Category Archives: Materials testing laboratory

Materials Science Camp

posted July 2019

This was MEE’s 13th year as a sponsor of ASM International Materials Science Camp for high school students. ASM Materials Camp utilizes hands-on learning principles of applied math and science for a truly unique, team-based problem solving experience that explores materials science and engineering principles.

The students are assigned a failure analysis project on the first day of camp and spend a day in the laboratories at MEE examining their samples and gathering data.  They prepare their samples in the metallographic lab, view the microstructure using SEM and metallographic microscopes and perform Rockwell hardness tests all under the direction of  industry and education based Materials Mentors.

Three MEE staff, Larry Hanke, Kurt Schenk and Neal Hanke, were camp mentors for the entire week of camp.

Rockwell hardness test lab

Mentor, Kurt Schenk, enjoying the camp experience!

Sample Preparation in the MEE shop

Introduction to Scanning Electron Microscopy

Light Microscopy

Consulting ASM Handbooks

This summer we were fortunate to be able to offer two internship opportunities to materials science students.  Samiha Khan is working with us part time while taking classes at the University of MN in the Materials Science Engineering program. Samiha didn’t start out as a materials science student but after talking with students already in the program and doing a little more research on the profession she says she found it to be a perfect match to her interests. She is looking forward to working in our microscopy labs and will be assisting staff in sample preparation and testing.

Summer Intern at MEE

posted May 2019

Welcome to our  2019 summer intern, Jordan Cornelius. Jordan will be graduating later this year from Iowa State University with a degree in Materials Science Engineering with specializations in metals and ceramics.  Jordan is specifically interested in gaining experience with materials testing and characterization and failure analysis. He sees his time at MEE as a great opportunity to learn about the variety of industries our company partners with from industrial clients to medical device manufacturers.

Jordan Cornelius, MEE summer intern



Microscopy Spring Symposium

posted May 2019

MEE staff to attend Microscopy Spring Symposium

Dieter Scholz and Jason Larson will be attending the Minnesota Microscopy Society’s Annual Spring Symposium on Friday May 3 in St Paul. The topic of this year’s symposium is Non-Traditional and Emerging Microscopy Techniques. MEE is a corporate sponsor of the  MN Microscopy Society and will have a booth at this event. Stop by and say hello to Dieter and Jason and ask about MEE’s expanded laboratory facilities and the new microscopes we have acquired, including the new JEOL IT500HR Scanning Electron Microscope.

Dieter Scholz

Jason Larson

Materials Science Education

posted November 2018

This week, MEE hosted University of St Thomas Materials Science students in our laboratory. Students toured our metallography and light microscopy labs and were presented a brief introduction to scanning electron microscopy.

Staff engineer, Neal Hanke, arranged a display of some representative failure analysis projects to demonstrate the range of materials and failure modes we have investigated in our lab.

From our previous blog post:

“We are expecting minimal interruption of our work flow during construction.”


Installation of new  flooring in two of our labs required us to temporarily move all testing equipment out of those rooms.  MEE staff has demonstrated a lot of flexibility and innovative thinking to make sure our work continues with minimal interruption.  Senior Engineer, Jason Larson, has set up his office to run Af testing.  Af testing, Austenite Finish testing, is used to determine the transition temperature in nitinol.

MEE Expansion Project – Part II

posted October 2018

This week, phase one of MEE’s facilities expansion is finishing up. We are added another 1800 sq ft for a new reception area, offices, break room and larger artifact storage area. Phase two of the project will be the expansion and redesign of the metallographic laboratory.  We are expecting minimal interruption of our work flow during construction. Project completion is expected by the end of October.


The first change clients and visitors should note is our front entry will be moving one doorway to the north of our current entrance. 


Larry Hanke,P.E. and Neal Hanke, P.E. will be presenting a talk on the role of the metallurgical engineer in fire investigations at an October 12 educational seminar in Lakeville, MN. The seminar is directed at fire investigators, insurance professionals and lawyers to highlight the importance of laboratory testing  of artifacts in a successful investigation.

Larry Hanke, P.E.

Neal Hanke, P.E.

Larry and Neal will provide their expertise on:

  1. A fundamental understanding of how structural and electrical materials behave at elevated temperatures.
  2. How material behaves under stress.
  3. How to evaluate component failures that may contribute to fire and explosion
  4. A better understanding of how to identify electrical arcing
  5. How anomalous material behavior can lead to incorrect conclusions about the conditions during a fire

Corrosion and Failure Analysis

posted August 2018

The NACE International (National Association of Corrosion Engineers) Central Conference in Omaha is just wrapping up.  MEE staff engineers Ryan Haase and Neal Hanke have been taking turns attending technical presentations and talking to colleagues at the MEE booth in the exhibit hall.

This year’s conference location in Omaha, just a few hours drive from our Minneapolis location, was a good opportunity for us to discuss local corrosion issues and how MEE can assist in addressing these issues. One of the key benefits of partnering with MEE is our fundamental understanding of materials behavior, including mechanical and corrosion failure mechanisms.

Neal Hanke, P.E. , Materials Evaluation and Engineering