Alex Zelhofer

Alex Zelhofer, Ph.D., P.E.

Managing Engineer
Mechanical Engineering
Los Angeles

Dr. Zelhofer specializes in the development, evaluation, and failure analysis of consumer products and industrial equipment. He has performed mechanical analysis on various systems including: tailgates, loading ramps, hydraulic jacks, tubing, fittings, pumps, exercise equipment, micromobility vehicles (e.g. electric scooters and electric bicycles), construction equipment, and machining tools. Frequently Dr. Zelhofer employs custom-engineered experimental testing to develop internal standards, measure in-situ conditions, or determine failure mechanisms.

In addition, Dr. Zelhofer has experience in investment casting, wet layup of composites, vacuum forming, woodworking, metalworking, and machining. He has operated electric, pneumatic, hydraulic, and gas-powered equipment including; mills, lathes, table saws, band saws, jig saws, reciprocating saws, circular saws, miter saws, planers, drill presses, power drills, impact drivers, nailers, angle grinders, grinding wheels, routers, belt sanders, air compressors, augers, chainsaws, tillers, generators, and brush mowers. To enhance his technical analysis and illustrate findings to clients he employs modern 3D scanning techniques such as structured light, laser scanning, and Micro X-ray Computed Tomography (CT) technologies.

Prior to joining Exponent, Dr. Zelhofer was a Research Assistant in the Graduate Aerospace Laboratories at the California Institute of Technology. His research focused on lattice-based materials generated via additive manufacturing. Dr. Zelhofer explored structural instability and vibrations using custom and commercial finite element tools as predictive methods and for comparison to experimental realizations. He has developed programs in MATLAB, Python, and C++ and implemented high-performance computing techniques to decrease runtime.

During his undergraduate, Dr. Zelhofer worked in the Milwaukee School of Engineering's (MSOE) Rapid Prototyping Research Center creating functionally graded aerospace components, performed metal-metal composite material interface inspections, and designed and implemented several manufacturing processes. As part of MSOE's Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) chapter, he designed and fabricated a carbon fiber composite fairing for SAE's Supermileage competition.

CREDENTIALS & PROFESSIONAL HONORS

  • Ph.D., Mechanical Engineering, California Institute of Technology (Caltech), 2017
  • M.S., Mechanical Engineering, California Institute of Technology (Caltech), 2014
  • B.S., Mechanical Engineering, Milwaukee School of Engineering, 2008
  • NASA Aeronautics Fellowship, 2010

    American Society of Mechanical Engineering, Foundation Gratitude Scholarship, 2009

LICENSES & CERTIFICATIONS

Licensed Professional Engineer, California, #39478

IFPS Certified Fluid Power Hydraulic Specialist, Certificate #32368

OSHA Occupational Safety and Health Standards for General Industry Course (OSHA 511)

40-Hour HAZWOPER (Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response) Certificate #37257

Certified Forklift Operator

PADI certified SCUBA diver (Advanced Open Water)

Publications

Desmoulins A, Zelhofer AJ, Kochmann DM. Auxeticity in truss networks and the role of bending versus stretching deformation. Smart Materials and Structures 2016; 25(5):054003.

Meza LR, Zelhofer AJ, Clarke N, Mateos AJ, Kochmann DM, Greer JR. Resilient 3D hierarchical architected metamaterials. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 2015; 112(37):11502-11507.

Presentations

Zelhofer AJ. Directional wave propagation in structural lattices. ASME IMECE, Phoenix Convention Center, Phoenix, AZ, November 15, 2017.

Zelhofer AJ. Modeling hierarchical lattice stiffness scaling and effect of beam waviness. 52nd Annual SES Technical Meeting, Texas A&M, College Station, TX, October 26, 2015.

Zelhofer AJ. Effect of unit cell topology on periodic lattice stability. ASME IMECE 2015, Houston, TX, November 12—19, 2015.

Prior Experience

Graduate Research / Teaching Assistant, California Institute of Technology, 2012-2017

Composite Structures Intern, NASA Dryden Flight Research Center, 2011

Undergraduate Research Assistant, MSOE Rapid Prototyping Research, 2009-2011

Professional Affiliations

American Society of Mechanical Engineers (member)

American Society of Testing and Materials (Committee F42 – Additive Manufacturing Technologies - member)

CREDENTIALS & PROFESSIONAL HONORS

  • Ph.D., Mechanical Engineering, California Institute of Technology (Caltech), 2017
  • M.S., Mechanical Engineering, California Institute of Technology (Caltech), 2014
  • B.S., Mechanical Engineering, Milwaukee School of Engineering, 2008
  • NASA Aeronautics Fellowship, 2010

    American Society of Mechanical Engineering, Foundation Gratitude Scholarship, 2009

LICENSES & CERTIFICATIONS

Licensed Professional Engineer, California, #39478

IFPS Certified Fluid Power Hydraulic Specialist, Certificate #32368

OSHA Occupational Safety and Health Standards for General Industry Course (OSHA 511)

40-Hour HAZWOPER (Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response) Certificate #37257

Certified Forklift Operator

PADI certified SCUBA diver (Advanced Open Water)