Dr. Lee's Biography
Supercritical Fluid Technology
Polymerization & Polymer Processing
Water Treatment and Purification
Chlorine Dioxide Technology
Clean and Alternative Fossil Fuel Technologies
Analysis and Characterization
Publications & Patents
In The News
Virtual Lab Tour
Dr. Lee earned both his Bachelor's and Master's degree in Chemical Engineering from Seoul National University, Seoul, KOREA, in 1974 and in 1976, respectively. For his Master's Degree, he was mentored by Professor Chai-Sung Lee. After military duty in his home country, he came to the United States in August 1977 to join the Ph.D. program at Case Western Reserve University, where he received his Ph.D. in 1980 under the advisorship of Dr. John C. Angus.
Dr. Lee joined The University of Akron as Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering in 1980. He was promoted to Associate Professor in 1985, then to Full Professor in 1988. Since 1988, he had also held the title of Robert Iredell Professor, a fully endowed chair-professorship. He also served as Department Head for 1988-1997. At Akron, he founded and led the Process Research Center (PRC), one of the State (OH)'s Centers of Excellence. In 1997, he left Akron to join the University of Missouri (Columbia, Missouri), where he held positions of Chairman and C. W. LaPierre Professor of Chemical Engineering from 1997 to 2005. For 2006-2010, he held the titles of Professor of Chemical & Biological Engineering and UTC Professor of Transportation Fuels, at the Missouri University of Science and Technology, Rolla, Missouri. At Rolla, he founded and directed the Laboratory of Transportation Fuels and Polymer Processing as a stand-alone off-campus R&D facility. Since September 2010, he has held the titles of Russ Ohio Research Scholar in Coal Syngas Utilization, Ohio Eminent Scholar, and Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio. He has founded the Sustainable Energy and Advanced Materials (SEAM) Laboratory as a stand-alone off-campus research center.
Dr. Lee is the recipient of numerous prestigious awards, including the Outstanding Teacher Award in 1987, the Outstanding Researcher Award in 1993, and the first recipient of the Louis A. Hill Award for outstanding professional achievement in 1987. He is the only professor in the University (Akron) history who has received both teaching and research awards from the University’s Alumni Association. He also received a Distinguished Alumni Award from the College of Engineering, Seoul National University in 1994. He was also nominated for the Case Professor of the Year as well as the Edison Electric Institute Award. He was a finalist in 1989 and in 1992. He also received an Outstanding Teacher Award at Missouri S&T in 2009. He is a member (overseas) of National Academy of Engineering of Korea (NAEK). He is a Fellow of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE). He is also an eminent scholar member of Tau Beta Pi, Sigma Xi, and Golden Key National Honors Society, and a distinguished corporate member of the American Society of Patent Holders. In November 2013, he was inducted into the Engineering and Science Hall of Fame (ESHF), and he has officially become the 55th enshrinee to the ESHF. He is the first chemical engineer ever inducted in ESHF history and also the second Asian inductee into this historically honored group of total 56 enshrinees.
He has authored 12 books, edited a multi-volume encyclopedia, and published 9 major research monographs, 37 book chapters, over 150 refereed journal articles, and over 350 proceedings and conference papers. He has been awarded 35 U.S. patents and over 180 international patents, based on his creative research in novel processes and advanced functional products. He has received research grants and contracts for 109 projects totaling over $19.0M as Principal Investigator (PI) and an additional $9.0M as Co-PI for 10 projects. He has also designed and helped design twenty-one pilot plants and eight commercial and demonstration plants. Most of his inventions are being commercially utilized. Throughout his career, he has also taught a total of 32 different subjects in Chemical Engineering as classroom professor at both undergraduate and graduate levels. He has advised and mentored 54 Masters, 37 Ph.D.’s, and 24 Postdoctoral Fellows as their principal advisor.
He is the Editor-in-Chief of Encyclopedia of Chemical Processing (EChP), published in 2006 jointly by CRC Press and Taylor & Francis. This encyclopedia is the most comprehensive and up-to-date in the field of chemical and process engineering. The Encyclopedia is available both as printed multiple volumes and as an online edition, which is being continuously updated and expanded. He is also the Series Editor of the Green Chemistry and Chemical Engineering book series published by CRC Press. The series has more than 20 titles in print and many more under authorship contract. Dr. Lee also serves as Member of the Editorial Board of Energy Sources. He also serves on the International Advisory Board of the journal Energy Technology. He served as the Editor of Reviews in Process Chemistry and Engineering (RPCE). He is currently the U.S. Editor of Korean Journal of Chemical Engineering (KJChE).
His research specialties are in the areas of alternative and transportation fuels, advanced coal technology, biofuels, chemical process engineering, catalysis and catalytic process engineering, polymer synthesis and processing, polymer blends and composites, and novel functional product development. To be specific, they include C1 Chemistry, hydrogen generation, fuel reforming, carbon dioxide conversion, gas cleanup and purification, clean coal technology, methanol and DME synthesis, synthesis of gasoline/diesel/olefins and oxygenates, Fischer-Tropsch, biomass conversion, biofuels, CO2-based oil shale technology, waterless fracking technology for shale gas, green chemistry and technology for petrochemicals, novel supercritical fluid technology, supercritical water oxidation and partial oxidation, supercritical materials processing, supercritical fluid polymerization, reactive polymer processing, biodegradable and bio-based polymers, material compatibilization, nanocomposites and micro-composites, polymer blends, specialty multi-functional films, scale-up and pilot plant studies, commercial process troubleshooting, and high pressure and specialty reactor design.
Dr. Lee has been active in AIChE activities, having served for 12 years in his early career as Program Chair of Solid Fuels and Alternate Energy as well as Program Chair (for 2 years) for Fuels & Petrochemicals Division (F&PD). He has chaired or co-chaired over 50 symposium sessions at the AIChE Annual and National Meetings. As a Fellow of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE), he has been very supportive of the AIChE’s activities and agendas. He also served on the Advisory Board of the International Pittsburgh Coal Conference for eleven years.
Dr. Lee has established unique and strong relationships with many chemical industries in diverse capacities as a university research contractor, as a grantee, as a collaborator, as a consultant, and as an advisor. Such companies include Kimberly-Clark, Dow Chemical, Radian, DRS Technical Services, DRS Sustainment Systems, Goodyear Tire & Rubber, B.F. Goodrich, Atofina Chemicals, TotalFinaElf, Arkema, PPG Industries, Monsanto, AMOCO, Water Technologies, Worrell Water Technologies, Norton Chemical and Process Development, A. Schulman, Bausch & Lomb, Allied Signal, Alberee Automotive Products, IMET Corporation, Xytel, BASF, HVC, TRW, VSE, Midwest Ore Processing, Midwest Environmental Industries, Chemstress, American Plastics Corp., Bicron, Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), Western Research Institute (WRI), Brookhaven National Lab (BNL), and Northern Technologies International Corporation (NTIC).
Advanced Degree Students Advised
Guided and Advised 53 Masters, 38 Ph. D.’s, and 24 Postdoctoral Fellows.
The following equipment is fully functional and in good working order, and is available for full-time in Lee's laboratories. Most of the equipment is modern and state-of-the-art.
DMTA, DMA, GC’s, GC/MS, FTIR, HPLC/GPC, DSC, TGA, XRD, SEM, Rheometer, Instron, Impact Tester, Texture Analyzer, Coulter Counter, BET, Surface Analyzer, Poresizer, S Analyzer, CHN Analyzer, Cl Analyzer, Ash Fusion Analyzer, Proximate Analyzer, Oxygen Bomb Calorimeter, TOC Analyzer, Optical Microscope, Brabender Mixers, Henschel Mixers, 2 Twin-screw Extruders, catalyst extruder, calendaring machine, 3 Single-screw Extruders (2”, 1”, ½”), Injection Molding Machine, Ultracentrifuge, Refrigerated Centrifuge, Spectrophotometers, Autoclaves, Shakers, Flotation Cell, Cream Separator, Fermenters, Walk-in Incubator, Freeze dryer, Cryogenic grinder, Environmental Hood, Grinders and granulators, etc.
Reactor and systems in Lee's laboratories include 9 complete (self-peripheraled) supercritical fluid process minipilot/pilot systems, powder coating investigation system, 4 polymerization and graft-copolymerization reactor systems, supercritical polymerization reactor system, high shear mixing reactors, 5 autoclave based high-pressure catalytic reaction systems for transportation fuels research, 5 specialty high-pressure reactors (Inconel 625, Hastelloy C-276, Haynes 230, Haynes 282), mechanically agitated slurry reactor system for methanol and dimethylether synthesis, hydrogenation process system, continuous bioreactor system, Processall reactor system for large-batch reactive modification of polymers, Buchi and Ace glass reactor systems, Ziegler-Natta Catalytic Reactor System, ClO2 generation systems, continuous fluidized bed reactor for ZSM-type catalysts, coal desulfurization process system, fixed bed and fluidized bed steam stripping systems, 2 PEM fuel cell systems (1.2 kW and 5.0 kW), etc.
List of U.S. Patents