Academic Credentials
  • Ph.D., Civil Engineering, University of Colorado, Boulder, 2020
  • M.S., Civil Engineering, University of Colorado, Boulder, 2015
  • B.S., Civil Engineering, University of Virginia, 2010
Professional Affiliations
  • Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI)
  • American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)

Dr. (Hess) Hollingsworth specializes in the analysis, design, and development of engineered wood products, a class of materials that includes plywood, oriented strand board (OSB), and laminated veneer lumber (LVL). Her experience includes designing and drafting site construction plans for retail and multi-family residential projects.

Dr. Hollingsworth has developed and applied micromechanical moisture-induced deterioration models for wood polymer composites, and she has expertise in mechanical and microscopy characterization using load frame systems, atomic force microscopy (AFM), nanoindentation (NI), and x-ray computed tomography (XCT).

Prior to joining Exponent, Dr. Hollingsworth was a postdoctoral associate and graduate research assistant at the University of Colorado Boulder, where she earned her doctorate in civil engineering. During her postdoctoral work, she used material design and mechanical testing to transition a living building material that uses biomineralization to enhance fracture toughness from lab scale success toward construction applications. Her dissertation work focused on the hygromechanical behavior of natural fiber composites (NFCs) for construction applications to further understand and better predict the mechanical response of NFCs to environmental aggressors, such as humidity, water, and freezing temperatures. She developed and experimentally validated a micromechanical model that was used to predict the onset of moisture-induced damage for different wood polymer composite (WPC) formulations in relative humidity conditions corresponding to in-service placement. To expand from WPCs to all NFCs, the micromechanical model needed to be extended to the lignocellulosic polymer length scale. Consequently, she established a collaboration with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to perform material property characterization of lignin and cellulose, the primary polymers in every natural fiber, using atomic force microscopy. Notably, she developed a new low total force AFM technique to measure viscoelastic properties of cellulose nanofibrils.