Larry Hanke and Dan Grice will be presenting a talk on A Historical Perspective of Fracture Analysis at the February 19 ASM Symposium at Hennepin Technical College.  The theme of the symposium is “Materials Retrospect: 100 Years of Advancement” in recognition of the 100th anniversary of the MN chapter of ASM International. Other presentations at the event will cover topics such as advancements in the casting industry, metal additive manufacturing and breakthroughs in nitinol in medical device design.

Larry and Dan’s presention will review the history of fractography, including the historical development of the science, changes in the analytical tools, and some historical case histories.
The effective use of materials in various engineering applications requires an understanding of material properties, including conditions of material failure. Fracture is behavior that must be taken into account. The study of fractures over the years has had an important role in materials engineering to improve product performance and reliability.

Dan Grice, P.E. and Larry Hanke, P.E.

Microscope Monday

posted January 2020
SEM image of snowflake


Corrosion Pit

Copper corrosion pit

Twenty years ago, MEE Lab Manager, Kurt Schenk, figured out a way to capture the beauty of a freshly fallen snowflake with an SEM. Those images and hundreds of others taken over the years in our laboratory have been saved in a file on our network simply called “cool images”.

Five years ago, we thought it would be fun to share some of our favorite cool images on social media and the MEE Facebook page was created. We have since posted over 180 images. Some are just-for-fun, like snowflakes, insects and even the grooves in an LP, but most of the images are the kind of things we observe in our daily work. We have posted images that highlight fracture mechanisms, unique microstructures and particular imaging techniques used to gather critical data needed in a failure analysis investigation.

Forensic Engineering

posted January 2020

Larry Hanke, P.E.  is currently attending the NAFE 2020 conference in San Diego. NAFE, The National Academy of Forensic Engineers, brings together professional engineers having qualifications and expertise as practicing forensic engineers to further their continuing education and promote high standards of professional ethics and excellence of practice.

Materials engineering is often an integral aspect of forensic engineering investigations. For more information on forensic engineering and materials laboratory examinations visit the MEE website or view our latest newsletter.

Pictured with Larry is:

(Center) Mark Svare, P.E., IntP.E., Electrical Engineer

(Right) Samuel G. Sudler, III P.E., IntPE, Electrical Engineer

Materials Science Classroom at MEE

posted December 2019

St Thomas engineering students in the SEM lab with MEE Engineer, Jason Larson.

MEE Materials Science Engineer, Neal Hanke, with St Thomas students in the MEE inspection lab.

MEE recently played host to engineering students from the University of St Thomas School of Engineering for instructional tours of our laboratories.  The students spent time with members of our engineering staff in our SEM and the Visual Inspection Labs.

We have been providing these mini-classroom opportunities in collaboration with School of Engineering’s faculty member, Dr Genevieve Gagnon, for quite a few years now.  Dr. Gagnon and MEE CEO, Larry Hanke, share a common goal of creating an educational bridge between academia and industry.

Location, Location, Location

posted November 2019

In a recent Twin Cities Business Magazine article, Plymouth MN was described as a Med-Tech Mecca.  We recognized this almost 25 years ago when we chose to locate our company here. Materials Evaluation and Engineering, Inc. was founded to fill a local need for an independent, high-quality, materials characterization laboratory for advanced materials and critical components.   A quick check of our client list shows we have worked with 75 different companies within the city.

In a 2016 blog post we mentioned a visit from then Mayor, Kelli Slavik, as part of the city of Plymouth’s Plymouth Proud Campaign. The campaign was created to highlight the thriving and diverse Plymouth business community. We continue to value the support of the city and the local business community.

Keyence Digital Light Microscope

Senior Engineer, Dan Grice is seen here completing the installation of the newest microscope in our inspection lab, a Keyence 7000 series digital light microscope. This is the world’s first 4K ultra-high accuracy microscope. Compared to our current model the expanded features of the 7000 series include 20x greater depth of field, measurement tools allowing measurements directly on screen, 3D display to observe surface contours, adaptive lighting and multi-angle observation. The increased speed and resolution of this microscope will be especially beneficial when we facilitate large joint inspections in our lab.



MD&M 2019 | Medtech Show

posted October 2019

MEE will be in the Exhibit Hall of MD&M (Medical Design and Manufacturing)  at the Minneapolis Convention Center Oct 23-24.  This is our 20th year attending the event.  Please stop by and say hello to the MEE staff.  We have a prime corner booth location (#2210) so it should be easy to find us. We appreciate making new connections at MD&M but also enjoy catching up with our current and past customers. Hope to see you there.

Dan Grice, P.E. and Larry Hanke, P.E.

Dan Grice, P.E. and Larry Hanke, P.E. will be presenting technical sessions at the Materials Science & Technology (MS&T) Conference, held in Portland, Oregon on September 29 – October 3.

Dan’s presentation, Hydrogen Embrittlement: Contributions from Material Processing, will provide an overview of material processing operations that contribute to the hydrogen embrittlement failure mechanism and include case studies of hydrogen embrittlement failures for which material processing operations had significant or unusual contributions to the fractures. His presentation will be included in the Process-related Failures session on Wednesday.

Larry’s program, Radiant Tube Heater Failure Analysis and Resulting Changes to NFPA 54 is included in the Failure Prevention session on Thursday. Larry will discuss failure analysis investigations of radiant tube heaters involved in building explosions. The investigations were instrumental in a revision to the National Fuel Gas Code (NFPA 54) changing the requirements for installation of these heaters and demonstrating the potential impact of the failure analysis process to prevent future failures.

MS&T is a long-standing, recognized forum held annually that is organized with cooperation between four materials-related professional societies. At MEE, participation in technical conferences is greater than just completing continuing education credits, we place high value on the importance of keeping up-to-date on best practices and advancing the field of Materials Science.

Failure Analysis Seminar

posted August 2019

Senior Materials Engineer, Dan Grice, P.E., presented a two day seminar on Fractography and Failure Analysis at the office of one of our industrial customers.  The seminar covered technical information on fracture mechanisms and analysis through characterization of the macroscopic and microscopic fracture features.  Dan’s presentation included multiple case studies to provide a practical understanding of the analytical methods and laboratory tools a materials engineer uses in the failure analysis process.

Fractography and Failure Analysis Seminar




Materials Evaluation and Engineering, Inc.  is pleased to announce that Henry Ahrenholtz has joined our staff as an Associate Engineer. We hired Henry to support MEE’s  busy materials characterization laboratory.  He has rapidly become skilled in nondestructive testing methods, visual examination, metallographic sample preparation, microstructure examination, and mechanical testing. He has already been involved in two large industrial projects assisting senior engineering staff on the job site and in the laboratory.  We are confident that Henry will be a strong asset to the MEE team.

Henry is from Minnetonka Minnesota and attended Iowa State University, graduating in 2018 with a degree in Materials Engineering with a specialization in polymers. When not at work in the Metallography Lab, Henry enjoys rock climbing and cycling.


Henry Ahrenholtz