Engineers create F-5 tornado to test storm-resistant building products


Storm Resistant Systems (SR Systems LLC) of Linden, Ala., headed by CEO Scott Drummond and General Manager Steve Zimmerman, blew into College Station in April with a special request.

The company manufactures components designed to help structures withstand hurricanes and tornadoes, and wanted to test its products in an F5 tornado. But who could create a tornado on demand?

Enter the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service’s (TEEX) Product Development Center (PDC) and its collaborators across The Texas A&M University System. After an initial meeting in January, SR Systems’ Zimmerman explained to PDC Coordinator Caleb Holt that the company needed empirical, unbiased testing to validate its product.

In other words, SR Systems needed a tornado.

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