Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH-2007-3.3-3 | Award Amount: 4.01M | Year: 2009
AMPHORA is a Europe wide project involving researches and research institutions from 14 European countries, and counterparts and organizations from all 27 Member States, that will provide new scientific evidence for the best public health measures to reduce the harm done by alcohol through addressing social and cultural determinants, marketing and advertising, taxes and pricing, availability and access, early diagnosis and treatment of disease, interventions in drinking environments, and safer untaxed alcohol products. Cost effectiveness analyses will be undertaken in multiple settings, geographical regions, and for different gender and age groups to guide integrated policy making to reduce the harm done by alcohol. Using time series analysis, longitudinal intervention research, policy mapping, cost effectiveness analyses, and other policy relevant research methodologies, recent and current alcohol policy changes will be evaluated throughout European Member States. Current alcohol policy related infrastructures will be documented and their impact on effective policy development and implementation analyzed. The interaction between social and cultural determinants of alcohol policy and policy and preventive measures will be studied to determine the extent to which the implementation and impact of effective alcohol policies is culturally determined. Methodologies will be developed to allow tools for benchmarking and comparative analysis at the European level, advancing the state of the art in alcohol policy research and enhancing cooperation between researchers in Europe and other geographic regions to promote integration and excellence of European research in alcohol policy. AMPHORA will provide the evidence base to inform policy and decision makers at European, national and local levels to implement effective interventions to reduce the harm done by alcohol throughout a wide range of policies implemented in different sectors and settings.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: SSH-2010-3.2-1 | Award Amount: 10.21M | Year: 2011
ALICE RAP is a Europe wide project of 43 partner research institutions involving 107 researchers from 25 European countries providing 1000 months of a plurality of scientific endeavour to analyse the place and challenges of addictions and lifestyles to the cohesion, organization and functioning of contemporary European society. Through integrated multidisciplinary research, a wide range of factors will be studied through a foresight approach to inform a redesign of effective addictions governance. Ownership will be described by an historical study of addiction through the ages, an analysis of public and private stakeholder views, and through image analyses, of professional and citizenship views. A study of how addictions are classified and defined will be followed by estimates of their health, social and economic impact. Determinants of addiction will be investigated through a coordinated and cohesive social, economic and biological analysis of initiation, transition into problem use and transition into and out of dependence. The business of addiction will be analyzed through studies of revenues, profits and participants in legal and illegal trade, the impact of suppliers on addictive substance use and behaviours, and analyses of webs of influence on policy responses. Addictions governance will be studied by describing the views and forces that determine the ways societies steer themselves and by stock taking of present governance practices to old and emerging addictions. Youth as customers will be analyzed through considering the impacts of new technologies on promoting and mitigating use, by studying the interrelations of culture and biology, and by determining features that promote resilience and nudge young people to reduce problematic use. The programme itself will be professionally managed from a partnership perspective to promote a coordinated and integrated approach to the high volume of research and its policy implications.
News Article | February 15, 2017
Ovsat Abdinov, member of the Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences (ANAS), died on 29 October at the age of 72, after a long illness. He was born in Belokan city, Azerbaijan, graduated from Baku State University in 1966, and defended his PhD thesis in 1972. It is impossible to overstate the impact that Abdinov had in the creation and development of high-energy physics in Azerbaijan. His wide knowledge, inexhaustible energy, talent in organisation and search for young specialists led to the creation of his own school in this field that serves as an example for future generations. Scientifically, Abdinov’s main interest was the theoretical description of hadron-nuclear interaction processes. He was the first to propose a hypothesis of the cluster formation in light nuclei, which was later experimentally proven. The laboratory he headed at ANAS Institute of Physics collaborated initially with the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research (JINR) in Dubna and the Institute of High Energy Physics (IHEP) in Serpukhov, both in Russia, followed by CERN. The creation and expansion of relations between Azerbaijan and CERN paved the way for the participation of Azerbaijan scientists in the LHC, but this did not interrupt connections with Dubna: Abdinov was a staff member of JINR, deputy of authorised representative of the government of Azerbaijan Republic in JINR, and a member of JINR Scientific Council. The creation of Azerbaijan’s first Worldwide LHC Computing Grid segment also owes its thanks to Abdinov. Abdinov was a famous scientific representative of the Azerbaijan intelligentsia. He was an organiser and invited speaker at international conferences, a presenter of high-level reports and the winner of numerous research grants both in the former Soviet Union and in Azerbaijan. He dedicated almost 20 years of his scientific activity to investigations carried out within the ATLAS collaboration. We hope that his work will be continued by his scientific heirs and further benefit Azerbaijan high-energy physics. Malcolm Derrick, a long-time leader in the Argonne high-energy physics (HEP) division, passed away on 31 October after a long illness. Born in Hull, UK, in 1933, Malcolm received his BSc and PhD degrees in physics from the University of Birmingham. After working on the cyclotron at Carnegie Tech, he moved to Oxford University in 1962 to help establish a bubble-chamber group working at CERN. In 1963 he moved to Argonne National Laboratory to work on the 12 GeV ZGS synchrotron then in construction. While working on several bubble-chamber experiments with the 30 inch chamber, Malcolm’s main interest was in establishing a programme of neutrino physics using the 12 foot bubble-chamber then being built. He was spokesman for the first experiment using the deuterium-filled chamber, which produced several important results including the first measurement of the axial-vector form factor in muon neutrino–neutron quasi-elastic scattering. This result was verified by later BNL and FNAL experiments. Malcolm served on two occasions as HEP division director and was always a source of good career advice. He enthusiastically supported the division's collaboration with the University of Minnesota to build an underground detector to search for proton decay in the Soudan Mine in Minnesota. This resulted in a rich programme of neutrino physics with a series of multi-kiloton detectors and in new underground laboratories at Soudan, using both atmospheric neutrinos and Fermilab neutrino beams. The important physics produced by the MINOS programme is the direct result of these early experiments. After the closure of the ZGS programme, Malcolm initiated Argonne participation in two important experiments: HRS at the PEP collider at SLAC, where he proposed using the superconducting magnet of the 12 foot bubble chamber as the solenoid for the HRS spectrometer, and the ZEUS experiment at the HERA collider in DESY. Malcolm took sabbatical leave at University College London and later at DESY, where he served as physics chairman and oversaw such activities as physics publications. A gifted speaker, he served on several review committees and was a HEPAP member and an active participant in the Snowmass Conferences. He retired in 2006. Besides being a brilliant physicist, Malcolm had a knack for entertaining his guests with stories about his life and endless anecdotes about history and philosophy. His spare time was spent reading good books, fine dining and listening to classical music. Malcolm leaves behind his wife Eva and his many children and grandchildren. He will be missed by all who knew and loved him. Russian physicist Valery Dmitrievich Khovanskiy passed away in Moscow on 7 September. A veteran of Russian experimental high-energy physics and long-time leader of the ITEP team in ATLAS, he will be remembered not only as an energetic contributor to the CERN neutrino and LHC programmes, but also as an honest and principled person who loved science and life. Valery was born in Sverdlovsk in the former USSR, and received his PhD (for the study of cumulative effects in πN-interactions) at the Institute of Experimental and Theoretical Physics (ITEP, Moscow) in 1969. Since then, his main scientific interests were in the fields of neutrino physics, novel particle-detection methods and hadron collider physics. In the first Russian accelerator neutrino experiment at the Serpukhov 70 GeV proton synchrotron (IHEP-ITEP, 1970–1978), Valery lead the detector construction and studied neutrino and antineutrino interactions to validate the then very young quark-parton model. In the late 1970s, Valery joined the CERN experimental neutrino programme at the SPS and PS, and became one of the senior scientists of the CHARM, PS-181, CHARM-2 and CHORUS experiments devoted to a systematic study of neutral currents, and the search for new particles and neutrino oscillations. From 1990 onwards, he participated in the ATLAS experiment. His group was active in the preparation of the Letter of Intent, working on the concept of radiation-resistant forward calorimeters, and, from 1995 to 2009, worked on the construction and commissioning of the ATLAS liquid-argon forward calorimeters, providing the major part of the tungsten electrodes. From 1995 to 2012, Valery was the leader of the neutrino-physics laboratory at ITEP. He served on the LHCC from 1992 to 1994 and for a long period on the Russian government’s commission on fundamental research. He was also one of the founders and lecturers of the famous ITEP Winter School of Physics. Valery had a vivid individuality and was invariably good humoured. His many pupils, colleagues and friends admired him and he will be very much missed. Edmund (Ted) Wilson, a well-known figure in the world of particle accelerators and former director of the CERN Accelerator School (CAS), died after a short illness on 3 November. The son of a schoolteacher in Liverpool, UK, he graduated in physics at the University of Oxford in 1959 and immediately joined the nearby Rutherford Appleton Laboratory. His first stay at CERN was in 1962–1963 and he returned in 1967 as a fellow, working in Werner Hardt’s group on the design of the booster for the new large synchrotron: the “300 GeV” machine, later to become the Super Proton Synchrotron (SPS). He became the right-hand man of John Adams in 1969, helping him to prepare the project for approval by CERN Council, which was given in 1971. He became one of the first staff members of the new “300 GeV laboratory” set up for the construction of the SPS. In 1973–1974, at the request of Adams, Ted spent a sabbatical year at Fermilab to work on the commissioning of the “main ring”, a machine very similar to the SPS. The lessons he learnt there would prove essential for the smooth commissioning of the SPS, for which he was responsible a few years later. Following the approval in 1978 of the bold proposal of Carlo Rubbia to turn the SPS into a part-time proton–antiproton collider, Ted started working on how to convert the machine from a synchrotron to a storage ring. He later worked on the design and construction of CERN’s antiproton complex: first the antiproton accumulator, to which a second ring, the antiproton collector, was later added. Ted was a natural and gifted teacher. During the days of SPS construction he ran a series of courses on accelerator theory for members of the 300 GeV laboratory, which evolved into the book An Introduction to Particle Accelerators. Following his appointment as CAS director in 1992, he was responsible for organising 25 schools, in addition to special schools in India, China and Japan. He also coauthored a fascinating book on the history of particle accelerators and their applications: Engines of Discovery, a Century of Particle Accelerators. On his retirement, Ted renewed his association with Oxford University by becoming a guest professor at the John Adams Institute of Accelerator Physics, where he taught and supervised students. He has helped to bring on a new generation of machine builders. Ted Wilson will be sorely missed by the world’s accelerator community. He will always be remembered for his impish smile and his dry sense of humour. He is survived by his wife Monika, his three children and five grandchildren.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: AAT.2008.1.3.2. | Award Amount: 5.91M | Year: 2009
COSMA aims to develop engineering criteria for aircraft design and operations in order to reduce the annoyance within airport communities due to aircraft exterior noise. By today, such criteria do not exist since aircraft noise engineering has historically focused on achieving ever lower noise levels for individual events and at close distance from the runway. Within the frame of a unique approach, COSMA will - improve the understanding of noise annoyance effects due to aircraft in the airport surrounding community through field studies and dedicated psychometric testing - use these findings in setting up optimised aircraft noise shapes - develop techniques for a realistic synthesis aircraft noise around airports - validate the optimised aircraft noise shapes and their associated engineering guidelines - put in place an efficient knowledge management for design practices and scientific information on aircraft exterior noise annoyance effects Through this comprehensive workplan, COSMA will ensure optimum exploitation of the scientific research results by reducing noise annoyance at source (whether by technological or operational means) through an improved understanding of the effects of aircraft noise in the airport surrounding community. Under the technical guidance of industry experts, COSMA will integrate contributions from research organisations and SMEs, bringing together the multi-disciplinary background that is required for achieving the project objectives. COSMA is involving 21 partners from 9 different countries: Germany, France, UK, Netherlands, Sweden, Italy, Belgium, Portugal and Hungary.
News Article | December 15, 2016
CLEVELAND--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Olympic Steel Inc. (Nasdaq: ZEUS), a leading national metals service center, today announced Raymond Walker, President and Chief Operating Officer — Flat Rolled will retire in 2017, following 30 years of service with the Company. Walker, 68, started working in the steel industry in 1970. He joined Olympic Steel in 1986 and was promoted to numerous management roles with increasing responsibility until assuming his current position in 2013. Walker will remain with the Company through March 2017 to ensure a seamless transition. “Our largest sales volume segment remains carbon flat products. During Ray’s tenure, we have experienced substantial growth in facilities, processing capabilities, and sales volume, resulting in record high market share for carbon sheet and plate products,” said Michael Siegal, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “We wish Ray a long, healthy and happy retirement. His record of accomplishment reflects our corporate values of loyally serving customers and the community.” John Mooney will succeed Walker as President and Chief Operating Officer — Flat Rolled effective Jan. 1, 2017. Mooney joined Olympic Steel in 1989 and has served in many roles including Sales Manager, General Manager — Cleveland and, most recently as Vice President — Eastern Region. He is a veteran of the U.S. Army and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration and marketing from Philadelphia University. Mooney is a past president and active member of the Northern Ohio Chapter of the Metals Service Center Institute. Andrew “Andy” Markowitz has been promoted to President — Specialty Metals, effective Jan. 1, 2017. Markowitz, a 20-year veteran of the steel industry, founded Integrity Stainless in 2005, which was subsequently acquired by Olympic Steel in 2010. Since then, sales of specialty metals have grown to represent 18% of current consolidated sales, with the Company earning record high market share in the stainless steel and aluminum, sheet and coil markets. Markowitz was most recently serving as Vice President, Sales and Marketing — Specialty Metals. “Andy Markowitz has been instrumental to our success in growing our Specialty Metals segment and in diversifying beyond carbon products,” added Siegal. “High potential individuals are continually being prepared for advancement at Olympic Steel,” Siegal said. “In addition to supporting career advancement, management development initiatives enhance the success of our long-term succession strategy. John and Andy both exhibit the leadership, operating and business development capabilities essential to achieving our growth objectives. We congratulate them on their respective promotions and look forward to their continued contributions in their new roles.” Mooney and Markowitz will both report to Andrew Greiff, Olympic Steel’s Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. Founded in 1954, Olympic Steel is a leading U.S. metals service center focused on the direct sale and distribution of large volumes of processed carbon, coated and stainless flat-rolled sheet, coil and plate steel and aluminum products. The Company’s CTI subsidiary is a leading distributor of steel tubing, bar, pipe, valves and fittings, and fabricates pressure parts for the electric utility industry. Headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, Olympic Steel operates from 32 facilities in North America. For additional information, please visit the Company’s website at www.olysteel.com or www.b2i.us/profiles/investor/ContactUs.asp?BzID=2195
Schreckenberg D.,ZEUS GmbH |
Griefahn B.,TU Dortmund |
Meis M.,Hoerzentrum Oldenburg GmbH
Noise and Health | Year: 2010
One hundred and ninety residents around Frankfurt Airport (46% female; 17-80 years) were interviewed concerning noise annoyance due to transportation noise (aircraft, road traffic), perceived mental and physical health, perceived environmental quality, and noise sensitivity. The aim of the analyses was to test whether noise sensitivity reflects partly general environmental sensitivity and is associated with an elevated susceptibility for the perception of mental and physical health. In this study, the reported physical and mental health variables were not associated with noise exposure but with noise annoyance, and were interpreted to reflect nonspecific codeterminants of annoyance rather than noise effects. Noise sensitivity was found to influence total noise annoyance and aircraft noise annoyance but to a lesser degree annoyance due to road traffic noise. Noise sensitivity was associated with reported physical health, but not with reported mental health. Noise-sensitive persons reported poorer environmental quality in their residential area than less sensitive persons in particular with regard to air traffic (including the facets noise, pollution, and contaminations) and quietness. Other aspects of the perceived quality of the environment were scarcely associated with noise sensitivity. This indicates that noise sensitivity is more specific and a reliable predictor of responses to noise from the dominant source (in this case air traffic) rather than a predictor of the individual perception of the environmental quality in general.
News Article | August 30, 2016
The prototypes should accomplish the division of various particles, including protons and kaons, at energies of several teraelectron volts (TeV). A sharp growth in high-energy particle production in proton collisions on the LHC is connected with increased energy of colliding particle beams. Since 2015, the collision energy on the accelerator has grown up to 13 TeV. Together with the decrease of the interval between collisions, this change should expand the horizons of existing research up to the scale of energies and conditions achievable only during the Big Bang. Studying physics arising in such extreme conditions, scientists from all over the world hope to answer the most relevant questions from the field of physics of high energies, such as the origin of the dark matter and the existence of supersymmetry and to confirm or dismiss the predictions of the Standard Model, the current theory of particles and fields. The experiments have strict requirements for measuring equipment. The methods require equipment updates and modification to guarantee high efficiency and productivity during the registration of physical processes. Professor Anatoliy Romaniuk, who has been the Head of MEPhI ATLAS group and ATLAS TRT collaboration for several years, told about the ideas, which are in the basis of TRT and new prototypes: "ATLAS Transition Radiation Tracker (TRT) is a part of ATLAS inner detector and is aimed at the registration of traces (tracks) of particles, measuring of their impulses and their identification on the basis of transition radiation phenomenon. Transition radiation is the radiation by charged particles of photons (quantums of electromagnetic interaction) at the moment of passing the border between two environments with different refraction indexes. Its peculiarity is that its probability (intensity) is measured in dependence on the Lorentz factor, which is different for particles of different mass and same energy. This peculiarity allows, for example, successfully separate electrons from pi-mesons in ATLAS experiment using the information from TRT. TRT detector, created by employees of our university, doesn't have analogues in the world. Many developments have found application in other international experiments in physics of high energies and astrophysics, where our employees have taken part: transition radiation detector for HERA-B (DESY) experiment, transition radiation detector for TRT AMS experiment (International Space Station), front tracking detector for ZEUS (DESY) experiment and others. The experience gained over many years of work will allow to take the next step in the development of transition radiation detectors. Tests with new prototypes researched new concepts of transition radiation detectors, which should allow widen the field of particle identification up to the highest energies, possible on modern accelerators". Graphic representation of the Higgs boson decay into 4 electrons (red and blue lines), recorded at the ATLAS experiment. In the central part we can clearly see changed TRT (red and white dots) on the tracks of charged particles (orange curves), including tracks on registered electrons. The scheme of the experiment was described by MEPhI young specialist in detectors 28-year old Konstantin Vorobiev, who has 5 years of work experience at ATLAS. "The whole facility consists of several parts and includes: Cherenkov counter, used as an input flip-flop, aimed at the identification of electrons and Yukawa mesons; the system of the beam stabilization; gas-pixel set-up; two prototypes of a future gas detector, consisting of the gas discharge tubes (straw set-ups), working on the effect of transition radiation; two transition radiation detectors; system of scintillation units for the adjustment of the beam geometry and the coincidence circuit with an input trigger and, finally, a calorimeter for the division of electrons and pi-mesons on return. The coincidence scheme is a useful tool, signaling, that a particle beam goes through all the elements of the facility. As we can see, there are other elements on the facility, apart from new prototypes, which are able to divide particles according to the type, but they have a smaller efficiency, than tested prototypes, and are used to check the quality of the beam. The researchers needed to answer the questions: They had two prototypes on the basis of straw setups, the assembly of which they started long before the start of the experiments. The main differences of these prototypes are in geometrical peculiarity of the straw position. The main difference is that the signal from the ionizing radiation in one prototype was read summarily in each layer, while in another prototype, the reading happened separately for each straw. The first option allows more precise capture of the projection of particles after radiators and minimizes possible losses of particles that miss the detectors. The first tests were conducted in the laboratory with radioactive sources. The researchers also had several transition radiation detectors with different geometry. A gas-pixel detector was used to test the possibility of using of information about exit angles of photons for particle identification. The tests have been conducted with beams of electrons and muons, which come to from the SPS accelerator, which is one of the elements of the LHC accelerator system. The energies have reached hundreds of gigaelectron volts. It's not TeV, but a small mass of electrons and muons allows researchers to study Lorentz factors, which can have protons and kaons under extremely high energies. The researchers had one week for all the tests, which were preceded by a month of installation and equipment assembly. In the first days, when statistics assembly started, there were a lot of things to do. They needed to tune the equipment, the beam geometry, correct faults of the assembly and perform the calibration of the prototypes. "Some expected effects could be observed during the early testing of prototypes with the help of an up-to-date system of data collection. After the disassembly of the equipment for the experiment, the prototypes were installed in the laboratory, where there is a system of reading off and recording of the signals from detectors, similar to the one which was on the beam. It can be useful in future interpretation of results." says Konstantin. Daniil Ponomarenko, a post-graduate student, spoke about the primary processing of data from prototypes: "The long period of preparation of the equipment and software in the lab preceded data assembly. Data acquisition systems play the key role in any experiment. They should meet the requirements of the fault tolerance, stability and the speed of work. The efficiency of the record of chosen events should be close to 100 percent. "We used software that we inherited from previous research of gaseous mixtures, conducted last year. Then it was necessary to adapt all the programs to the new configuration of detectors and improve the functionality of the interface used by operators. We made the maximum automation of error processing, sending crash reports to the experts, the primary processing of the data and their transfer to the RAID long-term storage. A full cycle of program development has been conducted from concept to testing. The second task was the creation of a simple and clear service for online data tracking for the estimation of its quality. "The data accumulation was successful, and we met the deadline, which is important in CERN laboratories," said Professor Anatoliy Romaniuk.
News Article | March 2, 2017
CLEVELAND--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Olympic Steel Inc., (Nasdaq: ZEUS), a national metals service center, today announced financial results for the fourth quarter and full year ended Dec. 31, 2016. Net sales in the 2016 fourth quarter increased 7.3%, to $254.9 million, up from $237.5 million in the same quarter of the prior year. Full-year 2016 net sales declined 10.2%, to $1.1 billion, compared with $1.2 billion in 2015. LIFO income was $0.8 million in the final quarter of 2016, versus $1.6 million in the comparable quarter in 2015. Full-year reported results benefited from $1.5 million of LIFO income in 2016, which was down from $3.3 million of LIFO income recorded in 2015. For the fourth quarter of 2016, the Company reported a net loss of $2.1 million, or $0.19 per share. This compares with a net loss of $5.0 million, or $0.45 per share, in 2015’s comparable quarter. For the full-year period, a net loss of $1.1 million, or $0.10 per share was recorded in 2016, versus a net loss of $26.8 million, or $2.39 per share, in 2015. Results in 2015 were negatively impacted by goodwill and intangible asset impairment charges totaling $25.0 million, or $1.93 per share. “Despite another challenging year, we observed a definitive market swing during the fourth quarter,” said Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Michael D. Siegal. “Pricing, demand and customer sentiment all improved as the quarter progressed.” “Our commitment to customer performance earned us record market share during 2016, per MSCI data,” Siegal added. “At the same time, our emphasis on continuous improvement led to reducing operating expenses by 3%, or $7 million, excluding 2015’s impairment charges.” “The positive industry trends that began in last year’s fourth quarter have continued in the first quarter of 2017, validating optimism for the first half of this year,” Siegal concluded. A simulcast of Olympic Steel’s 2016 fourth-quarter and full-year earnings conference call can be accessed via the Investor Relations section of the Company’s website at www.olysteel.com. The simulcast will begin at 10 a.m. ET today, March 2, and a replay of the call will be available for approximately 14 days thereafter. It is the Company’s policy not to endorse any analyst’s sales or earnings estimates. Forward-looking statements in this release are made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements are typically identified by words or phrases such as “may,” “will,” “anticipate,” “should,” “intend,” “expect,” “believe,” “estimate,” “project,” “plan,” “potential,” and “continue,” as well as the negative of these terms or similar expressions. Such forward-looking statements are subject to certain risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those implied by such statements. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements. Such risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to: general and global business, economic, financial and political conditions; competitive factors such as the availability, global production levels and pricing of metals, industry shipping and inventory levels and rapid fluctuations in customer demand and metals pricing; cyclicality and volatility within the metals industry; the strengthening of the U.S. dollar and the related impact on foreign steel pricing, U.S. exports, and foreign imports to the United States; the levels of imported steel in the United States and any associated tariffs and duties; the availability and costs of transportation and logistical services; the successes of our strategic efforts and initiatives to increase sales volumes, maintain or improve working capital turnover and free cash flows, improve our customer service, and achieve cost savings, including our efforts to improve earnings; our ability to generate free cash flow through operations and repay debt within anticipated time frames; events or circumstances that could impair or adversely impact the carrying value of any of our assets; risks and uncertainties associated with intangible assets, including additional impairment charges related to indefinite lived intangible assets; events or circumstances that could adversely impact the successful operation of our processing equipment and operations; the amounts, successes and our ability to continue our capital investments and strategic growth initiatives, including our business information system implementations; the successes of our operational initiatives to improve our operating, cultural and management systems and reduce our costs; the ability to comply with the terms of our asset-based credit facility; the ability of our customers and third parties to honor their agreements related to derivative instruments; customer, supplier and competitor consolidation, bankruptcy or insolvency; reduced production schedules, layoffs or work stoppages by our own, our suppliers’ or customers’ personnel; the impacts of union organizing activities and the success of union contract renewals; the timing and outcomes of inventory lower of cost or market adjustments and last-in, first-out, or LIFO, income, especially during periods of declining market pricing; the ability of our customers (especially those that may be highly leveraged, and those with inadequate liquidity) to maintain their credit availability; the inflation or deflation existing within the metals industry, as well as our product mix and inventory levels on hand, which can impact our cost of materials sold as a result of the fluctuations in the LIFO inventory valuation; the adequacy of our existing information technology and business system software, including duplication and security processes; the adequacy of our efforts to mitigate cyber security risks and threats; access to capital and global credit markets; our ability to pay regular quarterly cash dividends and the amounts and timing of any future dividends; our ability to repurchase shares of our common stock and the amounts and timing of repurchases, if any; unanticipated developments that could occur with respect to contingencies such as litigation, arbitration and environmental matters, including any developments that would require any increase in our costs for such contingencies; and changes in laws or regulations or the manner of their interpretation or enforcement could impact our financial performance and restrict our ability to operate our business or execute our strategies. Founded in 1954, Olympic Steel is a leading U.S. metals service center focused on the direct sale and distribution of large volumes of processed carbon, coated and stainless flat-rolled sheet, coil and plate steel and aluminum products. The Company’s CTI subsidiary is a leading distributor of steel tubing, bar, pipe, valves and fittings, and fabricates pressure parts for the electric utility industry. Headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, Olympic Steel operates from 32 facilities in North America. For additional information, please visit the Company’s website at www.olysteel.com or www.b2i.us/profiles/investor/ContactUs.asp?BzID=2195