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Grail Engine Technologies



Dr. Fred R. Kern

Ph.D. Senior Consultant, Mechanical Engineer

Dr. Kern, INCE.Bd.Cert., contributes over forty five years of professional experience in the field of applied mechanics in applications ranging from automotive vehicle design to aircraft engines and submarines to projects at Acentech, Inc. His professional practice has included design, development, research, and failure analysis. In the field of manufacturing, Dr. Kern contributed to the design and development of patents for ignition systems, burner improvements and Naval Launch and recovery systems for unmanned surface and underwater vehicles. In his role of Senior Consultant Mechanical Engineer, Dr. Kern works extensively with other Acentech staff involved in acoustics, materials, sensor development and deployments and investigates structural failures to assist in cause identification including design and material issues.

On a Phase I and Phase II program for DRTA, he led a program to develop infrasonic sensors from COTS piezo-cables, extending for 100m or more to provide data acquisition from 0.02 Hz to the acoustic frequency range for detecting in ground and atmospheric bomb blasts, aircraft activity and other sources of sonic booms. The program also involved developing and having manufactured, extremely low noise low frequency amplifiers, setting the state of the art in performance.

Dr. Kern has extensive experience in both cause and origin studies and problem solving in a variety of mechanical failures. Consultations have included investigations of product liability and alleged product defects, accident reconstruction, and patent issues. He has developed, implemented and presented for litigation, mechanical testing and investigations for failures including (but not limited to) engines; compressors; electrical systems; fuel tanks and lines; boats; industrial equipment; and manufactured assemblies.

Professional Experience

  • Senior Consultant Mechanical Engineer and Research Scientist, Acentech 1999 –
  • Senior Acoustics Engineer, J & A Enterprises, Inc. 2000-
  • Consulting Research Scientist, Physical Sciences Incorporated 1997-
  • Vice-President, Atlantic Applied Research Corporation, 1984-1997
  • Vice President, The Dietrich Group, 1994-1998
  • Deputy Department Manager, 1982-1984 Bolt Beranek & Newman Inc. (BBN)
  • Co-Founder and Vice President of Combustion Electromagnetics Inc 1977 -
  • Senior Scientist, Bolt Beranek & Newman Inc. 1969-1981
  • Senior Scientist, General Oceanology, Inc. (subsidiary of BBN), November 1968-July 1969
  • Research Fellow Research Assistant, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, , 1967-1968
  • Test Engineer and Project Engineer Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1965-1967
  • Curtis s-Wright Corporation, January-July 1964;
  • Vice President, Kern's Boat Yard, Inc., 1958-1972.



  • Ph.D., Mechanical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1969.
  • S.B.   S.M., Mechanical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1966.


Honors and Societies:

Pi Tau Sigma, Tau Beta Pi, Sigma Xi, National Science Foundation Fellowship, Member, Institute of Noise Control Engineers, INCE.Bd.Cert., Acoustical Society of America, American Society of Mechanical Engineers- formerly section treasurer, Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers, Society of Naval Engineers, Society of Automotive Engineers.


Professional Responsibilities and Projects

Dr. Kern studied Mechanical Engineering at MIT.  His courses included automotive vehicle design, engine design and thermodynamics, dynamics and strength of materials, and hydrofoil and propeller theory.  Dr Kern has applied his knowledge of Mechanical Engineering in the areas of design, dynamic analysis and testing in the areas of acoustics, vibration and combustion and in a wide variety of litigation involving advertising, patents, alleged product defect, and accident reconstruction issues.

Recent work he has performed includes developing infrasonic acoustic and vibration sensors signal conditioners and data processing systems that have been deployed in California and Hawaii for detecting bomb blasts and aircraft activity performed in a Phase II SBIR  program for DSTRA.  He has also developed methods to model and reduce the machinery excitation, transmission and radiation from piston expanders, turbines, electric motors and reduction gears of torpedoes, UUVs, advanced marine vehicles and submarines.

Dr. Kern was a director of Combustion Electromagnetics Incorporated for thirteen years from its incorporation in 1977, and currently for the last 15 years. He has contributed to the theoretical development and mechanical design of electromagnetically stimulated combustion in engines and holds a joint patent in "Burner Improvements," No. 4,230,448 and on ignition systems.

At Acentech, and the Dietrich Group Dr. Kern has acted as the senior consultant investigating a variety of projects in product design analysis and accident analysis for product liability and personal injury litigation. In his work, Dr. Kern is actively involved in technical problem solving of mechanical design issues for public and private sector clients.

At BBN, Dr. Kern's work in noise and vibration research and control has spanned ships, torpedoes, trucks, aircraft, highway vehicles, and such powered equipment as air compressors, fans, truck cooling systems, hydraulic power supplies, water pumps, as well as diesel and aircraft engines.