SAMPE Names ‘Young Professional of the Year’ Winner

April 26 2021

The Society for the Advancement of Materials and Process Engineering (SAMPE) North America informed the final winner of the Young Professionals Emerging Leadership Award (YPELA), Dr. Lessa Kay Grunenfelder, a Senior Lecturer at the Mork Family Dept. of Chemical Engineering & Materials Science at the Viterbi School of Engineering of the University of Southern California. The award recognizes the achievements of young professionals who have graduated from university and are under the age of 35.
According to Tony E. Saliba, Ph.D., and SAMPE Fellow, “I first met Lessa in 2011 as she participated in the SAMPE University Research Symposium, and I have continued to follow her career and see firsthand the tremendous contributions she has made as a faculty member, as a researcher and author, and through her service to SAMPE and the community. I am confident that she will have a very bright future and continue to contribute significantly to her community and her profession.”

Grunenfelder’s contributions to SAMPE are significant, and go well beyond the symposium:

1. Category Chair, “Workforce Development,” SAMPE 2020
2. Technical committee, “Composites and Advanced Materials Expo,” CAMX 2019
3. Organizing team, “Symposium on Aeronautical and Aerospace Processes, Materials and
Industrial Applications,” SMM-SAMPE-MRS, IMRC 2016
4. Category Chair, “Emerging Materials,” SAMPE Long Beach, 2016
5. Category Chair, “Sustainability: Effective Recycling of Materials,” SAMPE Long Beach, 2016
6. Category Chair, “High Temperature Systems and Structures,” SAMPE Baltimore, 2015
7. Representative, SAMPE University Research Symposium and European Student Symposium, Paris, 2011

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