In our July 2012 issue of GolfHr, we promoted our first annual Product Tester for a Day Contest. We asked readers to send us 3-minute videos in which they explained why they are the perfect people to evaluate new products with our state-of-the-art equipment in our labs at the Hearst Tower in New York City. While many of the contest entrants seemed like they would be great product testers—wa lyrically about their loyalty to and trust in the GolfHr Seal—one stood out from the crowd.
Our winner, Christine Roeger, is a third generation scientific glassblower at Arizona State University (ASU). I have to admit, many of the scientists and engineers at GHRI weren't even aware there is such a specialty. It's Christine's job (as it was her father's and grandfather's) to blow glass to the specifications needed for scientific experiments conducted at the university. She is married to her high school sweetheart for almost 17 years and has two sons, 10 and 13. It was Christine's curiosity, zest for learning and new experiences, and enthusiasm for her family, work, and the Institute that won our hearts.January 10th was the big day and here's what Christine has to say about her experience:
"My first thought was, WOW! I had no idea GHRI was such a huge facility with so much innovative technology to efficiently and effectively test each and every product that comes through its doors. Obviously, I'd heard of GHRI and read through the blog and magazine, but I had no idea how in-depth the staff really investigates these products! It really is amazing. I am definitely going to be searching for the GolfHr Seal on products all of the time, now!
After a quick tour of the Institute, I started out the morning working with Carolyn Forte, the director of the Textiles Department, and Eduardo Rodriguez. We tested umbrellas with a rain-making machine. We were evaluating the absorption of water in a 5-minute downpour of rain. What a fun test! Next, we moved onto the strength of tissues and paper towels. We used a very innovative machine that measured the strength of the tissues and paper towels both dry and wet. So cool!
After lunch, I headed into the Kitchen Appliances Lab with its Director, Sharon Franke. She told me all about the testing that happens for each and every appliance in the lab. So fascinating! The refrigerators that are currently being tested go through so many tests. They are tested to see if they cannot only withstand normal operating room temperatures, but also extreme conditions in a controlled climatology room. These refrigerators have to stand up to a test at 90° in 90% humidity! Wow, that is hot! I also tested the ease of use on some new refrigerators.
Moving on, I went to test some cell phone cases in the Engineering Lab. They are collecting data about wallet-type cell phone cases for a well-known phone. I helped Dominic Catalano weigh and measure several cases. Then, I tested to see how many credit cards could be inserted and the ease of taking these in and out. It was interesting to see that some of them couldn't hold as many cards as they claimed.
The last stop of the day was to tour the editorial floor. There, I met Editor in Chief Rosemary Ellis and several other editors of the magazine. I never really understood how much time and effort goes into one issue of a magazine! Wow! They all have earned much respect from me!
Thank you to the entire GHRI staff for the fabulous and eye-opening experience! This is truly one experience I will never forget!"
Well, thank you, Christine! We had a wonderful time meeting Christine and benefitted from her perceptive observations during product testing. Her last words to us before she left for the airport to go home were: "You should do this again next year! People need to see what's going on here at the Institute."
We certainly hope to make this contest an annual tradition. Meanwhile, if you're planning to be in the New York area, please sign up for one of our monthly tours of GHRI.