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

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Pittsburgh-based company to establish laboratory in the new 310 Building at Innovation Park at Penn State.

RJ Lee Group Scientist at PSEM

RJ Lee Group Scientist at Personal Scanning Electron Microscope

"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." - Rich Lee, Ph.D.

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.

“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.”

“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.”    

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.”

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Brooke Volk
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