ESRA systems syndicated in 42 magazines across the U.S.A.         



South Florida Business Journal-  July 28, 2005

A license to license

Report leads to high-tech test strategy

Low-profile ESRA Consulting has an eclectic collection of specialties for a Boca Raton-based engineering firm: transportation, nuclear waste disposal, 

plus storage and transportation of explosives.  "They are unusual specialties, but there are many interconnections between both the sciences and best practices in those areas," 

said Sandy H. Straus, ESRA's president and senior engineer.  She has recently added another specialty to the firm: license-testing systems. It came about almost by accident, 

yet it's one, she thinks, could make the seven-employee firm big bucks in the future.  

The idea grew like an unexpected chain reaction.

The firm's reputation as a transportation specialist got it on the contract bid list for the Arizona Department of Transportation.

ESRA - the name was changed a year ago from Environment, Safety and Risk Associates Corp. - sought and was awarded a $100,000 competitive contract to survey and 

identify existing machines to test applicants' vision prior to issuing drivers' licenses. Part of the survey cost was picked up by a grant from the Federal Highway Administration.

The more Straus' consultants investigated, the more she saw that the study had implications far wider than just auto licenses.

"The same problems crop up for licensing in the aviation, rail and maritime industries," she said. "Their methods for testing haven't changed in five decades."

What should have been a 50-page report mushroomed over time into a 440-page treatise covering all facets of license testing.

"We donated more than 10,000 hours of our time in order to deliver a breakthrough report," Straus said.

Transport industry officials who were surveyed generally agreed that current licensing procedures remain inadequate, reconfirming a 1994 study by McCloskey et al.

And Straus had a personal interest in helping design a better licensing system: Her grandfather was killed while walking by an errant driver.

"What we came to envision was a whole new automated system of license testing, utilizing state-of-the-art visual acuity testing machines - but also developing software and 

hardware testing for peripheral vision, glaucoma, macular degeneration, dementia, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease, things for which no current testing is done," she said.

The report is a how-to guide to bring license testing facilities into the 21st century - and Straus plans to get a piece of the action.

Her carefully hewn strategy is to act as a consultant for DOTs that want to implement the new testing strategies. And, at the same time, her firm has secured exclusive 

marketing rights for a number of the high-tech machine and software system solutions that she feels must ultimately become a part of modern license testing.

The only slight flaw in the chain reaction is the relatively small size of her firm. She lacks a sophisticated marketing arm with the political connections to quickly 

introduce the new system nationwide.

She is not adverse to a joint venture if the fit is right, and expects at the end of this chain reaction there will be an explosion of profit.


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*  As featured in the 28 July 2005 editions of:

Albany News, The Business Review (Albany), Albany NewspaperAlbany, New York

Albuquerque News, New Mexico Business Weekly, Albuquerque NewspaperAlbuquerque, New Mexico

Atlanta News, Atlanta Business Chronicle, Atlanta NewspaperAtlanta, Georgia  *

Austin News, Austin Business Journal, Austin Newspaper  Austin, Texas

Baltimore News, Baltimore Business Journal, Baltimore Newspaper Baltimore, Maryland

Birmingham News, Birmingham Business Journal, Birmingham NewspaperBirmingham, Alabama

Boston News, Boston Business Journal, Boston Newspaper Boston, Massachusetts  *

Buffalo News, Business First of Buffalo, Buffalo Newspaper Buffalo, New York

Charlotte News, Charlotte Business Journal, Charlotte NewspaperCharlotte, North Carolina

Cincinnati News, Cincinnati Business Courier, Cincinnati NewspaperCincinnati, Ohio

Columbus News, Business First of Columbus, Columbus NewspaperColumbus, Ohio

Dallas News, Dallas Business Journal, Dallas NewspaperDallas, Texas

Dayton News, Dayton Business Journal, Dayton NewspaperDayton, Ohio

Denver News, The Denver Business Journal, Denver NewspaperDenver, Colorado * *

East Bay News, East Bay Business Times, East Bay NewspaperEast Bay, California

Greensboro/Winston-Salem News, The Business Journal of the Greater Triad Area, Greensboro/Winston-Salem NewspaperGreensboro/ Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Honolulu News, Pacific Business News (Honolulu), Honolulu NewspaperHonolulu, Hawaii  *

Houston News, Houston Business Journal, Houston NewspaperHouston, Texas

Jacksonville News, The Business Journal of Jacksonville, Jacksonville NewspaperJacksonville, Florida

Kansas City News, Kansas City Business Journal, Kansas City NewspaperKansas City, Missouri

Los Angeles News, Los Angeles Business from bizjournals, Los Angeles NewspaperLos Angeles, California

Louisville News, Business First of Louisville, Louisville NewspaperLouisville, Kentucky

Memphis News, Memphis Business Journal, Memphis Newspaper Memphis, Tennessee *

South Florida News, South Florida Business Journal, South Florida NewspaperMiami/ Fort Lauderdale/ Palm Beach, Florida

Milwaukee News, The Business Journal of Milwaukee, Milwaukee NewspaperMilwaukee, Wisconsin

Minneapolis/St. Paul News, The Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal, Minneapolis/St. Paul NewspaperMinneapolis/ Saint Paul, Minnesota

Nashville News, Nashville Business Journal, Nashville NewspaperNashville, Tennessee

Orlando News, Orlando Business Journal, Orlando Newspaper Orlando, Florida  *

Philadelphia News, Philadelphia Business Journal, Philadelphia NewspaperPhiladelphia, Pennsylvania  *

Phoenix News, The Business Journal of Phoenix, Phoenix NewspaperPhoenix, Arizona *

Pittsburgh News, Pittsburgh Business Times, Pittsburgh NewspaperPittsburgh, Pennsylvania * *

Portland News, The Business Journal of Portland, Portland NewspaperPortland, Oregon *

Raleigh/Durham News, Triangle Business Journal, Raleigh/Durham NewspaperRaleigh/  Durham, North Carolina

Sacramento News, Sacramento Business Journal, Sacramento NewspaperSacramento, California  *

St. Louis News, St. Louis Business Journal, St. Louis Newspaper Saint Louis, Missouri

San Antonio News, San Antonio Business Journal, San Antonio NewspaperSan Antonio, Texas

San Francisco News, San Francisco Business Times, San Francisco NewspaperSan Francisco, California

San Jose News, Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal, San Jose NewspaperSan Jose/ Silicon Valley, California

Seattle News, Puget Sound Business Journal (Seattle), Seattle NewspaperSeattle, Washington *

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Washington News, Washington Business Journal, Washington NewspaperWashington, D.C.

Wichita News, Wichita Business Journal, Wichita NewspaperWichita, Kansas  *


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