Academic Credentials
  • Ph.D., Materials Science and Engineering, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, 2013
  • B.S., Materials Science and Engineering, Cornell University, 2008
Professional Affiliations
  • Society of Plastics Engineers
  • Society of Automotive Engineers
  • The Tire Society
  • Cantonese Chinese

Trained as a material scientist with a specialization in polymer science, Dr. Lee's research and experience provide deep understanding of the chemistry, physical properties, and mechanical behavior of polymeric materials, including rubbers, elastomers, adhesives, and rigid plastics. Her areas of expertise include structure-property relationships of materials, mechanics of materials, adhesion science, chemical and physical compatibility of materials, and fractography. 

Dr. Lee leverages her knowledge of polymer science in a wide variety of industries including automotive, consumer electronics, construction, medical, and industrial piping. She has assisted clients with durability assessments, materials specifications, formulation, end-use testing, product safety evaluations, and failure analysis in both proactive and reactive programs. Dr. Lee is also well-versed in common polymer failure modes including wear, tearing, environmental stress cracking, fatigue, creep, and weathering.

Dr. Lee has extensive experience in the characterization of materials ranging from analytical and molecular level analysis to bulk physical properties testing and has applied these to commodity and engineering thermoplastics, rigid and rubber thermosets, and other industrially relevant compositions. She has particular expertise in standardized mechanical testing, long-term durability testing, and accelerated aging studies. She is also familiar with polymer conversion processes such as injection molding, compression molding, blow molding, extrusion, and thermoforming. Dr. Lee is a member of Society of Plastic Engineers (SPE), Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE), and The Tire Society, and is certified as an Automotive Tire Service Advanced Instructor through the Tire Industry Association (TIA).

Prior to joining Exponent, Dr. Lee was a research assistant in the Department of Material Science and Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and had work assignments at Xerox and Dow Corning. During her time at Xerox and Dow Corning, she studied the flow properties of toners and investigated new novel block copolymer synthesis techniques, respectively. At the University of Illinois, she was a member of the collaborative Autonomous Materials Systems at the Beckman Institute working in the area of mechanochemistry. Her research involved the incorporation of force-sensitive chemical groups (mechanophores) directly into polyurethane elastomeric formulations to impart new functionalities to materials, such as self-sensing (i.e. color change) and self-repairing. These "smart" polymers autonomically respond to changing environmental conditions and are capable of intrinsically detecting applied forces or subsequent mechanical damage.