McCrone names employee of the year, discusses future plans (Westmont Progress)

McCrone names employee of the year, discusses future plans
Westmont Progress
July 9, 2008
Written by Annie Reed

The Hillside Strangler, the Gospel of Judas and the Shroud of Turin are a few of the analysis cases that have passed through the doors of McCrone in Joe Rebstock’s tenure with The McCrone Group.

As senior research scientist at the internationally recognized material analysis laboratory in Westmont, Rebstock has worked on some headline-grabbing cases.

Though he often solves problems for big-name companies, most of his job deals with objects on a small scale. The scanning electron microscope Rebstock often works with can see particles 25 to 30 nanometers in size — that is 10 to the negative ninth power. The diameter of a human hair? About 10 to the negative sixth power.

“We’re often referred to as the laboratory’s laboratory,” Rebstock said, because many facilities do not have the capability to go that small.

In June, Rebstock was named McCrone’s Employee of the Year for 2007 for his blend of technical skills, leadership and dedication.

“Joe represents the very best in the materials analysis area,” said Don Brooks, McCrone Group president and CEO.

Rebstock has begun sharing his expertise with others as a faculty member in McCrone’s relatively new microscopy learning center, part of the College of Microscopy.

By 2010, Brooks said the college plans to offer a master’s of microscopy degree, which would be the first in the nation.

This summer, the College of Microscopy is helping some middle and high school science teachers bring forensic instruction into their own classrooms.

“Forensics is increasing in popularity (in schools), but there’s no budget for it,” said Tom Schaefer, a Wisconsin high school biology teacher who led a microscopy camp at McCrone earlier in the summer that demonstrated how teachers could use daily household items like Kool-Aid in their experiments. “It’s not what you have, it’s what you know.”

To learn more about materials analysis, visit McCrone Associates.