Pierce D. Umberger

Pierce D. Umberger, Ph.D., P.E.



Applied Mechanics

Dr. Pierce Umberger is a Principal and Director of Applied Mechanics with Engineering Systems Inc. (ESi). His background includes mechanical engineering and materials science, with expertise in applied mechanics, stress analysis, fatigue and fracture mechanics, finite element analysis (FEA), as well as characterization and analysis of polymers, metals, and composite materials. In addition to his analytical background, Dr. Umberger has experience in instrumentation and testing, including data acquisition and development of custom fixture and test designs. 

Dr. Umberger has broad experience in analysis of complex, multidisciplinary failures involving mechanical components and systems in the automotive, rail, aviation, consumer products, construction, and building products industries. His investigative background includes consumer products, automotive, truck, and rail mechanical systems, vehicle dynamics, exercise and recreational equipment, as well as medical devices.  

At ESi, Dr. Umberger applies his expertise to a wide range of investigative scenarios including accident reconstruction, product and premises liability litigation, recall campaigns, and mechanical and materials design consulting. Dr. Umberger is experienced in leveraging ESi’s broad range of technical and consulting capabilities to perform large scale complex failure investigations across a broad range of industries. 

Prior to joining ESi, Dr. Umberger conducted research including numerical and analytical modeling as well as mechanical testing with both the Virginia Tech Materials Response Group (MRG), as well as the U.S. Army Research Lab (ARL). 


  • Fracture Appearance and Mechanisms of Deformation and Fracture, ASM Handbook, Volume 11, ASM International, April 2021
  • Failure Analysis of a Circular Saw Blade with a Fractured Carbide Tip, Journal of Failure Analysis and Prevention, Manuscript ID JFAP-19-06- 2230.R1, October 2019
  • Failure Analysis of Plastic Products through Stress Analysis Method, ESi Plastics Failure Analysis Workshop, August 2018
  • Failure Analysis of an Aluminum Chiller Pipe by Experimental Simulation and Stress Analysis, Journal of Failure Analysis and Prevention, Vol. 17, Issue 5, 2017, January 2017
  • Time-temperature Superposition and High Rate Response of Thermoplastic Composites and Constituents, Conference Proceedings of the Society for Experimental Mechanics, January 2011
  • Through Thickness Shear and Membrane Behavior of UHMWPE Composites, Proceedings of the 42nd Annual International SAMPE Technical Conference, January 2010

ESi's expertise spans dozens of industries and specializations organized across several practice groups, each staffed by dozens of in-house experts with the technical knowledge, hands-on expertise, and courtroom experience required to execute projects for and with our clients from start to finish.

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