Christopher Muhlstein

University of California at Berkeley
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
MS 62-203, 1 Cyclotron Road
Berkeley, CA 94720
(510) 486-4584


Professional Profile

Christopher Muhlstein is a Ph.D. student in the Materials Science and Engineering department at U.C. Berkeley. Prior to U.C. Berkeley he was an engineering consultant in Exponent Failure Analysis Associates, Boston Office. Mr. Muhlstein's expertise includes engineering fracture mechanics, materials selection, and failure analysis. His current research includes state of the art characterization of fatigue crack initiation and growth of micron-scale structures (MEMS). His materials science expertise has also been applied to a wide variety of biomedical applications including orthopedic implant failures and medical device manufacturing.

Educational Background and Professional Honors

M.S. Metallurgy, GEORGIA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY, Atlanta, GA. (March 1996)

B.S. Materials Science and Engineering, UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, Berkeley, CA (May 1994)

Alpha Sigma Mu National Honor Society

Areas of Expertise

Engineering Fracture Mechanics, Failure Analysis, and Material Selection

Mechanical Testing and Behavior of Materials

Experimental Stress Analysis

Computer Programming and Test Controls (FORTRAN, BASIC, and LabView)

Optical and Scanning Electron Microscopy

Microelectromechanical Systems (MEMS)

Professional Affiliations

Member: ASM International (Boston Chapter Executive Committee (=9197-=9298), Georgia Tech Chapter Vice President (=9195-=9296)

Member: The Minerals, Metals, and Materials Society (TMS)

Member: American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) Committee E08 on Fatigue and Fracture

Chair: ASTM Task Group E08.05.03 on Electronic Materials and Structural Films

Member: Materials Research Society (MRS)

Work History

Graduate Student Researcher

University of California, Berkeley, California (1/99 - Present)

Fundamental fracture and fatigue research in the area of structural films for microelectromechanical system (MEMS) applications. The primary goal of the research is to develop an understanding of fatigue mechanisms in film materials.


Exponent Failure Analysis Associates, Inc., Natick, Massachusetts (7/96 - 12/98)

Management of the largest government-funded research program at Exponent Inc. investigating the failure modes observed in microelectromechanical structures (MEMS). Research includes fatigue crack initiation and growth processes and development of novel mechanical property characterization techniques (patent pending). The program continued under a new DARPA contract beginning July, 1998.

Developed a successful biomedical and industrial consulting practice which has included trial testimony. Projects include orthopedic implants, biomedical device manufacturing, and materials selection for commercially available products. Contributions to the firm formally recognized on two occasions ("Star Awards").

Graduate Student Researcher

Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia= (8/94-6/96)

Near-threshold fatigue crack growth and= microstructural characterization of a novel Al-Cu alloy at elevated= temperatures. Software and controls development for a fully-reversed= electric potential difference crack measurement system. Head teaching= assistant, two quarters.

Conference Proceedings and Journal= Publications

"Micron-Scale Characterizatioon of= Fatigue Crack Initiation and Growth," 30th National Symposium on= Fatigue and Fracture Mechanics, June 1998, Submitted for publication.

"Reliability and Fatigue Testing of MEMS," Tribology Issues and Opportunities in MEMS, NSF/AFOSR/ASME Workshop, pg. 80, Nov. 1997 (with Stuart Brown).

"Materials Reliability in MEMS Devices," Transducers '97, p. 591-593, 1997 (with Stuart Brown and Will Van= Arsdell).

"Fatigue-Crack Growth and Fracture Resistance of a Two-Phase (g + a 2) TiAl Alloy in Duplex and Lamellar Microstructures," Materials Science and Engineering A, Vol. 192/193, 1995, p474-482 (with K.T. Venkateswara Rao, Y-W. Kim, and R.O. Ritchie).


"Microelectromechanical Systems for Materials Research," Volume 518, Materials Research Society, 1998 (with Brown, Gilbert, Guckel, Howe, Johnson, and Krulevich)

"Fatigue-Crack Growth Testing," ASM Handbook Vol. 19 Fatigue and Fracture, 1996 (with A. Saxena).

Invited Presentations

"Fatigue of Microelectromechanical Structures," presented at AutoTestCon '98, Salt Lake City, UT, 1998.

"Survey of MEMS Failure Mechanisms," Proceedings, International Reliability Physics Symposium, IEEE 1998 Tutorial Notes, pp. 4b.1-4b.17, Mar.-Apr. 1998 (with Stuart Brown).

"Fatigue Crack Initiation and Growth Testing of MEMS and "Small" Structures," presented at the Micro-electromechanical Systems (MEMS) Reliability and Qualification Workshop, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA, August 5, 1997


"System and Method for Performing Bulge Testing of Films, Coatings, and/or Layers," Patent Pending (1998).

Ritchie Group
Dept of MSME , UC Berkeley

Last updated 10/99