Virtual Lecture: Process-Structure-Property Relations of Polymer Composite Foams

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

On Wednesday, March 24 from 2-3PM (Eastern Time), Professor Molly Shoichet will be hosting a one-hour virtual lecture followed by Q&A (3-4PM) with Professor Patrick Lee from U of T’s Department of Mechanical & Industrial Engineering titled Process-Structure-Property Relations of Polymer Composite Foams.

Register to attend the online event:


Most new polymeric products contain two or more polymers and functional additives resulting in desired properties contributed from each component. Recently, our group is working on: (i) in-situ nano-fibrillated polymer composites, and (ii) micro-/nano-layer coextrusion to tune various structural and foam properties.

Foams can be prepared from any type of plastic by introducing a gas or supercritical fluid (SCF) within the polymer matrix. The applications of microcellular plastics containing billions of tiny bubbles less than 10 microns in size have broadened due to the lightweight characteristics, excellent strength-to-weight ratios, superior insulating abilities, energy absorbing performances, and the comfort features associated with plastic foams, as well as their cost-effectiveness and cost-to-performance ratios.

In this presentation, I will discuss my current research on understanding the process-structure-property relations of multiphase lightweight polymer foam structures and U of Toronto foam processing and characterization capabilities.


Dr. Lee is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering at the University of Toronto.  He received his B.Sc. degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of British Columbia, and then obtained his M.A.Sc. and Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Toronto in 2001 and 2006, respectively.  Then he pursued Postdoctoral study in the Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science at the University of Minnesota.  Dr. Lee began his professional career at The Dow Chemical Company in 2008.  He was a Research Scientist and Project Leader in Dow’s Research and Development organization. Dr. Lee joined the Department of Mechanical Engineering at The University of Vermont as an assistant professor in 2014. Since joining UVM, he created his own research platform on the lightweight and smart composite structures.  He joined the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering at The University of Toronto starting July 1st, 2018.

Dr. Lee’s research areas focus on polymer foam processing and characterization, and processing-structure-property relationships of nano-composites.  He has 55 journal papers, over 100 refereed conference abstracts/papers, 2 book chapters, and 17 filed/issued patent applications. He is the PI or co-PI on domestically and internationally awarded grants from various government agencies and industries. Among his honors, Dr. Lee received the G.H. Duggan Medal from Canadian Society for Mechanical Engineering (CSME) in 2020, the AKCSE Early Achievement Award in 2019, the US National Science Foundation Early Faculty Career Development Award (NSF CAREER) in 2018, the Polymer Processing Society (PPS) Morand Lambla award in 2018, the Hanwha Advanced Materials Non-Tenured Faculty Award in 2017, and 3 best paper awards from the Society of Plastics Engineer (2005, 2 in 2011).

© 2021 Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering