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Jonathan C. Trenkle, Ph.D., P.E., CWI

Managing Engineer

Materials & Corrosion Engineering

Professional Profile


Dr. Trenkle is a metallurgist specializing in fracture and fatigue, alloy development, process review, welding, and surface engineering, including plating and wear. He leverages this expertise to support product development and engineering design in a variety of industries and applications, such as consumer products, electronic devices, medical devices, energy, and batteries. He also performs detailed failure analyses for litigation and subrogation cases on a range of structures and components including boiler tubes, household and industrial plumbing, HVAC systems, heat exchangers, and micro-electronic components.

Some of Dr. Trenkle’s litigation and subrogation experience includes natural gas pipe and condenser tubing rupture failures, structural failures of aluminum welds in ladders, fatigue and fracture of boiler tubes, stress corrosion cracking of plumbing brass fittings, electrical contact design and failures, electrical wiring and components that have resulted in fires, and cracked solder joints in printed circuit boards.

Dr. Trenkle’s has supported product development and engineering design for companies ranging in size from start-ups to those listed in the Fortune 500. He regularly provides consulting services for alloy selection and development for structural, chemical, and electrical applications. He uses his expertise in plating and coatings, connector design, and their associated failure mechanisms, such as arcing, wear, fretting, fracture, fatigue and corrosion, to aid in product design, recalls, and vendor selection and auditing. He is also familiar with industry standards used for testing electronic contacts. With regards to welding, he combines his metallurgical expertise with his certification as a welding inspector (AWS CWI) to not only review welding procedures and welder qualifications, but to also provide detailed metallurgical examination of welds.

Prior to joining Exponent, Dr. Trenkle worked as a process development engineer at Xtalic Corporation where he was responsible for research and development of a new electro-plated metal alloy. He also was a Postdoctoral Associate at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) where he developed a nanoindenter capable of operating at elevated temperatures in inert atmospheres. As a research associate at Johns Hopkins, he research specialized welding techniques for metallic glasses. Also while at MIT and Johns Hopkins, Dr. Trenkle assisted in teaching undergraduate and graduate courses in mechanical behavior of materials and physical metallurgy.

  • Ph.D., Materials Science and Engineering, Johns Hopkins University, 2007
  • M.S., Materials Science and Engineering, Johns Hopkins University, 2005
  • B.S., Materials Science and Engineering, Lehigh University, 2002
  • Postdoctoral Associate, Materials Science and Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2007–2009

    • Registered Professional Metallurgical Engineer, Massachusetts, #50831
    • Certified Welding Inspector, American Welding Society, #13121001

    • US Patent No. 8,445,116 B2: Coated Articles and Methods, May 21, 2013 (Dadvand N, Schuh CA, Lund AC, Trenkle JC, Cahalen J).