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Lambda Advanced Materials to become newest business at Sugar Hill Industrial Park

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New business hopes to employ thirty in ceramic materials industry

Papers were signed Friday, Feb. 17, conveying property and a building at the Sugar Hill Industrial Park in Alfred from businessman Jason Rodd and his wife, Christel, to Alfred University alumni Jeffrey Brundage ’76 and Joseph Sorrentino ’83, co-founders of Lambda Advanced Materials LLC. Shown in photo above (left to right) are: Brundage, Sorrentino’s son and wife, Joseph Jr. and Rosemarie, Christel and Jason Rodd, and Sorrentino.

ALFRED, NY (Monday, Feb. 20, 2023) – Owners of a new ceramic materials firm today signed papers purchasing a piece of land and building at the Sugar Hill Industrial Park in the town of Alfred. Lambda Advanced Materials LLC will become the first company in two decades to take up business at Sugar Hill.

The company will develop new processes, using a range of technologies, for producing a variety of advanced ceramic materials which will in turn be supplied to a diversified technology marketplace. Products manufactured using processes developed by Lambda are expected to ease the stress on the global supply chain by facilitating domestic production of items made from advanced ceramic materials. The company hopes to ultimately have as many as 30 employees.

Lambda Advanced Materials was co-founded by Alfred University alumni Jeffrey Brundage ’76 (B.S., ceramic engineering) and Joseph Sorrentino ’83 (B.S., management). Brundage, business development manager at ceramics manufacturer Critical Services LLC, and Sorrentino, an attorney and real estate developer, were members of the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity as Alfred University undergraduates. Several other Lambda Chi alumni are involved with the project.

“We are looking to develop the next generation of materials processing,” said Brundage. The company, he explained, aims to develop new high-temperature materials processing technologies that are more energy efficient and less expensive, and thus more competitive in the global market. “We will develop processes that will bring ceramic materials not produced in this country, back to this country.”

“It will really be a game changer in the field of ceramics,” said Sorrentino. “And it will all happen here in Alfred.”

Lambda will operate from a 7,200-square foot building on 30 acres of land at the Sugar Hill industrial park, which it purchased from businessman Jason Rodd, a 1995 Alfred University graduate, and his wife, Christel. Jason Rodd operates a factory in Hornell that manufactures ceramic and metal components for the wire pulling industry. The building is currently a shell that will be renovated to include research facilities, offices, and manufacturing space. John Simmins, director of Alfred University’s Center for Advanced Ceramic Technology (CACT), said Amanda Jadwin, project manager for the CACT, will lead a team of students advising Lambda on developing a layout for the building which meets Six Sigma quality control specifications.

“Ms. Jadwin and her lean manufacturing students have had several successful engagements with other industries in the area. They help reduce the cost of manufacturing by streamlining factory layouts and processes.” Simmins said.

While renovation work is done, a portion of Lambda’s operations will be run from the nearby IncubatorWorks business incubator. According to Sorrentino, the target date for Lambda completing work at the Sugar Hill site is summer of 2024. In the interim, Lambda will operate out of the IncubatorWorks facility in Alfred as well as leasing space from Rodd in Hornell.

Lambda chose the location in large part because of its proximity to Alfred University’s Inamori School of Engineering and its CREATE (Ceramic Research, Education And Technology Enterprise) Center, which is located in the McMahon Engineering Building. Simmins said the CREATE Center has facilities and equipment which can accommodate research into ceramic material machining and additive manufacturing (3-D printing).

The CACT, which hosted Friday’s signing ceremony, played a role in bringing Lambda Advanced Materials to Alfred. The CACT referred the available property at Sugar Hill to Lambda leadership and helped facilitate its purchase. Simmins said Lambda will provide research and employment opportunities for Alfred University engineering student, both as interns and employees.

Sorrentino said Lambda hopes to create 20-30 new jobs at the Sugar Hill site over the next five years.

“We want to create opportunities for ceramic engineering students to come in and use our equipment, gain hands-on experience, and develop skills,” he said, noting those opportunities may lead to students finding employment at Lambda after they graduate.

Gabrielle Gaustad ’04, dean of Alfred University’s Inamori School of Engineering, said having Lambda in Alfred will benefit students by providing unique learning opportunities that typify the Alfred University educational experience.

“Hands-on, real-world skillsets are a hallmark of our engineering education here, so it is especially exciting to me to have this new facility near us,” Gaustad commented. “This enables our students to easily visit and see cutting edge technology first-hand and creates amazing opportunities for internships and co-ops.  And no matter the location, it is always a thrill to see our alums building successful careers and businesses.”

Lambda Advanced Materials will also develop two solar projects on the property, which will be overseen by Buffalo Solar. Photo-voltaic panels will be installed on the Lambda building and in a 10-acre solar panel field on the company-owned property at the Sugar Hill site.  Lambda’s plan is to have the facility meet as close to a net zero carbon footprint as possible. The solar site will be available to students in the Renewable Energy Engineering program at Alfred University and the Renewable Energy Technology program at Alfred State to explore integration of renewable energy with the grid.

The last company to locate at the Sugar Hill Industrial Park was Belvac, a manufacturer of ceramic molds which are used in the aluminum can/container production process. Simmins said it is expected that Lambda Materials’ location at the Sugar Hill site will serve as a catalyst for more companies to be started in Alfred.

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