About Hill Engineering

Hill Engineering believes every materials engineer, designer, and manager should have solid data upon which they can make sound decisions. We have expertise to address issues arising in materials, manufacturing, and design engineering, with unique capabilities in residual stress measurement, material testing, service life assessment, and mechanical design.

Our capabilities support the solution of complex structural problems inherent to fatigue and fracture critical systems through a unique combination of capabilities in residual stress and fatigue engineering.

We have unique and comprehensive residual stress measurement capabilities. We develop and deliver innovative methods for material testing and analysis that meet customer needs during design, manufacturing, and operation.

We have a record of enabling the use of compressive residual stress treatments to extend the life of aging structures and solve sustainment challenges.

Our customers come from a broad range of industry, including aerospace, power generation, vehicles, turbo-machinery, and petrochemicals.

Founder and Chief Executive Officer
Michael R. Hill, PhD

Mike has devoted his professional career to mechanics, materials, and residual stress engineering. He holds a position as Professor in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at University of California, Davis. His published works are in the areas of residual stress measurement, modeling, and methods for fatigue and fracture prediction. Mike has worked extensively on the development of compressive residual stress surface treatments, such as laser shock peening, in collaboration with government and industrial partners. He founded Hill Engineering, LLC to address the needs of commercial clients in tackling complex structural problems with a special emphasis on fatigue and residual stress engineering. Mike completed a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering at Stanford University in 1996, having earned his B.S. and M.S. degrees in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Arizona in 1989 and 1991, respectively.

Adrian T. DeWald, PhD

Adrian is a technical expert in residual stress measurement and simulation of residual stress effects on material performance. His research and publication record covers the contour method, laser shock peening, machining distortion, weld residual stress, and related topics. Adrian is professionally active within the Society of Experimental Mechanics (Associate Technical Editor for Experimental Mechanics and former Chair of the Residual Stress Technical Division) and ASTM (Member of Committee E28 on Mechanical Testing). Adrian received a Ph.D. from the University of California, Davis in Mechanical Engineering in 2005. His dissertation, titled Measurement and modeling of laser peening residual stresses in geometrically complex specimens, established the basis for the ERS-toolbox® software.

Brett Watanabe

Brett is the Manager of Hill Engineering’s testing laboratory. He has significant experience in various aspects of mechanical testing including advanced residual stress measurement techniques such as: contour method, slitting method, hole drilling, neutron diffraction, and ring core. Hill Engineering’s residual stress measurement laboratory performs work on a daily basis for a wide variety of organizations including both government and commercial entities. Common residual stress measurement applications include: welds, quenching, shot peening, heat treatment, surface coatings, and direct manufacturing. In his role as Laboratory Manager, Brett is responsible for coordinating activities to ensure that we are responsive to customer requests and precise in our daily approach.

Frank Di Cocco

Frank brings more than 25 years of experience in structural engineering and program and technology development to his role as Program Development Manager. In earlier positions with Rockwell Aerospace and Lockheed Space Operations at the Kennedy Space Center, Frank supported maintenance and repair of the shuttle orbiter fleet as Lead Orbiter Design Engineer and Materials & Process Engineer. Frank was most recently Manager of Alcoa Defense Aerospace, where he managed government and commercial aerospace programs focused on developing structures technologies. Frank brings valuable experience leading large, multi-year aerospace programs as a prime government contractor and managing diverse teams of OEM and technical specialists like Boeing, Airbus, Lockheed Martin, BAES, and Northrop Grumman. Frank supports our customers by linking Hill Engineering technologies with opportunities to solve structural materials challenges that arise in design, manufacturing, and operations.

Bob Pilarczyk

Bob joined Hill Engineering after more than a decade in the USAF A-10 Aircraft Structural Integrity Program (ASIP) office. At A-10, Bob served as the division technical expert in the fields of aircraft structural integrity and structural analysis and as group leader for structural engineering and analysis. Having solved unusual and difficult strength, fatigue, fracture, corrosion, and design challenges for an aircraft fleet, Bob brings experience that allows our team to be very responsive to program requests related to structural integrity assessment. His areas of expertise include: damage tolerance assessment, fleet management, non-destructive inspection, individual aircraft tracking, testing, aircraft teardown programs, and residual stress.

Customers and Collaborators


Hill Engineering is looking for bright and passionate engineers to join its growing team.

Available Positions

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