significant repair costs. RJ Lee Group’s experts were instrumental in the testing of this drywall, and helped the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) establish remediation guidelines for US drywall manufacturers.

Super Storm Sandy

Our mobile laboratory provided aid in the assessment and monitoring of organic contaminants in Hurricane Sandy’s aftermath. This unique analytical technology supported investigations of volatile toxic compounds, suspect odors, and organic chemical releases into the environment. The mobile laboratory was deployed directly to areas in New Jersey and New York to deliver real-time volatile organic compound (VOC) data where contamination was suspected. Tested areas included confined building spaces and tunnels; damaged transportation systems, chemical storage and use facilities; hospitals, stadiums, and other areas that experience large-scale public traffic and potential exposure from VOCs.

World Trade Center Collapse

Following the catastrophic events of 9/11 and the collapse of the World Trade Center Towers, RJ Lee Group was retained by building owners to assess the environmental impact to buildings damaged by the Event. Thousands of dust samples were collected from various systems throughout the buildings.  The samples were analyzed for potential contaminants including fuel oil, diesel fuel, jet fuel, asbestos, heavy metals, PCBs, PNAs and dioxins-furans.  The project involved the development of detailed sampling protocols for the systemic collection of samples from various building systems including interior spaces, wall cavities, cell systems, structural steel, fireproofing and concrete. To aid in the systematic collection of data for each sample collected and to reduce the amount of time spent, RJ Lee Group developed software for Personal Data Assistants (PDAs) for use in sample collection. The data was uploaded electronically to RJLG’s laboratory tracking systems.

Post-disaster assessment after the collapse of the World Trade Center Towers

Post-disaster assessment after the collapse of the World Trade Center Towers

In addition, remediation studies were conducted in the buildings to determine the efficacy of cleaning the contaminants to acceptable levels. We teamed with architects, engineers and toxicologists during this extensive study.  Detailed expert reports were prepared and hearing testimony was given.  Throughout the course of this investigation, our experts were in dialogue with the EPA and NYC officials and provided them with summaries of our results.  All of our reports and raw data were provided to the EPA. Based on RJLG’s extensive analyses and post-disaster assessment, a signature (“fingerprint”) unique to WTC dust was established which demonstrated the unique characteristics of the finely pulverized dust that resulted from the WTC Events and which was used to indicate areas of impact in the building.

Chemical Spill as a Result Train Derailment

A tank car holding 60 tons of chlorine gas ruptured and the contents were released into the nearby environment when a train derailed. RJ Lee Group dispatched a scientific team to the site of a chemical release immediately following the incident to assess resulting material property damage. Months of on-site services resulted in hundreds of residential and commercial property inspections and assessments. Systematic visual assessments documented with digital photographs and GPS coordinates, together with on-site field testing and laboratory analysis of surface wipes and lift samples, established the nature and extent of material damage.  Expert reports and data were produced and testimony was provided.

The case-studies briefly described demonstrate our ability to respond quickly to situations that require immediate scientific post-disaster assessment.  Each and every day, our scientists work hand-in-hand with our clients to address a myriad of materials-related questions involving potential contamination, product quality, product durability and defects and failures. Contact us today to learn how we might be able to assist you at 1.800.860.1775, option 3, then 1, or click below.


Post Disaster Assessments

RJ Lee Group, TESCAN, and Bruker to Demonstrate at MS&T

September 20, 2017

Event Dates: October 9 - 12, 2017

RJ Lee Group, TESCAN USA and Bruker are pleased to demonstrate the IntelliSEM automated particle analysis software utilizing a TESCAN Vega3 SEM with a Bruker Quantax system and 60 mm2 SDD.  Included in the IntelliSEM software suite is the rapid inclusion characterization package known as the Automated Steel Cleanliness Analysis Tool (ASCAT). TESCAN and Bruker are supporting the demonstrations at the TESCAN exhibit booth #301 which will showcase the ASCAT, as well as RJ Lee Group’s suite of automated particle analysis services.

Demonstrations will be provided during exhibit hours at the conference:

Monday, October 9: 4:30 pm to 6 pm

Tuesday, October 10: 10 am to 6 pm

Wednesday, October 11: 9:30 am to 2 pm

Conference attendees are also welcome to arrange for a tour of RJ Lee Group in Monroeville, PA.

To register for a demonstration or a tour of the RJ Lee Group, please contact Mike Potter by clicking below, or call 724-387-1940.

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RJ Lee Group Partners with Penn State University, Establishes Analytical Services Laboratory in State College Innovation Park

August 18, 2017

RJ Lee Group, a leading industrial forensics analytical laboratory headquartered in Pittsburgh, announced the signing of a long-term lease to establish an analytical services laboratory in State College at Innovation Park, along with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with Penn State University.

The laboratory will be located in the new 310 Building in Innovation Park currently under construction, which is slated for completion in November 2017. RJ Lee Group expects to open its 2700 square foot facility in December 2017.  A key component of the laboratory will include a wide range of analytical equipment focused on cost effective, rapid turnaround characterization to serve local industry.

RJ Lee Group scientist working on PSEM System

RJ Lee Group scientist working on PSEM System

“For years, RJ Lee Group has utilized Penn State labs, equipment and other resources to help solve our customers’ problems. Recently, we made the decision to increase our presence in State College as we look to team with local industry, as well as with Penn State, to commercialize new technologies developed at the University,” said Dr. Richard Lee, Founder and President of RJ Lee Group. “This decision was driven primarily because of the university’s vast research expertise, state-of-the-art facilities and access to talent. “We are very excited to sign this Memorandum of Understanding with Penn State and firmly believe it will lead to numerous opportunities for increased collaboration in materials, transportation, information sciences, life sciences, agriculture, energy and advanced additive manufacturing,” Lee said.  “Having a new facility here in Innovation Park will allow RJ Lee Group to expand and strengthen our collaborations with Penn State and the rapidly growing high tech community located here.”

Neil A. Sharkey, PhD, Vice President for Research at Penn State, and Richard J. Lee, PhD, founder and president of RJ Lee Group, sign a Memorandum of Understanding.

“We’re thrilled to welcome another industry leader to Innovation Park to fulfill the park’s mission of industry collaboration for the purpose of moving great ideas to the marketplace,” said Neil Sharkey, Penn State’s Vice President of Research.

RJ Lee Group plans to initially hire ten full-time scientists and technicians, who will work out of the Innovation Park facility once building construction is completed.

“On the commercial side, we recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Morgan Advanced Materials, because we see numerous opportunities for analytical services and forensic analysis for Morgan’s Carbon Science Centre of Excellence and their production facilities” said Lee.

Morgan Advanced Materials, a global leader in advanced carbon and ceramic materials, is establishing its Carbon Science Centre of Excellence (CoE) at 310 Innovation Boulevard. Dr. Phillip Armstrong, CoE Lead, is quoted “Morgan Advanced Materials welcomes the new laboratory being established by RJ Lee Group at Innovation Park. As we develop new materials and technologies, partnering with experts in testing diagnostics and methodologies is fundamental, and working with RJ Lee Group is an important part of our plans.”

Lee indicated that in addition to Morgan Advanced Materials, the close proximity to Penn State’s CIMP-3D and the Additive Manufacturing community in Innovation Park provide the opportunity to develop collaborations and apply RJ Lee Groups extensive capabilities in powdered metal characterization in this rapidly growing field.

“RJ Lee Group sees State College as the ideal location for its new facility, due to its proximity to Penn State’s state of the art laboratory equipment, faculty and staff, who are subject matter experts, and the students themselves,” said David Crawford, Vice President of RJ Lee Group.   “We hope to bring research opportunities to Penn State via new and ongoing projects with our base of over 1600 clients worldwide.  In addition, we see Penn State as an ideal partner for commercialization of intellectual property developed at the University.”

( l to r) Tom McDonald (GLP), Clive Randall, (MRI, PSU), Jeff Fortin, PhD (PSU), Richard Clark (MAM), Neil Sharkey, PhD (PSU), Vern Squier (CBICC), Rich Lee, PhD (RJLG), David Crawford (RJLG), and Robert Barron, (GLP).

Chamber of Business & Industry of Centre County President and CEO Vern Squier, CCE, PaCCE, said there is excitement about the near-term and future economic impact potential of RJ Lee Group’s decision to locate in the county.  Squier said the CBICC will help to connect RJ Lee Group with local businesses, and is prepared to assist the company with its future growth needs.

“Working with RJ Lee Group on matters related to engagement with the local community has been a distinct component of this recruitment project, as the company sees its investment extending beyond the lease agreement and initial jobs that will be created,” Squier said.

RJ Lee Group also plans to commercialize its own new technologies, which could potentially lead to new facilities and additional job creation in the region.  “We have a long history of developing and commercializing technology including the first automated scanning electron microscope, a process for tire recycling into a range of useful products, and the standardized test kit for gunpowder residue detection.  Looking ahead, we are developing technologies such as ISETS, a bomb threat detection technology, and SEAMS, a big data integration technology developed under DoD funding,” said Crawford.  “We anticipate the creation of 25-30 additional jobs here over the next three years as we commercialize these, and related, products and software.”

Contact Our Innovation Park at Penn State Division

To see the CBICC press release, please click here.



Pittsburgh Chapter – American Foundry Society to Meet on Silica at RJ Lee Group HQ

August 16, 2017

Event Date: October 2, 2017

The Pittsburgh Chapter of the American Foundry Society will be holding a meeting at RJ Lee Group in Monroeville, Pa. on October 2, 2017 on the topic of respirable silica.

RJ Lee Group will be presenting, “In the News: Crystalline Silica and Foundry Operations,” to address the upcoming changes to silica monitoring introduced by OSHA. For more information, please click here.