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A Sneak Peak Into A Deep Freeze

     Tucked back next to the United States Post Office on a quiet McCorkle Drive in Westerville is a leading research and innovation company, driving global modernization in measurement and control solutions.

     Lake Shore Cryotronics, founded right here in Westerville, has contracts with major companies and institutions like Space X, NASA, and others, all over the world.  From energy development to big research projects, Lake Shore is on the cutting edge of technology.

     It all started in John Swartz’s kitchen in Westerville where he was experimenting with censors on the kitchen table.  His brother David joined him, expanded their research into the basement, and the company grew from there. 

     Soon they were introduced to Victor Wang, who became the company’s first employee, and they all began to build sensors together, growing the family-owned and operated company into the giant it is today. 

     “We are always trying to push the envelope to find something better to replace whatever we had before,” said Phil Swinehart, Chief Science Officer at Lake Shore. 

      And its paid off.

      On January 15, 2019, Central Ohio IFMA Chapter members were privy see this innovative work going on at Lake Shore, first meeting Michael Swartz, John’s son, President and CEO, and some of the rest of the administrative team during a presentation and tour of their facility in Westerville. 

     Cryogenics is defined as the scientific study of materials and their behavior at extremely low temperatures. The word comes from the Greek cryo, which means "cold", and genic, which means "producing". Cryotronics is the production of electronics that utilize superconductivity and this low-temperature technology.

     Lake Shore is focused on three main areas – research, testing, and aerospace. 

     In electronics, clean energy, nanotechnology, and many other applications, Lake Shore provides the products and systems needed for precise measurements over a broad range of temperature and magnetic field conditions.  Serving the needs of the research community since 1968, Lake Shore has grown its product solutions to keep pace with evolving interests in scientific exploration, from the physics lab to deep space.  For example, NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope uses hundreds of Lake Shore’s flight-quality sensors. Other NASA programs and national labs rely on the Lake Shore family of sensors and instruments for their crucial programs.

     Some 60 percent of Lake Shore’s business comes from overseas sales alone, making the small company a global giant.

     But being a family-owned company, Lake Shore is also very focused on investing in their employees.

     “We take a long-term perspective that allows us to take time and invest in things that may not have a quick payback,” Michael Swartz told the Central Ohio IFMA Chapter attendees.  For example, Lake Shore invested in a number of facility upgrades three years ago, allowing for more modern, collaborative space for the company’s staff.  From the large, modern conference room to the trendy lobby and café (which were completely gutted), the renovations add to the overall work environment and continue the company’s investment in its employees.  Today’s 55,000 square-foot facility is a far cry from John Swartz’s basement and the 10,000 square-foot former Kroger that served as their first “real” establishment in 1978.  Lake Shore’s current location on McCorkle Drive has been the company’s home since 1997 and is host to over 160 employees. 

     The installation of LED lighting and a new roof have also been a big part of recent investments in the company.  Solar panels added to the roof also support the eco-friendly drive at Lake Shore.

     Lake Shore’s innovation has also led to a number of accolades.  They supported the work of Alex Mueller and Georg Bednorz, winners of the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1987 for their work in high temperature superconductivity.

     And in 2015, Lake Shore was recognized by the Small Business Administration as the Small Business Exporter of the Year, and was named a Top Workplace by Columbus CEO magazine. 

     After a short introduction and welcome, Central Ohio IFMA Chapter members were led on a tour of the rest of the facility where photos were not permitted due to the sensitivity of the research and development going on at Lake Shore.  The team toured the Tesla Lab, MCS Lab, Water Detection System (which includes 60 water boards unique to Lake Shore), the pumphouse, lean lifts, the electric service room, and the product development area, along with engineering, boiler and electric rooms. 

     The hour-and-a-half long tour also included a small question and answer session. 

     For more insight into the company and its development over the past 50 years, visit

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lbt_e9knlVM.