About Us

Solar Testing Laboratories, Inc. is a geotechnical and environmental engineering, materials testing, and construction inspection firm.  With our headquarters in Cleveland, we are the geotechnical and material testing laboratory of choice for many municipalities, other governmental agencies, and a diversified, growing list of major industrial companies throughout the world.

It is our mission to deliver the highest quality of service to our clients and to allow our professional and technical staffs to provide you with all the information necessary to perform your tasks effectively and efficiently “to better serve the construction industry.”

Background

Solar Testing Laboratories, Inc. (STL) is an independently owned and operated firm incorporated in the State of Ohio since 1969.
STL is a certified Small Business Enterprise (SBE) as follows:

  • City of Cleveland Small Business (CSB)
  • Cuyahoga County SBE
  • Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District SBE
  • Ohio Department of Transportation SBE under the Unified Certification Program
  • Ohio Turnpike and Infrastructure Commission Local Disadvantaged Business Enterprise SBE

STL has assisted contractor, builders, developers, architects, and government agencies meet the demanding standards the construction industry has placed on projects such as roads, bridges, high-rise buildings, shopping centers, airports, sewers, water treatment plants, and more. Although STL was originally organized to perform geotechnical engineering and construction testing services, STL has put forth a concerted effort since 1985 to also develop a wide range of environmental engineering services. The combination of the extensive consulting experience of our environmental staff with our drilling and samples capabilities now makes STL one of the foremost environmental entities available in Ohio.

Facility Location

STL operates a fully-equipped office in Cleveland, Ohio. This office maintains its own certified testing laboratory and is considered to posses one of the largest geotechnical and construction materials testing laboratories in the State of Ohio.

Our facility located at 1125 Valley Belt Road in Brooklyn Heights (Cleveland), Ohio, is a 26,000-square-foot office, laboratory, and high-bay vehicle maintenance facility which meets all American Standards for Testing and Materials (ASTM) and American Concrete Institute (ACI) specifications. This facility is conveniently located with immediate access to I-480, I-71, and I-77–giving us the ability to quickly respond to many locations.

Corporate Capabilities

STL has long-standing memberships in many of the professional organizations involved in setting the industry standards for geotechnical services. STL’s active membership and involvement in these organizations ensures our clients of our commitment to excellence and our commitment to utilize the very latest standards governing the execution of our client’s task.

The services performed by STL are conducted in strict accordance with all designated standards of the industry’s professional organizations and with STL’s internal quality control programs. STL maintains certifications required for performing its professional services, including the following:

  • STL is authorized by the State of Ohio Board of Registration to perform professional services, including materials testing and construction inspection.
  • STL is prequalified by the Ohio Department if Transportation in the following areas: Geotechnical Engineering, Geotechnical Testing Laboratory, Geotechnical Field Exploration, and Geotechnical Testing Inspection; Environmental Site Assessment (ESA) screening – Phase i and II ESA, and ESA remedial design.
  • Our laboratory is accredited by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AAHTO) for performing hot mix asphalt, hot mix asphalt aggregate, soil, Portland cement concrete, and Portland cement concrete aggregate methods for testing.
  • Our laboratory meets all of the requirements of the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) and American Concrete Institute.
  • STL participates regularly in numerous proficiency programs administered by AASHTO, ASTM, ODOT, and ACI. In addition, an on-site inspection of our equipment personnel, and procedures is performed biennially by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, both CCRL and AMRL.
  • STL is one of few on the list of approved testing laboratories by the Federal Aviation Administration for providing testing and inspection on airport projects and, more specifically, accrediated under ASTM D-3666, ASTM C-1077, and ASTM D-3740.
  • STL is on the Ohio EPA list for performing filter media laboratory testing.

Our in-house laboratory in Brooklyn Heights is capable of performing a wide variety of tests and is under the supervision of trained and qualified geologists and professional engineers. Our engineering departments consist of professional staff and engineers, environmental professionals, geologists, drilling crews, and technicians familiar with the area geology and environment. Our engineers, environmentalists, and drilling crews are certified under the OSHA 40-hour training for hazardous material.

Our Staff

The organization of STL includes a staff of diverse individuals proficient in management, field operations, and administration. During our peak construction season, STL employs approximately 65 employees. Our in-house staff is as follows. As you will see, many of STL employees have longevity with the company.

Owner:
Michael Kichurchak, President – 44 years with STL

Directors/Managers:
Anthony Kichurchak, Executive Vice President – 14 years with STL
Mark Recktenwald, Vice President, PE – 19 years with STL
Dennis Sanderson, Vice President/General Manager, Geologist – 31 years with STL
Michele Palmateer, Business Development Manager – 33 years with STL
Robert Davis, Environmental Engineering Director, PE, CP, CPCS, AHES, AHAS – 25 years with STL
David Snethkamp, Operations Director/Steel Division Manager, SCWI – 28 years with STL
Greg Contrera, Operations Liaison – 16 years with STL
Donald Hollenbaugh, Laboratory Manager, Geologist – 38 years with STL
Jack Walsh, Asphalt Laboratory Manager – 28 years with STL

Geotechnical/Environmental Professionals:
Lubna Ishag, Geotechnical Engineer – 11 years with STL
Michael Russo, Geotechnical Engineer, PE – 7 years with STL
Brian Zemanek, Geotechnical Engineer – 1 year with STL
Brian Bostaph, Environmental Geologist, Geologist, AHES – 18 years with STL
Marynlynn Konowal-Podusiwsky, Environmental Geologist, Geologist, CESSWI, AHES – 5 years with STL

Accounting/Administrative Support:
Angela Biddlecombe, Accounting Manager – 1 year with STL
Charlene Ulinski, Billing Coordinator – 16 years with STL
Melissa Peterson, Payroll Coordinator – 3 years with STL
Patrick Farago, Concrete Report Processor – 31 years with STL
Kaitlyn Kohler, Scheduling Assistant – 3 years with STL
Jacquelynn Palmateer, Administrative Assistant – 2 years with STL
Stephanie Remy, Receptionist/Administrative Assistant – 1 year with STL
Kayla Donovan, Administrative Assistant – Newly Hired

Inspectors/Technicians:
STL has a staff of approximately 45 qualified and experience field and laboratory technicians and inspectors. These individuals consist of ACI, ODOT, NICET, NETTCP, ASNT, and/or FIT Level 2 firestop inspectors.

STL’s laboratory manager has extensive certifications in soils, concrete, and aggregates. He is a NICET Level 2 Concrete and Soils Technician; a Level III certified OAIMA Qualified Aggregate Technician; NRMA Level III Concrete Technician; and ACI Concrete Lab, Strength, and Field Testing Technician.

Safety

STL is committed to the safety of its employees and its property and equipment. To this end, STL utilizes a safety program and a drug-free workplace policy in its daily activities. Programs/policies are provided to all employees and are available at STL’s offices.

Sustainability

STL is doing its part to establish an integrated strategy towards sustainability.  Also adding to its efficiency, a company-wide computer server is at every team members’ disposal. This not only allows for easy data access and sharing at any time and place but also has allowed STL to go paperless regarding submittal of clients’ reports. Data reviewers are given multiple screens making it easier to check data and review reports.

 

Additionally, if paper is required, recycled paper is used.  STL has a paper, battery, waste oil, and solvent recycling program in place. The waste oil is recycled to a company that uses it in a waste oil burner to heat their facility, and spent asphalt solvent is distilled back to usable solvent. The concrete laboratory realized that it was paying to have large volumes of plastic containers removed as waste.  STL now contracts with a company that specializes in the Deslauriers’ Bio-Cylinder for concrete testing.  These cylinders are molded with a proprietary additive which allows plastic to bio-degrade when placed into an active landfill.  STL continually strives towards the commitment to environmental stewardship.

Technology

STL’s staff utilizes current personal and mobile computers as well as tablets and smart phones with the latest software from companies such as Microsoft, Apple, and Autodesk tied together via the latest high-speed Ethernet standards. STL also has maintained a commitment to mobile standards and the premise that the modern office is no longer within four walls. STL continuously strives to create a more efficient mobile work environment to benefit our staff but more importantly to provide our clients with the fastest possible dissemination of information to ensure their projects and needs are met. STL’s field technicians utilize Microsoft’s mobile Office platform to create and transmit reports utilizing the most universally accepted standards of “Word” and “Excel.” This standardization allows us to meet any client’s needs and readily adapt to project requirements. The electronic transmission of data from the field to our office and our clients allows for the rapid transmission of information in the fast paced construction industry. Our mobile platforms also allow our inspectors to tap into resources such as Plan Grid, cloud storage systems, and web-based management sites as our clients need. The company has on staff full-time IT personnel to maintain its series of Windows and Macintosh servers as well as high-speed Internet connections to allow staff to quickly transfer information to and from our clients via the Internet. STL also employs personnel to develop and customize software unique to the company needs. This allows STL to streamline its operations and greatly improve the transfer of information to our clients.

 

The IT department has the responsibility of maintaining all computer hardware, both in house and at field locations. They also maintain the mobile workforce communications and transfer of data to the company. Our IT staff also is responsible for making sure our employees have the proper training in the software they are using. They have certifications and programming skills in many of the industry’s latest products—products including but not limited to Windows and OSx Server and MS Office products such as Excel, Access, Word, and Power Point. Other knowledgeable areas include Microsoft Project, AutoCAD, ARC View, and Gint as well as custom applications both in-house and web-based written by our personnel to streamline ours and our clients’ needs.