HoloRail: A Case Study of Augmented Reality in Train Dispatching

To read the full report on HoloRail, click here.

The United States is at a critical crossroads with its transportation infrastructure.

In late July, Senate Republicans and Democrats voted to push forward a $1 trillion infrastructure bill that would help rebuild antiquated transportation systems. Considering how critical transportation is in the U.S., this is good news.

Americans feel the effects of our outdated transportation infrastructure every day, so it makes sense that the infrastructure bill has been enormously popular with both parties. The 2021 American Society of Civil Engineers report on U.S. infrastructure emphasises the need for transportation network investment, citing:

“As this study shows, we risk significant economic losses, higher costs to consumers, businesses and manufacturers – and our quality of life – if we don’t act urgently. When we fail to invest in infrastructure, we pay the price.” – ASCE Executive Director Tom Smith 

To create a more resilient transportation system, we can’t simply patch up old infrastructure. Leaders in transportation need to start thinking in new ways to prepare for the future.

The Future of Train Dispatching

Ross & Baruzzini received a grant from the Transportation Research Board to develop HoloRailOur objectives were:

  • Test the usefulness of augmented reality (AR) technology as a train dispatcher’s user interface 
  • Receive feedback from train dispatcher staff
  • Publish our results

Most train dispatchers use multimonitor 2D displays to keep trains and crews moving safely and efficiently across the railway network. However, the bulky equipment limits the layout of control theaters and ties dispatchers to one location.

HoloRail uses AR technology, which enhances the real world with computer-generated information, enables train dispatching in an interactive 3D environment. Virtual reality typically blocks users’ vision. But with AR, train dispatchers can still see and hear what’s going on around them. HoloRail lets dispatchers see informational panels above trains and get a more holistic view of track layouts thanks to the additional planes of movement the tech offers. HoloRail also enables dispatchers to use head and hand movements to manage track diagrams, alarms, train and station information, and so on.

Putting HoloRail to the Test

Staff from the Utah Transit Authority and Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority partnered with us on the project to determine its requirements, perform user testing, and provide feedback.

After 10 minutes of training, 90% of dispatchers learned to use the interface. About 80% said they would feel comfortable using HoloRail on the job. Given these positive results, we believe it is a viable future option after additional testing is completed.

The primary limitations we encountered involved the hardware. The headset battery, for instance, lasted two and a half hours during user testing. However, train dispatchers usually work eight-hour shifts.

Additionally, some dispatchers mentioned that the headset felt uncomfortable after an hour. The good news is the manufacturers are making significant improvements in wearability and battery life daily, improving the likelihood of AR technology adoption by train dispatchers in the future. 

The Vast Potential for AR in Transportation

AR’s use cases in transportation don’t begin and end with train dispatchers. For example, AR also offers an exciting breakthrough in remote maintenance. Field technicians can wear AR headsets to collaborate with remote technicians who will be able to see what the field technician sees and highlight items in their line of sight. And when the technicians need information or specifications, they can simply overlay it on the dynamic display.

Additionally, there’s an opportunity to modify the train dispatching platform to work for bus dispatching. Such a platform could display 3D map views of bus locations, seamlessly integrate camera feeds, and communicate important information.

To meet our current and future needs, we must focus on technology adoption. At Ross & Baruzzini, we’re committed to sensing and responding to disruption in the transportation industry in order to address emerging needs and usher in the future of intelligent transportation systems. 

To learn more about our mobility team, check out our intelligent transportation systems projects as well as our work in rail and transit.

To read the full report on HoloRail, click here.

Megan Huff, PfMP is the vice president and managing principal of the Mobility Systems division of Ross & Baruzzini, a premier international technology consulting and engineering firm. With more than 20 years of experience in the transportation industry, Megan has an extensive track record in end-to-end delivery of complex, high-priority projects on tight schedules within mission-critical service organizations.

Ross & Baruzzini Expands with Addition of Three Security Experts

Our Security team has expanded with the hiring of Robert Warmack, as Lead Security Consultant; Vince Aragon, PSP, CPP, as Lead Security Consultant, and Charles Messenger as Associate Engineer.

Robert Warmack | Lead Security Consultant 

As a Lead Security Consultant, Robert will analyze security systems, assess potential breach areas, and recommend appropriate solutions for our clients.

With over a decade of industry experience, Robert received his Bachelor’s degree in Legal Studies from the University of Mississippi and has worked as Corporate Security Manager for the Georgia Power Company.

Vince Aragon | Lead Security Consultant 

Vince Aragon, PSP, CPP will also work as a Lead Security Consultant, managing security project designs and ensuring projects are compliant with standard implementation.

Vince is an U.S. Navy veteran with previous experience at Stanley Security Solutions and Burns & McDonnell. He holds two Bachelor degrees from Missouri State University. 

Charles Messenger | Associate Engineer 

As an Associate Engineer, Charles Messenger will implement and monitor security measures for the protection of systems, networks, and information.

With a Master of Science in Homeland Security and Emergency Management from Purdue University Global, Charles is an experienced project engineer with a strong background in physical security.

To learn more about current security job openings with Ross & Baruzzini, visit our careers page.

The Top 7 Cybersecurity Stories of 2020: Insights from Last Year

2020 was a strange and extraordinary year. The COVID-19 pandemic emphasized the importance of secure systems as hackers kept busy with an aggressive barrage of data breaches and ransomware.

The new normal changed how we viewed technology. Terms like “Telehealth” and “Zoombombing” are a part of our everyday lexicon while online services like food delivery and remote work tools are now considered essential. 2020 has been a transformative year, and our list of top stories reflect the many ways cybersecurity was at the forefront of our digital transformation:

1. Serious Trouble for Twitter

2020 was not first year a social media platform was hacked, but it was one of the most memorable incidents for the social networking site, Twitter.

Twitter’s woes began when its employees fell prey to a bitcoin phishing attack. The hackers took over the high-profile accounts of Bill Gates, Elon Musk, Uber, Apple, Kanye West, and Jeff Bezos. By the time the dust settled, 130 accounts were affected, but less than 50 were used to send a scam “we’ll double your bitcoin if you send us money” message to users.

To regain control, Twitter took some drastic action. Administrators blocked tweets from both verified and compromised accounts. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey wrote, “Tough day for us at Twitter. We all feel terrible this happened. We’re diagnosing and will share everything we can when we have a more complete understanding of exactly what happened.”

During this incident, Twitter’s stock price fell by 4%.

In addition, Twitter faces a possible $250 million Federal Trade Commission (FTC) fine for misusing emails and phone numbers. The alleged time period for the improper use of personal information to display targeted ads is between 2013 to 2019.

For now, there is no finalized timeline for these fines.  

2. Colossal SolarWinds Hack Affects Both Government and Private Industries

Although first reported in mid-December 2020, the SolarWinds hack happened during the better part of the year. Austin-Texas-based SolarWinds provides “IT monitoring and management tools”, and hackers compromised SolarWind’s software distribution network. From there, the attackers could monitor, steal, remove, or change sensitive data information from over 18,000 customers.

At the beginning of 2021, top US officials blamed an international hacking group for the sophisticated malware attack.

According to the Wall Street Journal, this attack allowed hackers to track public and private organizations including:

  • Department of Homeland Security
  • US State Department
  • Department of Energy
  • National Nuclear Security Administration
  • US Treasury
  • Microsoft
  • Cisco
  • Intel
  • Deloitte

The Wall Street Journal also reports that some victims may never know if they were directly affected, due to the covert nature of the attack. Some cybersecurity experts say the size of the company was turned into its Achilles’ heel:

“We don’t think anyone else in the market is really even close in terms of the breadth of coverage we have,” the former chief executive, Kevin Thompson, said during an early 2020 earnings call. “We manage everyone’s network gear.”

This widespread presence of SolarWinds in the market was used to the hackers’ advantage.  

3. Zoom Bombing and Video Conferencing Growing Pains

In March 2020, organizations from schools to hospitals frantically switched to remote learning and working due to the emergence of COVID-19. Zoom became of the most popular choices for video conferences.

While convenient, the online meeting platform had multiple vulnerabilities ready for threat actors to abuse privacy and security weaknesses. Zoom-bombing occurs when unauthorized attackers gain access and disrupt live meetings or chats. Once inside the call or session, attackers share offensive or disturbing materials.

During the initial wave of attacks, Google, SpaceX, and even NASA banned their remote work employees from downloading Zoom. However, in recent months, Zoom has worked to enhance security and privacy. Some of these upgrades include end-to-end encryption and meeting controls, giving hosts the ability to remove unwanted participants.

Here are some quick tips on how you can protect yourself during Zoom calls:

  • Use passwords to protect your meeting.
  • Don’t include public links on social media – send participants their login link directly.
  • Create a waiting room to screen your participants.
  • Use a different meeting ID each time.

For more tips to keep your calls and chats safe, visit Forbes.

4. Garmin Paid Multimillion Ransom to Company Hackers

In late July, Garmin announced a “cyber-attack that encrypted some of our systems on July 23 2020.” Users noticed something was amiss when Garmin’s website and other services were offline; employees said their internal communications were down. Garmin did not share many details at first, but many speculated that ransomware was the culprit. 

The predictions were right. Several days later, Garmin officially released a statement reporting the cyberattack, stating sensitive customer or employee data was not put at risk. 

In the following weeks, the ransomware tool, WasteLocker, was connected to the Garmin attack. According to Kaspersky, WasteLocker “is an example of targeted ransomware — malware tweaked to attack a specific company.” The attack is believed to be linked to a small but growing Russian hacking group named “Evil Corp”.

Although not confirmed by Garmin, sources report the company paid $10 million as a ransom for service restoration. In the past, ransom amounts usually totaled over $100,000. This story’s seven-digit demands mark a dangerous new chapter in ransomware.

No matter the size of the company, any organization can be crippled by a relatively small group of malicious hackers.

5. First Ransomware-Related Death Reported in Germany

In Germany, local authorities opened a negligent homicide inquiry in connection to a ransomware incident in September 2020. Prosecutors believed a woman under the care of the University Hospital of Düsseldorf received delayed treatment as a direct result of the cyberattack.

The strike against the hospital’s systems caused major network issues, which required the 78-year-old woman receiving care at the Düsseldorf hospital to be transported to another medical facility. Sadly, the patient passed away during this incident.

According to the note left behind by the attackers, the ransomware was intended for a different hospital, Heinrich Heine University. As soon as authorities notified the perpetrators, the demand was removed, and the decryption key was provided. The BBC reports that the case is being investigated as a homicide.

“If confirmed, this tragedy would be the first known case of a death directly linked to a cyberattack,” Ciaran Martin, formerly the chief executive of the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre, said in a speech at the Royal United Services Institute.

Cybersecurity authorities in Germany said the cybercriminals used a notorious vulnerability in Citrix VPN software. This weakness was made public in January 2020.

6. More Social Media Woes: Tik-Tok, Instagram, and YouTube Info Exposed

This next incident shows the importance of protecting your digital assets. In 2020, security experts discovered a compromised database with scraped data of 235 million Tik-Toc, Instagram, and YouTube users.

Scraping data, or web scraping, is used by some companies to collect data from websites. While technically legal, this practice puts the user’s privacy at risk because hackers have easy access to an individual’s full online profile.

According to Cybersecurity Insiders, these hackers targeted a firm called Social Data. This organization kept records on:

  • Profile Name
  • Legal Name
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Profile Photo
  • Account description
  • Location

To make matters worse, security professionals found this data was not encrypted. What can you do to help protect yourself? Build smarter passwords using a reputable password manager, use search engines that don’t track you, and keep your data “clean” by managing your privacy settings.

7. Coronavirus Phishing Scams Grow Across the World

COVID-19 created upheaval in both our personal and professional lives, and this ensuing chaos created a perfect environment for hackers to strike. We saw the first COVID-19 phishing scams back in January 2020, spreading misinformation on readily available cures and vaccines.

Although many parts of the U.S. and other countries are now beginning to distribute vaccinations to healthcare workers and first responders, it will still take time for the general public vaccinations.

Email attacks try to instill fear and urgency:

“Go through the attached document on safety measures regarding the spreading of corona virus. This little measure can save you.” This message came from a fake scientist who claimed to have vital information on the virus.

The World Health Organization (WHO) was not spared; this international group was targeted in March 2020 by phishing email attacks.

2020: The Year of Hacker?

In 2020 alone, hacker activity increase by a startling 600%. In addition to large companies, smaller organizations and individuals also saw an increase in attacks. From financial to healthcare, hackers have inundated a wide variety of industries.

The average day in 2020 saw over 4,000 attacks. 90% of attacks are successful because of human error – a phishing email from your doctor’s office or an online message about COVID-19 vaccines. These emails may look legit, but they can be a gateway into your network.

To help your organization prepare for these growing attacks, Ross & Baruzzini can design a custom cybersecurity plan to protect your business. We are your operational resilience partner. Contact us today to protect your organization from this year’s threats and beyond.

Continuity of Command and Control for Essential Workers in a Confined Space

At Ross & Baruzzini, we know that public agencies, who are delivering essential services, have been hit hard during this unprecedented time of COVID-19 along with the political and social unrest we are all experiencing. 

We wanted to find a way to recognize their contributions and give back to the critical industries that we serve. 

For those of you who don’t know us, we are a System Engineering Division that for over 50 years, has specialized in Operational Technology and Communications, including control room design. Our team is comprised of experts, most of whom come directly from the agencies themselves. 

We decided that what we could do was, what we do best, offer guidance on ways to use operational technology in and around control rooms allowing our partners to continue delivering their services safely and with maximum effectiveness. 

We brought together experts from across Ross & Baruzzini, including security, utilities, facility design, and MEP engineers, and held brainstorming sessions on the impact of running operations from a confined space would be.

This idea sheet outlines 3 steps for agencies to consider when it comes to their control rooms. We know you have all been working through these same questions and we wanted to provide a guide that could help.

Step one: no-cost items that can be immediately worked on and implemented.

Step two: lower cost, short-term items to keep the employees safe.

Step three: longer-term items to be considered as we work our way through this pandemic.

It is yours to use.

Along with this idea sheet, we are producing a series of short videos that will provide thoughtful considerations and actionable information from our experts. As we publish these videos they will be easily accessible through this blog post and the Ross & Baruzzini YouTube channel.

Ross & Baruzzini Experts:

  • Ed Molloy, with over 40 years’ experience, has helped numerous agencies across the US & Canada implement their train control systems and OCC facilities, will be talking to you about options for maintaining continuity of operations and how systems could be impacted: Watch the video
  • Paul Mallon, with 39 years of experience with transit and utility control centers and systems, will be discussing possible ways to reduce COVID-19 exposure risks within control centers: Watch the video

These will be concise, tangible ideas to help you as you move forward through these times.

We will continue updating this blog listing as more videos are published. To stay connected subscribe to our YouTube channel and follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter.

David McGhee – Technology & Security Systems Expert

David has over 30 years of experience, with over 25 years of experience working in Airports and other large campus environments within the United States, throughout the Americas, and internationally. David has extensive experience with facility operations including the planning and programming for Airport Operations Centers, Command Centers, Emergency Operations Centers, and Security Operational Centers. He has assisted airports client in all stages of security development and has worked in close coordination with many of the world’s leading airports to provide designs that will account for the next generation of screening technologies and innovation lanes. Clients prize his comprehensive experience in the changing world of security technology and his ability to work effectively in team environments and consistently get the job done right

David is well versed with physical and electronic security and ensures that the design and construction of security systems are in adherence to local, federal, and international security regulations. His specializations include airport security planning and design including ACS, CCTV/DVMS, DVA, IDMS, AVI, Screening Systems, PIDS, and PSIM. David is also well versed in Threat and Vulnerability Assessment for Airports and the planning of physical mitigation measures and operational processes and procedures to mitigate vulnerabilities. David also works on the overall processing of vehicles through security checkpoints including vehicle screening systems including LPR/ANPR, UVIS, vehicle screening, traffic calming, and crash-rated barriers.

David is also well versed with Local Area Network (LAN) layout, Infrastructure layout, Public Address (PA) design and testing, Mass Notification Systems, display system design and layout including FIDS, BIDS, etc., Audio/Visual systems, distributed antenna systems, data center design, and GPS based tracking and announcement systems.

Contact David

T:  +1  800.404.7677
C: +1  314.566.0638
E: [email protected]
LinkedIn: David McGhee

Airport Recovery Services

As one of the most respected professional services providers in the world, Ross & Baruzzini is dedicated to supporting our clients in meeting their COVID-19 requirements during these unprecedented times. Regardless of the technology, security, communications, emergency preparedness or business continuity challenges your organization faces, our Team stands ready to support your needs. Learn more

Additional Q&A from COVID-19 Healthcare Security Webinar

This article was originally published on May 7, 2020 and updated on January 7, 2021.

To help tackle COVID-19 challenges, Ross & Baruzzini is putting together a series of webinars to share industry-tailored insight. In the first episode of the series, aired Thursday, April 30, 2020, host John Desch, Ross & Baruzzini Chief Commercial Officer, along with security experts Bernard J. “Ben” Scaglione, Ross & Baruzzini | Senior Security Consultant, and Daniel Morro, Ross & Baruzzini Principal Security Advisor, discussed immediate next steps, recommended security measures, and the future of Healthcare Security.

Here are answers to participant questions that due to time constraints were unable to be answered during the webinar:

Question: Will we see newly deployed devices at airports/transit/federal sites, such as additional health screening viral breathalizers, for example, for rapid screening for health status; beyond temp?

Answer: Viral breathalizers are being explored as options and underdevelopment as some researchers have argued it is a far more accurate test in that it measures air directly from the lungs where the infection is focused. That said, I would see the implementation issues similar to those with alcohol breathalyzers, the necessity for constant calibration of the device itself, and training for those administering it. 

The keyword is “rapid” screening. There are also possibilities with wearable devices, but again, implementation (as well as cost) is the issue. The functional component of visitor/patient/passenger flow will be the challenge until any of these new technologies can be administered in a timely and efficient manner.

Question: What are some of your clients doing relative to building access and screening patients and visitors? Are tracking devices being considered?

Answer: Limiting access by closing off unnecessary entrances and passageways. Setting up a pre-registration questionnaire with specific health questions. Tracking (live or historical) is being explored through various technology paths, as well as the associated implications.

Question: What resources do you think are best to rely on currently since many of us hospital executives have not experienced a pandemic such as this one?

Answer: Hospital executives need to form a specific internal committee to self-evaluate and prepare, and then reach out externally to experts/consultants for solutions/validation. They should leverage the available federal funding that may follow for emergency preparedness related to pandemic planning/response. 

Watch the replay of the ‘COVID-19: Healthcare Security. What We’ve Learned so Far’ webinar.

Technology Innovator Chris Runde Tapped as Principal Consultant

Ross & Baruzzini is pleased to announce the appointment of aviation industry veteran Chris Runde as principal consultant. His insight and experience will help clients solve their most complex business challenges while balancing innovation with tangible solutions.

Chris Runde, Principal Consultant &
Michael Zoia, VP – Director of Aviation

“Over the past 15 years, Chris has developed trusted relationships across the aviation industry and a track record of delivering exceptional technical and strategic solutions,” said Michael Zoiadirector of aviation. “His focus on innovation and keen awareness of the safety and security issues facing airports will enable us to build upon our leading position in the field.”

Providing leadership in the aviation industry for more than 15 years, Runde launched and directed the Airport Innovation Accelerator for the American Association of Airport Executives, a hub for airports, innovators, government leaders, and industry partners to advance innovative solutions in aviation. Before that, he led the government and transportation vertical for a venture-based security software company and served as a Federal employee at the Transportation Security Administration leading numerous critical initiatives including the Screening Gateway, ACIS (airport biometric credentialing), insider threat mitigation, and the first deployment of PreCheck as a core member of the risk-based Security team.

“Ross & Baruzzini is at the forefront of security technologies and operational consulting and I look forward to being part of this high-performance team where I can continue to follow my passion in emerging technology as a trusted thought leader for our clients and partners,” said Chris.

Runde holds a bachelor’s of science in system engineering from the University of Virginia.

Ross & Baruzzini: 35+ Years of Aviation Experience

Ross & Baruzzini’s experience in aviation technology consulting and engineering spans 35+ years and more than 250 airports around the globe. In 2017, it acquired CAGE, a leading aviation baggage handling consultant in the U.S. Together with CAGE, Ross & Baruzzini has earned a reputation for innovation and for delivering forward-thinking solutions that meet the creative vision of its clients.

About Ross & Baruzzini, Inc.

Founded in St. Louis in 1953, Ross & Baruzzini is an international technology consulting and engineering firm continually ranked among the top companies in the nation. It provides advanced solutions in the healthcare, government, higher education, transportation and mission-critical sectors. With more than 400 employees, Ross & Baruzzini executes projects in 30 countries. Ross & Baruzzini operates from its headquarters in Saint Louis and maintains regional offices in Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Indianapolis, Philadelphia, Kansas City, Miami, New Haven, New York, Seattle and Mexico City.

Headline photo courtesy of Atlanta Airport. 

Brian Coulombe Named to Security Systems News’ “40 Under 40”

Brian Coulombe, Principal, was recently named to Security Systems News’ inaugural “40 Under 40” class of 2019. The class is ‘made up of a diverse and talented mix of young professionals representing the next generation of leaders in security.’ This is the first time the award was opened up to consultants. 

“I am honored to be recognized among my peers as a security industry top 40 under 40,” said Coulombe. “In an industry that has historically found it challenging to attract young talent, this award helps provide visibility into the wide range of exciting opportunities that exist in security, from consulting and design to manufacturing and end-user practice. Further, I’m thrilled that the award committee has chosen to include security consultants for the first time ever, and it is a privilege to be part of the inaugural class of consultants to receive this award.”

Brian serves as principal for Ross & Baruzzini. He is a professional engineer with 15 years of experience in the design and implementation of low voltage systems, fiber optic transmission systems and secure Ethernet networks. He is responsible for leading projects involving the security program development and design of video surveillance systems, access control and alarm point monitoring systems, intrusion detection systems, copper/fiber Ethernet networks, vehicle interdiction and control systems, physical security information management (PSIM) systems and digital voice communication systems. Some of Brian’s more notable projects include work for: Sandy Hook Elementary School, New York Stock Exchange, the Barack Obama Presidential Library and Skyrise Miami.

About Ross & Baruzzini, Inc.

Founded in St. Louis in 1953, Ross & Baruzzini is an international engineering consulting and design firm continually ranked among the top companies in the nation. It provides advanced solutions in healthcare, government, higher education, transportation and mission-critical sectors. Earlier in 2019, the firm was cited as a “best place to work” by the St. Louis Business Journal. It is also a recurring Zweig Hot List company for fastest growing design firms in the U.S. 

Ross & Baruzzini, which has more than 400 employees, executes projects in more than 30 countries. It operates from headquarters in St. Louis with offices in Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Indianapolis, Philadelphia, Kansas City, Miami, New Haven, New York, Seattle and Mexico City.

For more information, visit http://www.rossbar.com.

Ross & Baruzzini Acquires COMgroup, Inc.

Ross & Baruzzini has acquired COMgroup, Inc. The acquisition expands Ross & Baruzzini’s current technology service offerings deeper into the western U.S., now anchored by our new office in the Seattle area.

COMgroup has been in business since 1985 and is a widely respected independent telecommunications consulting firm. The firm serves both public and private sector clients and offers state-of-the-art communications consulting, infrastructure design and planning, operational process improvement and project management.

Craig Toder, Chairman of Ross & Baruzzini

Craig Toder, chairman of Ross & Baruzzini, commented: “The COMgroup acquisition is strategic for us in two ways: it allows us to better serve our domestic and international clients who are based in the Pacific Northwest at the center of the global technology world and it gives us the opportunity to introduce our other areas of specialization in the transportation, healthcare and government markets. We’re excited about the potential.”

Subject Matter Expert Technology
Processed with Focos

J.R. Simmons, president of COMgroup, said the acquisition will benefit COMgroup’s clients and employees.  “We are excited to combine our resources with that of Ross & Baruzzini. Our partnership will expand and enhance the capabilities and expertise available to our clients, with the additional resources significantly increasing the value of the services we provide. It will also offer added growth opportunities for our employees.”

COMgroup will become a division of Ross & Baruzzini and immediately partner with EDI, Ross & Baruzzini’s technology division, to integrate operations. Simmons will collaborate with William H. Overturf, III, Ross & Baruzzini president, and EDI managing principal, Mark McComb, to incorporate the COMgroup into the Ross & Baruzzini organization.

William H. Overturf, III, President of Ross & Baruzzini

Overturf remarked: “From the beginning of our discussions, we were attracted by the natural synergies that exist between our firm and COMgroup, enhancing our deep focus on Technology. COMGroup’s clients will continue to work with COMgroup staff, further complemented by Ross & Baruzzini and EDI’s multi-disciplinary expertise. We look forward to the opportunity to extend the full spectrum of our joint capabilities to new clients across the country.”

Subject Matter Expert Technology
Mark McComb, Managing Principal of EDI

McComb added that the relationship is not new. “We have worked together to serve clients for the past few years, and we look forward to offering clients an expanded footprint throughout the western U.S. and an even greater range of value-added services as a result of the acquisition. We are pleased to welcome everyone at COMgroup to the Ross & Baruzzini team.”

Ross & Baruzzini, which has 350 employees, executes projects in more than 30 countries and operates from headquarters in St. Louis with offices in Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Miami, Indianapolis, Philadelphia, Kansas City, New York, Hamden, Conn., and Mexico City, with staff in Dubai and Saudi Arabia. In 2019 the firm has been named a “best place to work” by the St. Louis Business Journal and a recurring Zweig Hot List company for fastest growing design firms in the U.S.  

The acquisition marks another expansion in the company’s growing business across the U.S. and overseas. The COMgroup acquisition is the fifth consummated by Ross & Baruzzini since 2016.  

Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. 

Ross & Baruzzini Acquires EDI, Ltd.

Ross & Baruzzini is pleased to announce the acquisition of EDI, Ltd., based in Atlanta, Georgia.

Established in 1986, EDI is a leading technology consulting and design firm that provides advisory services, technology system design, data center-specific services, and technology program management for various types of technology projects in the healthcare, corporate, education, and commercial markets. EDI provides professional design services that result in cost-effective and manageable construction of technology systems within the built environment.

Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

Craig A. Toder, chairman of Ross & Baruzzini

“The acquisition of EDI expands Ross & Baruzzini’s already robust technology group,” said Craig Toder, Ross & Baruzzini’s chairman of the board. “EDI is a very respected consulting firm specializing in design and program management of information technology, audio/visual, security, and other technology systems. This will add capabilities we’ve wanted to better serve our markets and provide a broad platform for EDI’s long term growth. We recognized the strength of EDI’s leadership team right away, as well as their excellent track record providing innovative technology solutions. We’ve been pursuing them for years.”

Don Kinser, founder and chairman of EDI

Don Kinser, EDI’s founder and chairman of the board, said the acquisition provides EDI with some exciting benefits for their clients and employees. “EDI and Ross & Baruzzini are a natural fit and we are thrilled to be part of a forward-thinking global organization with a long-trusted history in the industry. Our exciting new partnership provides great value to our clients and tremendous opportunities for our employees.”

EDI provides technology planning and design consulting services to clients around the globe. Their clientele are among the leading institutions in the US including Memorial Sloan Kettering, EBay, Georgia Tech University and Children’s Hospital of Atlanta. EDI will continue to operate out of their offices in Atlanta, Denver, New York and Pensacola. Ross & Baruzzini, which has 300 employees, executes projects in more than 30 countries and operates from its headquarters in St. Louis with offices in Chicago, Miami, Indianapolis, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Kansas City, New York, Hamden, Conn., and Mexico City, with staff in Dubai and Saudi Arabia.   

Added Mark McComb, president and chief executive officer of EDI: “This is a tremendous opportunity for our staff to realize new growth opportunities. Being part of a larger organization provides us with expanded resources for serving existing and future clients.” McComb will work directly with Bill Overturf, Ross & Baruzzini’s president, to integrate the two firms. Overturf remarked, “Both firms have a strong desire to grow, and we both recognize what we can accomplish together is effectively limitless. The alignment with EDI’s core markets and our existing business makes this a great addition to our family. More so, these are really good people.”

Ross & Baruzzini will immediately combine operations to leverage opportunities to enhance service offerings to clients across the country. As with other recent Ross & Baruzzini acquisitions, EDI will maintain its strong brand in the marketplace as an independent operating division while being fully integrated into the well-established culture of Ross & Baruzzini.

About Ross & Baruzzini, Inc.

Founded in St. Louis in 1953, Ross & Baruzzini is a premier international consulting and engineering firm continually ranked among the top companies in the nation. The company provides advanced design solutions in the transportation, healthcare, government, higher education and mission-critical markets.  Over the past several years the firm has been named best place to work by the St. Louis Post Dispatch and St. Louis Business Journal.