Academic Credentials
  • Ph.D., Mechanical Engineering, Stanford University, 1995
  • M.S., Mechanical Engineering, Stanford University, 1991
  • B.S., Mechanical Engineering, Rice University, 1990
Licenses & Certifications
  • Professional Engineer Mechanical, California, #32049
  • Professional Engineer, Colorado, #PE-0043557
  • Professional Engineer Mechanical, Florida, #75868
  • Professional Engineer, Hawaii, #PE-18649
  • Professional Engineer Mechanical, Louisiana, #PE.0047514
  • Professional Engineer, Maryland, #41622
  • Professional Engineer, North Carolina, #37568
  • Professional Engineer Mechanical, Nevada, #26620
  • Professional Engineer, Oregon, #96699PE
  • Professional Engineer Mechanical, Texas, #98012
  • Professional Engineer Mechanical, Wyoming, #PE 17248
  • Certified Smart Card Industry Professional (CSCIP)
  • GIAC Security Leadership Certification (GSLC)
Professional Honors
  • Phi Beta Kappa
  • Tau Beta Pi
  • National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowship

Dr. Fessler's areas of expertise include building mechanical systems, gas and liquid flows, heat transfer, thermodynamics, manufacturing, and risk assessment. Dr. Fessler's building mechanical systems work includes investigating heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC), refrigeration, plumbing and piping  systems in commercial, industrial and residential buildings.   

His HVAC work frequently involves issues such as temperature and humidity control, occupant comfort, indoor air quality, moisture control, equipment failures, construction claims and damage claims.  He has particular expertise in investigating temperature/humidity control issues in which high humidity and/or condensation have led to water damage, fungal growth and/or mold contamination. Dr. Fessler has also worked on numerous refrigeration systems and refrigerated storge facilities related to issues such as chiller failures, refrigerant leaks, temperature control issues, ice build-up and condensation.  Dr. Fessler also routinely investigates plumbing issues related to water supply, drain/waste/vent lines, and domestic hot water heating,systems, including the causes of leaks in those systems and the resultant leak rates. Typical components and sub-systems studied have included pumps, valves, chillers, fan-coil units, rooftop units, ventilation systems, heat exchangers, compressors, cooling towers, boilers, furnaces, hot water heaters, split systems, variable refrigerant flow systems, chilled beams, ammonia-based refrigeration systems, building automation systems, and specialized process piping.

Dr. Fessler also has significant experience in risk assessment, including risk and reliability analyses of new products and systems that are under development. Such systems have included consumer appliances, medical devices, hybrid vehicles, large-scale energy storage systems, automotive components, security/anti-terrorism technology, telecommunications equipment, and over a dozen large, international oil and gas refinery/storage facilities. Specific analysis techniques used by Dr. Fessler include Preliminary Hazards Analysis (PHA), Failure Modes and Effects Analysis (FMEA), Hazards and Operability (HAZOP) studies, Fault Tree/Event Tree Analysis, Mean Time Between Failure (MTBF) evaluations, Quantitative Risk Assessment (QRA), Reliability, Availability and Maintainability (RAM), and Safety Integrity Level (SIL) studies.

Prior to joining Exponent, Dr. Fessler was an Acting Assistant Professor in the Mechanical Engineering Department at Stanford University, where he conducted research and taught graduate and undergraduate classes in experimental heat transfer and fluid mechanics.