News Archive

Aerospace Metallography & coating evaluation class update

Thu, 09/10/2020


We at IMR hope that this message finds you in good health and good spirits.  We are writing to inform you that we have been forced to cancel our Aerospace Coating and Evaluation training sessions for the remainder of the year.  After monitoring international and national regulations and restrictions, it is clear that the current pandemic is continuing to be met with un-predictable use of travel restrictions by all government and private entities.  A number of registrants for our training sessions have understandably also expressed personal concern over traveling or travel bans in place by their employers in efforts to limit exposure vectors. 

At this point we cannot provide a definite date for when training can resume.  We will continue to monitor the state of things through the end of the year and into the beginning of next year.  We will be sure to send you a message to let you know as soon as we feel that it is safe and prudent to set a schedule.

We regret having to make this decision.  We certainly understand the difficulty the current situation causes for maintaining a trained and certified workforce.  As soon as the opportunity arises to be able to move forward with training options, we will be sure to contact you as soon as possible.



George Wildridge
Analytical Services, Director of Engineering
Curtiss-Wright Technical Fellow
The aerospace industry consists of a number of engine manufacturers, supported by a far greater number of suppliers. Each manufacturer often has their own specifications relating to coating evaluation and disposition. For that reason, IMR Test Labs has developed a training course to meet the training needs of the entire industry. Certificate provided upon successful completion of the course materials.  We've expanded the course with updated material, extended hands-on lab time and a strong focus on the latest advanced materials and coatings technology available. 
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Thu, 03/19/2020

IMR Test Labs Louisville, Kentucky location has earned accreditation from Pratt & Whitney Group as a materials testing lab.  Click here to view the document.

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National Engineers Week Feature- Phillip Swartzentruber

Thu, 02/20/2020

We’re celebrating “National Engineers Week”, and the tremendous contributions our engineers make to our customers understanding of their materials characterization challenges, by featuring some important members of our engineering team.

Phillip Swartzentruber, PhD is a Failure Analyst and the Chemistry Department Supervisor at IMR’s lab in Louisville, KY.  We recently talked P Swartzentruberabout what drew him into engineering in the first place, how he applies his knowledge to his role at IMR, and what advice he’d have for someone thinking about going into the field.

What got you interested in engineering?

”I was always good in math throughout school, so engineering seemed to be a natural choice for being able to utilize those skills in a career.  When I went to the University of Kentucky, I was initially enrolled in the Mine Engineering program.  It didn’t take long for me to decide working underground was not going to be enjoyable, so I switched to Materials Engineering because of a presentation that was made during orientation.  If you recall, when I graduated in 2009, the economy was taking a big hit.  I decided to continue my education to learn more and make myself more marketable, so I got a PhD.”

What do you like the best about your role at IMR?

“Every day is different.  One of the things that got me interested in materials science was the variety of applications, and the diverse characteristics needed for each of them.  Every time there’s a problem with a customer’s materials, it’s a learning experience for me.  I can apply what I know and identify their problem, and quite often, the solution.”

What advice to you have for young people who are thinking about a career in engineering?

“If you can find someone who is in the field, ask them a lot of questions, but even better- see if you can shadow them for a day.  Do your research, people will tell you what they think you should go into, but look beyond the basic engineering disciplines like chemistry, mechanical, electrical.  There are many specialty areas that are in high demand, so check them out.  In my experience, most people who go into materials science started in another engineering field, but got interested when they found out what an interesting field it is.”

To talk with one of IMR's world-class engineers, scientists or lab technicians, call 888-464-8422 or contact us here.

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National Engineers Week Feature- Chase Yurga-Bell

Wed, 02/19/2020

We at IMR Test Labs rely on our engineers daily for their unique set of testing and analytical skills.  To celebrate “National Engineers Week”, and the tremendous contributions our engineers make to our customers understanding of their materials characterization challenges, IMR is featuring some important members of our engineering team.

Chase Yurga-Bell is a Sr. Engineer at IMR’s Portland lab.  We recently talked about what drew him into engineering in the first place, how he Chase Yurga-Bell-crop-300applies his knowledge to his role at IMR, and what advice he’d have for someone thinking about going into the field.

What got you interested in engineering?

“Both my parents were analytical chemists, so there was always talk about applying science to solving problems.  I thought it was more interesting to take science out of the abstract world, and apply it to solve real world problems.  I felt materials engineering gave me the flexibility to go into many different areas of specialty.  The challenge of figuring out problems of material characterization and failure analysis is a lot of fun, and metallurgy gives me the opportunity to not only identify the source of the problems, but also what corrective measures should be taken to avoid failures and cleanliness issues.”

What do you enjoy most about your engineering role at IMR?

“It’s never the same day to day.  I really enjoy solving the customers puzzle, whether it’s a product failure or a material’s unusual reactions to various environmental, temperature or stress exposures in their operating environment.  Thinking through what testing approach to take to get to the failure’s root cause or what pre-failure symptoms might indicate is fun.  And I really enjoy being able to help our customers find out what has caused their problem, as well as sharing knowledge about how to mitigate those problems in the future.  Having that contact with the customer gives me a great feeling when I have been able to help them solve an important problem.”

Advice to someone thinking about a career in Engineering?

“Don’t get frustrated with how hard college is.  Once you get past the papers, homework, tests, quizzes, projects, etc. you’ll find you already had all the skills you need to do the job.  And don’t be afraid to switch what areas you like to work in.  For example, I did a lot of work detecting impurities on circuit boards.  After a time, I discovered that I preferred working with metal and I made the switch.”

To talk with one of IMR's world-class engineers, scientists or lab technicians, call 888-464-8422 or contact us here.

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Mon, 01/20/2020

LANSING, NY – January 2, 2020 – George Wildridge, Director of Engineering-CWST Analytical Services, was recently awarded the distinguished Curtiss-Wright Technical Fellow designation.   This award recognizes George’s exceptional qualifications and experience in several areas:

  • Technical Expertise
  • Industry Exposure
  • Research Qualifications
  • Decision Making Ability
  • Experience, Education
  • Communications / Coach / Educator

“The fields of material science, engineering and metallurgy have been hallmarks of the service package offered by CWST Analytical Services since its inception,” said Bill DeLaurier, Regional Manager-Analytical Services, “George has played a major role in formalizing, codifying and institutionalizing our knowledge and values.  Analytical Services would not be nearly as successful without George’s continued presence.”

George started his career with IMR Test Labs (IMR became Analytical Services after Curtiss Wright acquisition) in 2002.  He has continually grown in responsibilities by demonstrating his Material Science and Engineering expertise and experience.  DeLaurier also stated, “The easiest and most accurate way to describe George’s leadership capabilities is to realize that he has lead most of Analytical Services largest revenue and strategically critical projects over the past decade.  The success of these programs has enabled us to become one of the leaders in the field of materials testing throughout the U.S. and Asia.”

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Jennifer Breetz Named Top Young Metal Finishing Industry Professional

Fri, 08/03/2018

Jennifer BreetzIf you haven’t seen the latest issue of Products Finishing magazine, you missed seeing Jennifer Breetz, IMR-Louisville’s Quality Manager/Metallurgy and Corrosion Manager. As a result of her work in metallurgical properties and anti-corrosion processes, she has been recognized as one of the top “40 Under 40” young professionals in the finishing industry by the magazine’s editorial board.

This award recognizes the today’s top young talent who are making great strides in shaping the future of the finishing industry. We’re proud of Jennifer, and she’s been an important part of the team since 2011, rising quickly through the lab to positions of greater responsibility. With her extensive experience in the automotive industry, she’s the face of IMR to many of our OEM and Tier 1 customers.

Here's a link to the online version of the story:

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IMR-Suzhou Earns Nadcap Certification for Fatigue Testing

Tue, 07/10/2018

In February 2018, Nadcap audited our fatigue testing equipment, and we earned our certification in June 2018.  Our Fatigue Engineer has extensive fatigue testing experience, as well as laboratory professional training, expert ability in fatigue specimen processing.  Having proved that IMR-Suzhou has improved our fatigue testing facilities, including the high-level vertical polishing equipment, we are proud to announce we have met the requirements of Nadcap and GE for surface residual stress requirements!

The IMR Test Labs-Suzhou laboratory completed the third phase of our expansion project in January 2018, with the introduction of high and low cycle fatigue testing machine. In April, we installed 6 fatigue frames to complete our planned expansion.

IMR Test Labs-Suzhou has fatigue engineers with a rich depth of knowledge and experience, providing material fatigue testing services for you and your products quickly and accurately。Under the long-term effect of variable stress and strain, the fracture phenomenon caused by cumulative damage is called fatigue,IMR Suzhou laboratory can now provide you with a full set of fatigue testing methods, including high cycle fatigue, low cycle fatigue, room temperature and high temperature fatigue performance, K1C, fracture toughness, Da/Dn and more. 

If you need further analysis of the materials tested to failure, our metallographic team has been trained professionally in the areas of fault and destruction modules。With the support of our complete Microscope Laboratory (Optics, Scanning Electron Microscope) and chemical, mechanical and other groups, we can provide a wide variety of testing services for customers.

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IMR Louisville Awarded Class A Lab Status by Daimler Corp

Thu, 08/10/2017

IMR Test Labs- Louisville recently earned the "Class A Laboratory" designation from Daimler Corporation. For any automotive manufacturers or Tier 1 suppliers, this designation represents a high standard of excellence in testing and analytical processes of automotive materials. In addition to our ISO 17025 and A2LA accreditations, the Daimler Corporation certification continues to prove that IMR is a world-class testing facility.

(Photo: A Daimler Corp. joint U.S./ Germany Quality Control Team tour our Louisville lab.  From left to right: Jeff Martin (ZF, US), Peter Aschauer (Daimler, Germany),  Frank Vails (Daimler, US), Jennifer Breetz (IMR), Sandy Mitchell (IMR)

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Mon, 08/07/2017

IMR’s Ithaca lab facility has added to its roster of talented and experienced lab personnel with the hiring of Jaewan Park, M.S. Aeronautical Engineering.

Mr. Park has over 15 years of experience in materials testing, with an emphasis on high temperature cyclic and static fatigue testing of Ceramic Matrix Composites Materials (CMC) and other aerospace materials.

George Wildridge, Director of Engineering at IMR Test Labs said  “In his role as Sr. Engineer for our Nadcap accredited Fatigue Testing Laboratory, Jaewan’s advanced education and hands-on experience in the aerospace industry enables us to leverage his expertise into becoming a sustaining resource for manufacturers and suppliers in that sector.”

While working out of the IMR Ithaca facility, Mr. Park will provide support and expertise to all 5 of IMR’s worldwide test labs.

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IMR Receives Recognition for Outstanding Performance from Bechtel

Tue, 05/23/2017

Curtiss-Wright’s Surface Technologies (CWST) division announced today that its IMR Test Labs-Ithaca facility was recognized for outstanding work on projects by Bechtel’s Nuclear, Security & Environmental global business unit at the Bechtel Supply Chain Recognition awards. The awards recognize subcontractors and suppliers who supported Bechtel‘s work in nuclear power, environmental clean-up, defense, and nuclear security and operations projects during 2016.IMR Test Labs Receives Recognition for Outstanding Performance from Bechtel Corporation

“We could not accomplish what we do without our subcontractors and suppliers,” said Barbara Rusinko, president of Bechtel’s Nuclear, Security & Environmental global business unit. “The work is challenging, highly technical, and is often first-of-a-kind.”

“Our large and diverse team of engineers, scientists, lab techs, and support personnel worked very hard over several years on this complex and technically challenging program,” said IMR’s Joseph Springer. “We were honored to receive this supplier award, which was earned in large part by the collaboration of over 20 very talented material testing professionals.  It is great to see their efforts receive such a high level of recognition”.

IMR is providing formulation, testing, and analysis services to determine the corrosion susceptibility of plant components such as piping, valves, and vessels. The test scope includes over 2000 test coupons spanning the entire range of expected environmental conditions throughout the plant.

Companies were evaluated on multiple factors. They include: overall performance; the ability to deliver quality services/supplies on time; the ability to work collaboratively to meet milestones; and meeting or exceeding project expectations in aspects of safety, construction performance, technical expertise, and environmental compliance. Nominations were reviewed and approved by Bechtel procurement and project managers.   Final recommendations were approved by senior leadership.

Pictured (from left to right): Jim Willman – Bechtel NS&E Manager of Procurement & Contracts, Aaron Kueck- IMR Test Labs Manager of Failure Analysis & Metallurgical Engineering, Don Shuman, IMR Test Labs VP of Sales & Marketing, Barbara Rusinko – President, Bechtel NS&E.

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