Thursday, April 22, 2021 DIAMOND BAR, CA – The Society for the Advancement of Materials and Process Engineering (SAMPE) North America, today announced the final winner of the 2020 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

“This year’s ‘Young Professionals Emerging Leadership Award’ finalists were some of the finest we’ve ever had,” said Jerome Berg, Executive Vice President of SAMPE North America. “Ultimately, what set Dr. Grunenfelder apart from her competition was her long-term level of commitment to not just the SAMPE community, but to her students, peers, and the industry. My heartfelt congratulations to Dr. Grunenfelder, I look forward to seeing where her career takes her in the years ahead.”

Media Contact:
Chris Locke

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