WPI Chemical Engineer Receives $2M Grant to Push the Boundaries of Genetic Engineering

A Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) chemical engineer has received four separate grants totaling more than $2 million to support his research into using yeast and fungi to take on significant genetic engineering challenges. Through his research in synthetic biology, Eric Young, the Leonard P. Kinnicutt Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering at WPI, aims to engineer organisms to make it easier to develop numerous products, like medicines, biofuels, and plastics, and increase security by developing a new method to detect hidden underground explosives.

“I am thrilled,” said Young, “These grants mean we can really push the boundaries of genetic design. They point to the promise of using yeast and fungi, already essential components of civilization, in new and creative ways to solve some of the toughest problems facing us today.”

Young recently received the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) prestigious CAREER award, which recognizes early-career faculty who have the potential to serve as academic role models in research and education. The five-year $512,591 grant supports his research on using Xanthophyllomyces dendrorhous, usually referred to as red yeast, as a new synthetic biology host, which is a base organism scientists begin the genetic engineering process with. Generally, only two organisms—baker’s yeast and E. coli—are used as hosts. That slows down or inhibits the creation of many products that are based on organic compounds that aren’t easily created by these two organisms.

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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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Construction

Window Nation Breaks New Ground in the Emerald City Expanding Services to Seattle

PR Newswire | January 09, 2024

Window Nation, one of the nation's leading window replacement companies, proudly announces its much-anticipated expansion into the vibrant city of Seattle. With a reputation for delivering first-rate windows and unparalleled customer service, Window Nation is set to redefine the standard for home improvement in the Pacific Northwest. Seattle's unique blend of historic charm and modern architecture makes it an ideal canvas for Window Nation to highlight its diverse range of high-quality window products. The company's CEO and President, Jeff Beck, expressed enthusiasm about this strategic move, saying, "Seattle's dynamic housing landscape and the city's commitment to sustainability align perfectly with our values at Window Nation. We are thrilled to bring our expertise to homeowners in the Pacific Northwest and enhance the beauty and functionality of their homes." As Window Nation makes its mark in Seattle, Beck emphasized the company's commitment to upholding its renowned quality standards. "Our windows are crafted with precision and designed to withstand the distinctive weather patterns of the Pacific Northwest, "Seattle homeowners can trust Window Nation to deliver not only exceptional products but also a seamless and stress-free experience from consultation to installation." With a record of transforming homes across the nation, Window Nation is poised to become the go-to choice for Seattle homeowners seeking top-tier windows and exceptional service, redefining the window replacement experience for homeowners across the city. Inviting Seattle residents to embrace a clear view of the future—one framed by quality, style, and innovation.

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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

VOLLERS, Inc. Enhances its Portfolio with the Strategic Acquisition of LAYOUT, Inc.

PR Newswire | January 02, 2024

VOLLERS, Inc. (VOLLERS), the holding company that owns or partners with quality construction services brands such as Vollers Excavating, HVI Services, Aspen Landscaping and Assuncao Brothers, Inc., proudly announces the acquisition of Layout, Inc. (Layout), one of New Jersey's most recognized construction survey firms. This acquisition broadens VOLLERS' array of services in the construction industry through its distinct and operationally independent entities. Brendan Murray, current President of VOLLERS, will expand his leadership role by assuming the role of President at Layout. Giuseppe Messina Jr., from VOLLERS, has been appointed as Vice President of Survey at Layout. James Flores, from Layout, has been appointed as Director of Project Management. "Success in construction is not just about project completion; it's about fostering a culture of efficiency, innovation, and excellence. We're not just building projects, we're building companies that lead the construction industry," states Brendan Murray. "Adding Layout, Inc. to the VOLLERS family of companies enriches our mission and enhances our service offerings across the entire construction community." Layout comes to VOLLERS as a robust business with a strong history of managing complex and substantial infrastructure projects in the region. The synergy between VOLLERS and Layout promises significant value for clients, combining VOLLERS' world-class management capabilities with Layout's surveying expertise to meet evolving market demands with industry-leading effectiveness. "I am very honored to be given the opportunity to bring these two well-respected organizations together," says Giuseppe Messina Jr. "I look forward to leading a diverse and talented team in our unwavering commitment and dedication to providing top-tier service in the Survey industry."

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