COVID-19 pandemic motivates physical scientists and engineers to create global solutions

An international team of researchers is urging physical scientists and engineers to join the fight against the novel coronavirus pandemic, and contribute toward long-term creation of knowledge and technologies for infectious respiratory diseases in general. Led by Northwestern University's Jiaxing Huang, the team has authored a perspective article published yesterday in the journal ACS Nano. Public health and healthcare workers are at the frontline to contain and mitigate the spread of this disease, the researchers write. Although intervening biological and immunological responses against viral infection may seem far from physical sciences and engineering that typically work with inanimate objects, there actually is much that can-and should-be done to help in a global crisis like this. Huang's early anxiety about the initial coronavirus outbreak inspired him to lead the call to action. Feeling confused and powerless, he coped by studying textbooks and medical literature about respiratory viruses.

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Engineering Tech, Construction

Comfort Systems USA Announces Acquisition

Business Wire | February 01, 2024

Comfort Systems USA, Inc. today announced that it has closed its previously announced transaction to acquire Summit Industrial Construction, LLC (“Summit”) headquartered in Houston, Texas. As previously disclosed, Summit is a specialty industrial mechanical contractor offering engineering, design-assist and turnkey, direct hire construction services of modular systems serving the advanced technology, power, and industrial sectors. Summit’s capabilities encompass a wide range of modular and site-based construction, including process piping, equipment setting, large pipe rack trestles, and related steel erection and specialty concrete work. Summit is a trusted supplier to some of the world’s largest advanced technology, power and industrial companies and is currently deployed on several major chip fabrication projects. Initially, Summit is expected to contribute annualized revenues of approximately $375 million to $400 million, and earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization of $35 million to $40 million. In light of the amortization expense, Summit is expected to make a neutral to slightly accretive contribution to earnings per share in 2024 and 2025. Brian Lane, Comfort Systems USA’s Chief Executive Officer, commented, “We are delighted to announce the closing of our agreement to acquire Summit, an extremely capable provider of modular and other complex mechanical services. Summit brings a stellar reputation as a modular technology leader in growing end markets, including multiple ongoing and large semiconductor projects. We are happy to welcome Summit’s wonderful leadership team and excellent production and craft workers across many states, and we are confident Summit will continue to innovate and grow as a part of our network of world-class contracting companies. We are grateful that Summit has chosen to become part of Comfort Systems USA.”

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Engineering Tech, Construction

QMB Launches New MASH Tested Road Safety Products

PR Newswire | January 08, 2024

Driven by operational excellence and innovation, QMB proudly introduces its new cutting-edge line of products and movable barrier services across North America. Three Decades of Expertise QMB's evolution from a turnkey movable barrier operator and product distributor to an innovative manufacturer of specialized roadway safety products stands as a testament to three decades of passion and meaningful industry relationships. While QMB's sister company Versilis is well established as a leading manufacturer of automated gates and highway warning systems, it is no surprise that QMB is looking to bring its own wealth of experience to the market. Certified MASH TL-3 Crash Testing Success Amidst a busy year, QMB achieved certified MASH TL-3 crash testing for three groundbreaking products: The QUASH™ water-filled non-redirective crash attenuator, the TALL42™ Movable Barrier, and the HP-LOCK™ Portable Concrete Barrier. Comprehensive details, features, visuals, and videos are available on the new company website www.qmbsafety.com. QMB looks forward to gaining FHWA eligibility and state DOT approvals in 2024. Innovative Offerings and Turnkey Solutions While the QUASH™ attenuator and HP-LOCK™ technology will be available through distribution networks, QMB aims to provide turnkey solutions to movable barrier clients, covering mobilization, operation, and maintenance. This service guarantees optimized operation and efficiency, ultimately driving cost savings and ensuring peace of mind for clients. Marc Seguin, QMB's VP, enthusiastically shares, "This is an exciting new chapter in our history, and our team is fired up and ready for what's ahead.''

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Construction

Construction Partners, Inc. Completes Acquisitions in Alabama and Georgia

PR Newswire | January 03, 2024

Construction Partners, Inc, a vertically integrated civil infrastructure company specializing in the construction and maintenance of roadways across six southeastern states, today announced that it has acquired SJ&L General Contractor, LLC, a hot-mix asphalt and sitework company headquartered in Huntsville, Alabama, and Littlefield Construction Company, a soil base, surface treatment and sitework company headquartered in Waycross, Georgia. Fred J. (Jule) Smith, III, the Company's President and Chief Executive Officer, said, "A key component of our growth strategy is to actively expand service capabilities within existing markets. Both the SJ&L and Littlefield acquisitions expand our services offerings in existing markets while also adding valuable crews and equipment." Smith continued, "The greater Huntsville metro area and Interstate 65 corridor continue to experience tremendous growth, and we look forward to integrating the SJ&L team with our existing operations at our Alabama platform company, Wiregrass Construction Company. As a combined organization, we can now offer turnkey services spanning the construction value chain on both private and public project opportunities within this market. Likewise, our Georgia platform company, The Scruggs Company, entered the Waycross market just a few months ago through the establishment of a greenfield hot-mix asphalt plant. Now having acquired Littlefield, we are even better positioned to capitalize on a robust surface treatment market and to offer a full range of infrastructure services from a strategic location that can reach from the Port of Brunswick on the Atlantic coast into south-central Georgia. We are pleased to expand both of these crucial growth markets and proud to welcome the employees of SJ&L and Littlefield into our continually growing CPI family."

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Engineering Tech, Construction

PirTano Construction acquires Powerlink Electric

PR Newswire | January 25, 2024

PirTano Construction Company, Inc. ("PirTano"), a leading Midwest-based infrastructure and utility services-focused underground construction company operating in the communications and sewer & water sectors, is pleased to announce its acquisition of Powerlink Electric ("Powerlink"). The transaction closed on November 17, 2023. Mike Piraino, President of PirTano, said, "The acquisition of Powerlink will operate as a new electrical division, and brings additional service offerings and bench strength of employees as we look forward to continuing to support our customers while capitalizing on additional opportunities." Founded in 2006 by Doug Pantle and Steve Lipinski, Powerlink Electric ("Powerlink"), is a full-service electrical and telecommunications contractor based in Vernon Hills, Illinois with an outstanding reputation in its regional marketplace and is well known for the reliability and quality of its service. Powerlink primarily focuses on commercial and industrial projects and operates in Northeastern Illinois and surrounding areas. Powerlink will continue to operate under the current leadership as a wholly owned subsidiary of PirTano. Rising Point Capital ("RPC"), commented on the transaction, "Doug and Steve have built a tremendous reputation in its marketplace. We are very excited to partner with them to help accelerate their growth and with leading a new division at PirTano."Generational Equity, a leading mergers and acquisitions advisor for privately held businesses, served as the exclusive advisor to Powerlink. Generational Equity Executive Managing Director of M&A – Central Region, Michael Goss, Stephen Dinehart, a Generational Group Authorized Affiliate, with support from Vice President, M&A, Lance Thomasson successfully closed the deal.

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