The impact of QuesTek’s novel materials spans the globe and multiple industries. As QuesTek has opened offices and launched subsidiaries around the world, we’ve remained headquartered in Evanston, Illinois, since the company was founded in 1997.
Recently, our hometown Evanston RoundTable stopped by the office to see what’s “behind those purple doors” at the site of a former Studebaker dealership.
Features writer Jim Brown spoke with QuesTek President Jason Sebastian and CFO Brian Registe and put together a great overview of the company. He hooked into — so to speak — one particular example to show how we solve materials challenges. Here’s an excerpt:
“QuesTek is known for developing materials that can withstand extremely high temperatures,” said QuesTek’s president, Jason Sebastian, an 18-year veteran of the firm. “It works across a wide range of industries, including aerospace, automotive, medical device, consumer electronics and luxury goods.”
A good example of a QuesTek client engagement is its work with the U.S. Navy to find an improved metal for the hook shank on Navy aircraft. The hook shank is the apparatus on jets that catches the cable when a jet lands on an aircraft carrier.
“This piece of metal is extremely important because if it fails, a multimillion-dollar aircraft could end up in Davy Jones’ locker and the lives of the pilot/crew could be lost,” Sebastian said.
The article goes on to explain that the Navy was previously using a hook shank made with cobalt, a rare earth element that’s expensive and difficult to source. QuesTek developed Ferrium M54 specifically for this essential equipment. The hook shanks now last twice as long, do not use cobalt, and are cheaper to produce.
In 2023, QuesTek Innovations introduced a software platform, QuesTek ICMD, intended to simplify the process of solving challenging materials issues, from processing to production, saving time and resources. The pivot to a digital solution for materials design has been a success, executives said.
“ICMD enables materials engineers to optimize for sustainability like never before,” Sebastian said. The tool can help engineers reduce or eliminate the use of rare-earth elements, design to boost fuel efficiency and develop longer-lasting materials, he said.
QuesTek Innovations holds 25 patents and currently has 11 patents pending. Plaques recognizing each of the firm’s patents are prominently displayed in the firm’s office.
“One of the ways you find out that your patent has been approved is that the company that makes and sells the recognition plaques gives you a call,” Sebastian noted with a chuckle.
Thanks to Jim Brown and Evanston RoundTable for coming out to visit and shining a spotlight on a local company with a global reach here in Evanston. Click here to read the full article.