Academic Credentials
  • Ph.D., Materials Science and Engineering, Rutgers University, 2018
  • B.S., Materials Science and Engineering, University of Maryland, College Park, 2013
Licenses & Certifications
  • Professional Engineer Metallurgical, California, #2011
  • Certified Fire and Explosion Investigator (CFEI)
Professional Honors
  • Journal of the Electrochemical Society Editor's Choice Article, 2017
  • Department of Materials Science & Engineering Outstanding Materials Student Service Award, 2013
Professional Affiliations
  • National Association of Fire Investigators
  • The Electrochemical Society

Dr. Faenza is a materials engineer by training who specializes in energy storage technologies and product safety assessments for multiple industries. At Exponent, he provides technical expertise to lead failure analysis investigations, support design evaluations, and resolve complex technical issues involving battery safety and performance.

Over his career, Dr. Faenza has developed a specialization in thermal abuse testing and risk assessments of lithium-ion batteries of various chemistries, sizes, and formats. With this expertise, he has led battery evaluations and product re-designs in multiple industries from consumer electronics to automotive and grid storage applications. In these efforts, he often works with his clients to provide design-focused experiments coupled with advanced analytical techniques to elucidate potential failure mechanisms and to assess and prepare against failure scenario hazards. In his work, Dr. Faenza has led complex investigations involving consumer electronic and medical device recalls, research and development programs for critical safety features, and in assessing safety hazards for electric vehicle battery pack designs. Dr. Faenza uses his diverse technical capabilities to understand the fundamental mechanisms causing failures and to assist in developing applicable solutions and risk assessments. 

Dr. Faenza is recognized for his skill in multiple physical, structural, and electrochemical characterization methods, as well as in designing customized testing programs. He uses this expertise to evaluate material and product performance as well as to identify the root causes of failure for electronic products,  medical devices, and electric vehicles.

Prior to joining Exponent, Dr. Faenza's graduate research focused on investigating the structural and chemical degradation mechanisms for positive electrode materials at high states of charge. He also led a thorough analysis of the surface impurity species that develop on state-of-the-art electrode materials and their impact on the material's electrochemical performance. During this time he developed material fabrication experience which is founded in hydrothermal co-precipitation synthesis, and encompasses the use of a variety of thermal and powder processing techniques. He is experienced with numerous analytical techniques including; X-ray computed tomography (CT), X-ray diffraction (XRD), microcalorimetry, thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), and others. Prior to graduate school, Dr. Faenza developed graphene and silicon-based electrodes and also worked on reducing the flammability of polyurethane foam at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).