Michael C. Stern, P.E. Michael C. Stern, PhD, P.E., is a managing engineer in the thermal science division of Exponent, Inc., where he consults in the areas of industrial and chemical processing, process safety, product safety, failure analysis, and incident investigation. He specializes in the areas of chemical separations, fire and explosion investigation and prevention, reactive materials, and electrochemical systems including batteries. Stern’s ongoing research includes investigating the competency of ignition sources in industrial flash fires, combustible dust hazards, and mechanisms for electrical fires. He received a BS in chemical engineering from Lehigh Univ. and an MS in chemical engineering practice and a PhD in chemical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.