Materials and Metallurgical Engineering Consulting

Huntsville, Alabama

Jacob D. Fuerst, Ph.D., P.E., is an experienced consultant in metallurgical engineering, materials science, biomaterials, failure analysis, heat treating, corrosion, and forensics.


Fuerst Metallurgy, LLC focuses on providing metallurgy and materials expertise to industry, design firms, startups, and contractors.  We work to provide our clients with the knowledge they need for cost effective solutions to their engineering challenges.

Why might you need to consult a metallurgist?

An expert metallurgist can provide you with answers to important questions in the development of a design or the manufacturing of a component, such as:

  • What alloy or material should a component be manufactured from to optimize for conditions such as cost-effectiveness, strength to weight ratio, ease of machining, high-temperature stability, or corrosion or adverse environment resistance?

  • What is the difference in properties and performance for different grades of carbon and alloy steel?

  • What are the differences between the performance of austenitic, martensitic, and precipitation hardenable stainless steel?

  • What heat treatment is appropriate for the selected material?  Should it be quenched and tempered, austempered, aged, or stress relieved?

  • Is a surface such as carburizing or nitriding appropriate and what is the proper specification for hardness and case depth?

  • What raw material condition is optimal for manufacturing?  What is the difference in cost and manufacturability for hot rolled, cold finished, annealed, normalized, or pre-hardened?

  • How does heat treatment affect the corrosion resistance of stainless steel?

  • What is the appropriate age for aluminum for corrosion resistance?

  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of casting, powder metallurgy (PM), metal injection molding (MIM), and machining from stock, and which alloys are appropriate for each production method?

Why is root cause failure analysis important?

During the development of a component, the unplanned can happen and failure can occur.  Understanding the root cause of that failure saves the design team or manufacturer time and money by being able to directly address the issue.  Proper failure analysis will answer questions, such as:

  • Was the failure the result of a flaw in the manufacture of the component or was it an inherent material defect?

  • Was the component subject to unanticipated stresses and fail in overload or did the component fail in fatigue?

  • Was the failure related to the environment or conditions of use?

What is Forensic Metallurgy?


The word 'forensic' comes from the Latin meaning 'belonging to the forum,' which was a square in the heart of Rome used for, among other things, public trials.  Forensic metallurgy applies the principles of root cause failure analysis to accident or incident investigations for the purposes of legal proceedings.  

What can Fuerst Metallurgy, LLC do for you?

We at Fuerst Metallurgy have a passion for solving technical problems.  We can provide answers for technical challenges from design assistance for performance to ease of manufacturing, to recommending an order of operations to reduce waste and increase savings, to root cause failure analysis and forensic investigations.   Our goal is to help our clients produce the best products and best outcomes cost-effectively.  

Contact Fuerst Metallurgy to ask how we can help you.  


414 East River Landing Blvd SW

Madison, Alabama 35756

(812) 841-6639

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