“The entire industry is facing changing regulations based on increased environmental concerns about the use of copper in automotive friction formulations. Dr. Lee is uniquely qualified to spearhead Centric’s research into developing environmentally-friendly and sustainable alternatives,” said Centric Parts President, Dan Lelchuk. “His unique expertise will be a great asset to the Centric Parts team, and will further enhance our research and development capabilities.”
“Because of its unique structure and makeup, copper has been the primary substrate used in friction materials to improve the dissipation of thermal energy, helping prevent fade as brake temperatures go up. The goal is to find a suitable replacement formulation that will improve friction performance characteristics over a wide range of driving conditions – providing stable µ, consistent pedal, improved pad and rotor life, and low NVH,” stated Dr. Poh Wah Lee.
Having earned his bachelors, masters and doctorate degrees from Southern Illinois University (SIU), Dr. Lee comes to Centric following 15 years of research work at that University’s Center for Advanced Friction Studies. While at SIU, Dr. Lee was responsible for research and development of phenolic bonded friction materials for automotive applications, as well as carbon-carbon composite friction materials for aerospace and auto racing applications.
During his tenure at SIU, Dr. Lee was awarded the Dean B. Jefferson Outstanding Staff Award from the College of Engineering, and was published on at least four occasions – including a 2012 SAE white paper entitled, “Development of Cu-free Brake Materials.”
Dr. Lee now joins Centric Parts, the industry leader in brake component engineering, development and testing. Centric's engineers are experts at sourcing parts for analysis and testing using the most advanced data acquisition tools and technology available. Meticulous reverse engineering of every OE part ensures the safety, performance and fitment of every application. Centric also utilizes three Link Engineering brake dynamometers to perform round-the-clock, in-house testing of brake components and systems. No other aftermarket brake company conducts as much testing.
is a leading manufacturer and supplier of aftermarket brake components and systems for cars, work duty vehicles and performance vehicles under the Centric®
labels. Centric continually innovates significant improvements to brake technology for the street and track, having earned four patents along the way. The company was founded in 2000 in Southern California and has enjoyed solid growth every year since. Originally focusing on replacement parts for everyday use, Centric parts has aggressively expanded into the performance market by acquiring StopTech in 2006 and Power Slot in 2007. Today the company operates multiple warehouse and manufacturing facilities totaling over half-a-million square feet and employing over 500 workers.