Materials Scientist Fiona Leek joins MSE as Assistant Professor-in-Residence

By Amanda Song

Fiona Leek, Assistant Professor-in-Residence

The Department of Materials Science and Engineering is pleased to welcome Fiona Leek, Ph.D., a UConn alumna and long-time employee of UConn’s Institute of Materials Science, as an assistant professor-in-residence.

In her new role, Leek will teach undergraduate lab courses and manage the MSE laboratories. She will work with other MSE faculty to enhance student research, coordinate outreach programs, and mentor senior design projects. 

After earning her BA in Museum Science & Archaeology at Wesleyan University in CT, Leek worked as textile conservator treating historic textiles including those owned by major museums such as the Metropolitan and the Smithsonian. ­It was this that sparked her interest in materials science.  She went on to earn a master’s degree in Textile Science and Engineering from North Carolina State University and master’s and doctoral degrees from the Polymer Science Program at UConn. 

Thereafter, Leek worked as a technical expert in the thermal analysis of polymers, foods and pharmaceuticals for T.A. Instruments in Delaware. She later moved to Massachusetts to become a Senior research scientist in corporate analytical at Millipore Corporation, a multinational company providing advanced filtration products to food and pharmaceutical industries and analytical sciences.  Here she managed the polymer analysis facilities and provided polymer expertise for R&D, Manufacturing, QC, Technical Services and Supply Chain,

In 2006, Leek returned to UConn’s Institute of Materials Science (IMS) where she served as the Associate Director of the Industrial Affiliates Program (IAP) for 10 years. She worked with scientists and engineers from a wide variety of Connecticut companies to solve various materials-related challenges using the wide range of analytical tools and faculty expertise within IMS. During this time, she also served as a co-advisor for several MSE Senior Design teams and as a mentor for the Society of Polymer Engineers (SPE) Polymer Graduate Student Chapter and the UConn Connects program. In 2016, she joined Travelers’ Risk Control Lab as a Senior Forensic Scientist where she investigated materials failures as they relate to loss of property, business and personal injury. 

Please join us in welcoming Fiona Leek to the MSE Department.

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