Dr. Lee Pearson has over 35 years of experience developing and applying physics-based measurement systems including ultrasonics, eddy current, thermography, and other NDE and sensor-based test and measurement methods. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in physics from Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah, in 1976 and a Ph.D. in physics from Utah State University, Logan, Utah, in 1982. His Ph.D. dissertation focused on physical optics-based measurement methods and theory for studying thin dielectric films used in optical systems.
He worked as an industrial scientist in aerospace and defense industries for about thirty years of his career and for the most recent years of his career, he has been running his own business. During his career he worked for two solid rocket motor companies/divisions including Hercules Aerospace Division (Magna, Utah) where he worked as a principal investigator and team lead in developing ultrasonic nondestructive evaluation (NDE) technology for composite rocket motor case inspections, and Thiokol Corporation (now Orbital ATK, Promontory, Utah) where he worked as supervisor of the NDE and Sensor Research Group in the Research and Development Laboratories where he participated in and directed research projects that developed ultrasonic methods for characterizing solid rocket motor bondlines, ultrasonic and eddy current techniques for damage and defect detection in composite motor cases. He has helped design and build ultrasonic/eddy current scanning systems for characterization of localized damage in composite structures. He has also helped with the development of ultrasonic and IR thermography techniques to detect debonds and delaminations in solid rocket motor cases and bondlines, ultrasonic methods for monitoring aging propellant and bondlines, and ultrasonic methods for monitoring physical changes in firing rocket motors. He has also held positions in other divisions of Orbital ATK including Chief Scientist/Product Design Manager at the ATK Lake City Army Ammunition Plant in Independence, Missouri, and Chief Scientist/R&D Engineers Manager at the ATK Aerospace Composite Structures Division in Clearfield, Utah.
In August 2011, Dr. Pearson established Box Elder Innovations, LLC and has received significant funding from military and industrial sources to continue his pursuit in development and application of physics-based measurement systems including pulsed electro-acoustic (PEA) measurement methods for Air Force spacecraft charging applications, ultrasonic NDE methods for Army helicopter repair inspections, eddy current methods for industrial applications, ground penetrating radar for finding things such as lost graves in the ground, and small arms ballistics modeling and test equipment.
His career has included considerable efforts in 1) modeling and testing sensors of many types including PVDF piezoelectric sensors, quartz crystal microbalances, dielectric sensors, ceramic piezoelectric sensors, and UV/VIS/IR fiber optic sensors; 2) developing advanced signal processing methods for increasing temporal and spatial resolution in waveform data sets; and 3) developing computer programs for both forward and inverse theoretical models, data analysis, and data acquisition to support the development of a variety of physics-based measurement systems.
As a youth, Dr. Pearson’s father, Glenn L. Pearson, who was a member of the faculty in the College of Religious Instruction at Brigham Young University for many years, taught him to put the scriptures and prophets ahead of the philosophies of men and this has been his model throughout his life.
Articles by Lee H. Pearson