- Ph.D., Materials Science and Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech), 2019
- B.Sc., Polymer and Fiber Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech), 2014
- Professional Engineer Mechanical, California, #40541
- Society of Plastics Engineers
- Rubber Division, American Chemical Society
Dr. Fitzharris consults on a wide variety of polymer-related matters including thermal, mechanical and rheological characterization, rubber compounding and processing, environmental stress cracking, and polymer process-structure-property relationships. She has practical experience in traditional polymer processing applications such as extrusion, batch mixing, and compression molding as well as particular expertise related to novel additive manufacturing and 3D printing techniques.
Dr. Fitzharris applies her experience to both proactive and reactive projects in numerous fields, including consumer products, medical devices, construction and infrastructure, and the oil and gas industry. Dr. Fitzharris has also supported clients in intellectual property analyses related to polymeric materials, including assistance in trade secret, prior art analysis, claim interpretation, infringement, and validity matters.
Dr. Fitzharris has broad experience related to traditional polymer characterization techniques (e.g., fractography, differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), peel testing, tensile testing, dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA), and capillary rheometry) as well as emerging polymer characterization techniques such as fast scanning calorimetry (FSC). In addition to regular use of standard material test methods, she has developed custom testing procedures for industry specific applications. She has applied her materials understanding to a range of commercial plastics, including high-performance polymers such as polyphenylene sulfide (PPS), polyether ether ketone (PEEK), polyetherimide (PEI, ULTEM ®), and a polyphenylene ether and polystyrene blend (PPE/PS, NORYL ®).
Prior to joining exponent, Dr. Fitzharris earned her Ph.D. at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Her research focused on material extrusion additive manufacturing of high-performance polymers. In this work, Dr. Fitzharris utilized finite element modeling and statistical design of experiments to aid in materials selection and process optimization efforts in emerging additive manufacturing technologies. She additionally utilized various polymer characterization techniques to understand the rheological and crystallization behavior specific to the additive manufacturing process and to establish relationships between additive manufacturing process parameters and end-use properties of fabricated products.