For most Materials Science Engineers, alloys and metals are the main focus of study in college. However, Sunghee Groffy, Lab Technician in Savannah, Ga., has chosen to use her expertise to help our lab perform testing and research for polymer modified asphalts.

Originally from South Korea, Groffy first came to the United States as a foreign exchange student in high school in 2007. She later completed her high school education in South Korea, but returned to the United States and attended the University of Virginia. Here, she completed bachelors degrees in Materials Science Engineering and Mathematics in 2017. She gained experience in quality assurance and logistics prior to joining the team at our Savannah lab.

“It’s my first time working at a lab rather than an office so it’s definitely a different environment,” says Groffy. “I like this better because you get to be much more hands on and set up different parameters for testing and see the results on site.”

Groffy started working at Associated Asphalt in March of 2020, and despite the impact of the pandemic, she feels she’s still been able to get to know her colleagues well.

“We have regular team meetings so I am able to talk to them on a weekly basis,” she says. “A few people I don’t work directly with have also reached out just to say hi and welcome. It’s been great so far.”

While she is enjoying her time and the many opportunities she’s presented with in the States, she still gets a little homesick sometimes. She still stays in close contact with her parents and brother, and hopes they will be able to visit her someday.

“My brother is dying to visit me soon!” she says. “It’s been more than 2 years since I was last with them. Even though they are far away, they’re still the center of my life.”

Outside the Lab

In a recent company newsletter, you offered to share Korean recipes with your coworkers. What’s your favorite Korean dish?

Bulgogi and kimchi!

What hobbies do you enjoy in your free time?

I love spending time with my Dalmation Pitbull mix named BG. I’m also into space documentaries and reading! Recently, I’ve been getting into books and lectures on psychology and modern philosophy.

What’s one of your favorite memories from your first time visiting the United States?

I still remember my first burrito at my favorite Mexican restaurant in Salt Lake City. It’s on my bucket list to go back for a visit!