MEE provided a virtual 90 minute laboratory course on materials characterization and fracture analysis for students in the Materials Science and Engineering program at the University of St Thomas.  For the past six years, we have hosted the students in our lab for this coursework but current recommendations for physical distancing  required us to created an interactive classroom experience using a videoconferencing service and screen sharing technology.

In the images below, you can see staff engineer Neal Hanke  using a USB digital microscope camera to share visual examinations of fracture features and corrosion morphology on a variety of samples.  Hanke also used live online screen sharing of SEM and EDS imaging to instruct students in the use of these imaging tools and techniques in identifying and characterizing materials. Although we miss the experience of having the students in our laboratory we are pleased that we could facilitate live, remote instruction and analyses.

Virtual lab examination of fracture samples with Neal Hanke in MEE SEM Lab

 

Materials Science students participating in online classroom. With Neal Hanke P.E. and St Thomas Engineering Professor, Genevieve Gagnon, PhD.

Peer review is a trusted process for maintaining the high standards of a scientific profession. The professional engineers at MEE are dedicated to the advancement of scientific knowledge in their field by their active involvement in the peer review process of technical publications.

Ryan Haase is an associate editor for the Journal of Failure Analysis and Prevention (JFAP) and Larry Hanke is on the editorial board of the Metallography, Microstructure and Analysis Journal. Larry, Ryan, Dan Grice and Neal Hanke have all been peer reviewers for these journals.

Larry, Ryan and Dan are also writing content for the ASM Handbooks on Failure Analysis and Fractography with Neal assisting in peer reviews.

JFAPASM HandbookMMA Journal

MEE fully supports and appreciates the time the staff puts in to writing and reviewing technical articles. Their work benefits the materials engineering profession as well as their own professional knowledge of the latest scientific research.

SEM Teleconferencing

posted April 2020

MEE is committed to providing our clients with the required microscopy resources during the COVID-19 Pandemic. The MEE staff knows microscopy, but sometimes a client’s knowledge about the sample and examination objectives is required to conduct an efficient microscopy session. Traditionally, our clients have come into the laboratory to communicate face-to-face with the microscopist, such as during a scanning electron microscopy session. Since social distancing is currently being practiced, MEE is conducting client-guided microscopy sessions via an online video conference platform with audio communication between the operator and the client. laboratory microscopy electronmicroscopy platform materialscience With online sharing of the live image from the microscope, clients and microscope operators are able to work together without the risk associated with face-to-face interactions. Clients can communicate directions to the microscope operator either verbally or with the use of screen annotation tools. During each session, the images collected will be simultaneously synced to a secure online location. Clients will have immediate access to the high quality microscope images. Please contact us if you would like to schedule a microscope teleconference.

MEE Remote SEM Teleconference

Remote Directed SEM Session

MEE’s Response to Covoid 19

posted March 2020

The Covoid-19 pandemic has created an unprecedented disruption to everyone’s sense of normal.Throughout the past few weeks, we have been continuously monitoring the news and CDC recommendations for protecting the health and safety of our staff and any visitors to the facility.We remain open at this time with strict cleaning and safety measures implemented at our facility following CDC and MN Department of Health guidelines. Engineers have been working from home when possible, and laboratory staff are on staggered shifts to maintain social distancing while in the facility. Our commitment to providing the highest quality professional services to our clients has not changed. We are available to assist you with your product issues and concerns. If you have questions, do not hesitate to contact us.

Dick Kielty

posted March 2020

It is with deep sadness that we share the news that friend and past employee of MEE, Dick Kielty, passed away this week. 

For nearly his entire career, Dick worked Twin City Testing (now Element) providing metallurgical engineering consulting services to local industries.  He retired from Element but was he was not the retiring kind of engineer. Dick began working for MEE at age 73. His intent was to work part time with us for two years but two years turned into eight years and he officially retired at age 81.  We so enjoyed having him around that he remained on our staff email list and would join us at staff lunches after his retirement.

His technical expertise and years of experience were valuable assets to our team. He was a great mentor to the other engineers on staff and enjoyed sharing his knowledge whether it was done one on one or presenting staff training lectures. I think all of us in the materials science and engineering fields can agree that Dick was the role model as someone who was truly dedicated to the profession.

Dick Kielty presenting staff lunch and learn.

 

Nitinol Seminar

posted March 2020
Kurt Schenk and Neal Hanke

Kurt Schenk and Neal Hanke, P.E.

Kurt Schenk and Neal Hanke attended a one day seminar about Nitinol and how its unique properties apply to medical devices and designs. The primary topics for the seminar included structure, processing, mechanical properties, corrosion behavior, and fatigue life of Nitinol. MEE has been helping medical device manufacturers to successfully use Nitinol in their products for almost 25 years. Even with years of experience, MEE staff continually seeks out educational opportunities to keep up with the latest research on this intriguing material.

Welcome to MEE’s new intern, Kelsy Holtgrewe.  Kelsy received her Bachelor’s in Metallurgical Engineering from Missouri University of Science and Technology in December. She’ll be starting work toward a Master’s at Colorado School of Mines this fall. She has previous work experience in the materials labs of two large industrial companies so she is familiar with many of the processes and procedures in our metallographic and SEM labs.

MEE understands that internship programs are beneficial to both the student and the company.  Our busy materials science laboratories will provide Kelsy with a valuable real-world engineering experience this summer and our technical staff appreciates the opportunity to mentor new professionals in the field of metallurgical engineering.

Kelsy in the one of SEM labs at MEE.

MEE Staff Development

posted February 2020

Congratulations to MEE Associate Engineer, Henry Ahrenholtz, who recently passed the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam certifying him as an Engineer in Training (E.I.T.). The FE exam is the first of two exams required for obtaining a Professional Engineer license. Prior to taking the second exam, E.I.T’s must complete four years of qualifying engineering experience under the supervision of a professional engineer. We look forward to working with Henry as he moves forward towards professional licensure.

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

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.