Our Staff

LARRY HANKE, P.E.

CEO / Principal Engineer

Larry has 35+ years of experience in failure analysis, materials characterization, product evaluation, and research and development with expertise in engineering evaluation of failures in metallic and nonmetallic materials by deformation, fracture, corrosion, and wear. Larry has been performing forensic engineering evaluations and testifying as an expert witness for close to 30 years
Larry is active in multiple professional societies including ASM International where he is currently serving on the Board of Trustees. He is a Fellow of the Materials Society of ASM International and founding member of the Failure Analysis Society.

Favorite Pastime: Planting and harvesting garlic...lots of garlic.

Kurt Schenk

Laboratory Manager

Kurt has 25+ years of experience as a Metallurgical Technologist with expertise in metallographic sample preparation, microstructure evaluation, light microscopy, scanning electron microscopy, microanalysis and metallurgical testing. He is highly specialized in the design of custom testing to evaluate product performance and simulate failure mechanisms.
Kurt provides materials testing support to solve product and manufacturing problems for medical device, high-technology electronic, and  industrial clients.

Favorite Pastime: Making stuff and gardening.

Dieter Scholz

Senior Scientist / Quality Manager

Dieter has been with MEE for 20+ years. His expertise includes analytical chemistry, materials characterization, product evaluation, and research and development. Dieter specializes in electrochemical corrosion testing, metallographic sample preparation, light microscopy, scanning electron microscopy and microanalysis. As Quality Manager, he ensures that the lab meets the quality requirements for instrumentation, calibration, auditing, and employee training.

Favorite Pastime: Reading and traveling.

Ryan Haase, P.E.

Senior Materials Engineer

Ryan joined MEE in 2007. He has experience and expertise in the analysis and evaluation of failures in metallic and nonmetallic materials, materials characterization, product evaluation, and research and development. Ryan provides clients with product support through failure analysis of industrial components, product development through component testing and material selection, and manufacturing  support through consultation on materials-related problems. Ryan is a founding member of the ASM Failure Analysis Society.

Favorite Pastime: America's favorite pastime...Baseball!

DAN GRICE, P.E.

Senior Materials Engineer

Dan’s expertise in failure analysis and SEM/EDS characterization supports a wide range of clients in industrial processes and forensic investigations. He has been with MEE since 2014, and particularly enjoys failure analysis investigations that require unique sample preparation or microscopy techniques. Dan is an active speaker at technical conferences and presents small-group educational seminars for our customers on the fundamentals of materials behavior and materials investigations. Dan is involved in ASM International both on the local and national levels, and has previously served on the Failure Analysis Society Board of Directors.

Favorite Pastime: Cycling, usually with a trailer attached and daughters in tow.

Neal Hanke, P.E.

Senior Materials Engineer

Neal has been consulting on materials-related problems and conducting materials testing and forensic investigations with MEE since 2011. He provides expertise in failure analysis and fracture characterization for clients from a wide range of industries including manufacturers of medical devices, automotive equipment and industrial machinery He has a special interest in metallurgical analysis for fire and explosion investigations and has presented at training and educational seminars highlighting the importance of laboratory testing of artifacts in a successful investigation.  He particularly enjoys the challenge of designing application specific testing to simulate and/or reproduce failures.

 Favorite Pastime: Summer=Ultimate Frisbee, Winter=Nordic Skiing

Jason Larson

Senior Engineer

Jason, hired in 2017, has 10+ years of experience in failure analysis laboratories supporting the electronics and medical device industries. With a degree in computer engineering, he has a detailed understanding of the range of failure modes in computer systems and electronic components, such as processors and printed circuit boards. At MEE, he conducts failure analysis of electronic and microelectronic components utilizing optical microscopy, scanning electron microscopy, energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy, and metallography.

Favorite Pastime: Trail Running and Cycling

HENRY AHRENHOLTZ

Associate Engineer

Henry is a 2018 graduate of Iowa State University’s Materials Engineering program with a specialization in polymers. Henry provides technical support in our materials characterization laboratory with visual examination, metallographic sample preparation, microstructure examination, and mechanical testing. He assists the senior engineering staff in failure analysis and advanced research projects.


Favorite Pastime: Rock Climbing and cycling.

Eric Schultz

ENGINEERING TECHNICIAN

Eric, hired in 2012, has 12+ years of experience and expertise in metallographic sample prep, microstructure evaluation, and product testing. Eric is instrumental in the design of  custom test apparatus involving mechanical, hydraulic, and pneumatic components and systems. He assists in the development of testing protocol, conducts the testing, and provides the valuable documents data needed to provide a detailed engineering report.

Favorite Pastime: Boating on Lake Minnetonka

Tim Borell

MATERIALS TECHNOLOGIST

Tim has been with MEE for 15+ years. Tim is a valuable team member with expertise in nondestructive testing methods, visual examination, metallographic sample preparation, microstructure examination, and mechanical testing. He also performs much of the calibration and maintenance of laboratory and testing equipment.

Favorite Pastime: Grandkids!

VICKI SCHENK

OFFICE MANAGER

Your first contact with MEE might have been through Vicki.  Vicki interacts with visitors, clients, vendors and employees every day while overseeing the day to day operations of the office. She has developed many new systems and procedures ensuring efficient administration of all filing, billing, accounts payable and payroll. Before working at MEE, Vicki ran her own small business and worked as a paralegal in a busy attorney’s office. Vicki’s professionalism and office management skills support MEE’s goal to deliver the best client experience.