Lee obtained a B. S. degree in Chemical Engineering from Seoul National University in Korea in 1959 and both M. S. and doctoral degrees in Chemical Engineering from Columbia University in New York City in 1964 and 1967, respectively.
He joined The Dow Chemical Company in 1967 and retired from Dow in 2002. He is currently holding the appointment of Adjunct Professor in the Department of Paper Engineering, Chemical Engineering and Imaging at Western Michigan University, which has been approved by the Board of University Trustees. He has been also teaching latex technology at the annual Lehigh University and Davos (European) short courses on “Advances in Emulsion Polymerization and Latex Technology” since 1985 and 2000, respectively. He serves as Scientific Advisor for EcoSynthetix Inc. producing renewable biopolymer-based nanoparticle latexes for paper coating and adhesives applications.
His research interests are latex technology, emulsion polymerization, structured latex polymerization, latex particle morphology-property relationships, living radical emulsion polymerization, nanpoarticle latexes, solid and hollow plastic pigments, thermal properties of latexes, dispersion rheology, particle packing, paper coating technology, papermaking, and general coatings technology. He has published more than 50 peer-reviewed papers and made numerous presentations. In particular, he either presented or co-authored more than 15 papers for the past TAPPI Coating Conferences and PaperCons. He holds 27 U.S. patents and more than one hundred international patents.
He received the 1986 TAPPI Coating & Graphic Arts Division Award and Charles W. Engelhard Medallion, was named a TAPPI Fellow in 1991, and received the 2012 TAPPI Gunnar Nicholson Gold medal Award. He received The American Chemical Society Midland Section Award for Outstanding Advancement and Promotion of Chemical Sciences in 1989. In 1992, he received The Saginaw Valley Patent Law Association’s Fire of Genius Award. In 2003, he received the Korea TAPPI Distinguished Service Award. In 1997, he was appointed as Adjunct Professor in the Department of Paper and Printing Science and Engineering at Western Michigan University. He served as Chair for the 2001 Gordon Research Conference on Polymer Colloids. In 2002, he was elected as one of the first two inductees into Dow Latex Hall of Fame that is now defunct. In 2002, he was appointed as a member of the Korea Research Institute of Chemical Technology (KRICT) for a term of 2 years and served on the editorial board for the Journal of Korea TAPPI from 2002 through 2005.
He is listed in “Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in the West”, “American Men & Women of Science”, “Who’s Who in the World”, “Who’s Who in Technology Today”, “Who’s Who in Polymers and Plastics”, etc.