"Small teams can be potent, particularly if they function well as a team."

After decades of working together professionally and as consultants, we had ample opportunity to grow into a well-functioning team.

Michael Wahl, Ph.D., is the chief engineer and founder of Next Step Engineering Solutions, LLC (NSES) and has spent his entire career in the start-up arena. He is passionate about helping early-stage companies overcome both technical and organizational hurdles in order to reach the next level.

Prior to becoming independent in 2012, he was heavily involved in product and technology development at various companies serving the transportation, data storage and semiconductor industry, working in many roles from senior staff scientist to vice president of engineering and chief engineer. His work resulted in numerous patents and journal publications (see LinkedIn). He enjoys all aspects of technology and has been active in design, simulation, software development, instrumentation and testing, and loves spending time in his own workshop.

Associates and Collaborators

Patrick R. Lee, P.E., has been involved in engineering for over 40 years, earning a Master’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering and receiving his Professional Engineering license in the state of California in 1996. He has spent decades applying innovative engineering design and analysis to a large range of problems in the engine, semi-conductor and marine industry. Using state of the art CAE and CAD design tools, engineering judgement, and creativity, he has a proven track record of taking ideas sketched on a napkin to production release drawings and engineering specifications. In addition, his work resulted in numerous patents and journal publications (see LinkedIn). His personal website can be found here.

Robert Cram has worked as an electrical engineer for over 30 years and has extensive expertise in digital and analog design, embedded microprocessors, high speed design, thermal management, motors, motor drivers, camera design, sensors, lasers, and optics. This includes optical sensors ranging from EUV to LWIR. He has been a founder and engaged in several successful startup companies and has five issued patents. He taught engineering at the University of California, San Diego for 8 years, has over 20 published papers and one published book. He has filled a number of roles during his career including design engineer, senior staff engineer, program manager, systems engineer, director of engineering and vice president of engineering (see LinkedIn).

Chris Pesko, B.S.E. Aerospace, is a technical specialist in testing, data acquisition and analysis with over 15 years in both the aerospace and automotive industries (see LinkedIn). Test subjects have included diesel engines, turbofan engines, pumps, gears, injectors, cooling jets, various airfoils, control linkages, etc. Starting in 2006, as a design engineer for a small helicopter company, Chris implemented complete test setups by designing rigs and test fixtures, developing LabVIEW code to acquire data and post-processing results using Excel, DIAdem and MATLAB. Over the past decade, Chris has developed LabVIEW code for specific component tests using CAN, LIN, ModBus, and other protocols for testing engines in multiple test cells. His testing background spans a wide range of instrumentation using best practices for signal conditioning, grounding techniques, environmental limits, and range/accuracy tradeoffs.