“You mean I get to rock a lab coat and fire the hail cannon,” said second-time momma-to-be and talented Tapered Design Specialist, Veronika Chwieroth as the Northern New Jersey Council got ready to tour the R&D facilities at GAF’s national headquarters in Parsippany, New Jersey.

Council Chair, Erica Sherman, Ph.D., led the tour with Lynn Picone, council past chair and 29-year GAF employee adding insight-filled color commentary. The planned 45-minute tour lasted almost 2 hours as the dynamic group learned about everything from shingle construction to asphalt testing, to the components that go into making TPO membrane.
GAF provided dinner for the group that was composed of both first-time attendees and longtime members. Questions ranged from:
• How does passive ventilation work?
• What happens when a 2-inch hail ball hits a shingle at around 70 mph?
• Why is there color variation in granules?
• How does an extruder work?
• What does an Instron machine test?
Answers touched on local and industry codes & testing requirements, product construction, material use, system construction, the new product development, and ideation processes, lab safety, and a myriad of other why and how’s. One of the evening’s best laughs went to the single lab Roomba. Not dissuaded by evening visitors, it deployed in the middle of the tour in search of any stray granules missed during the normal workday clean-up.
The council meets 12 times a year, devoting meetings each quarter to the pillars of NWiR including: mentoring, education, recruiting, and networking.

Keep an eye out for the next meeting invitation for the July 15, 2022 – Habitat for Humanity Build and Restore Opportunity.