Jennifer Yee, Mechanical Engineering, Assistant Softball Coach
“I hope to one day use my experience as a player to help in bat design.”
If there is one motto that Jennifer Yee has always lived by, it’s to be the best and train accordingly. Whether it be leading the nation in batting average her senior year for the Georgia Tech softball team or making strides as a graduate student
in UMass Lowell’s Baseball Research Center
trying to build better bats, Yee doesn’t settle for mediocre.
Just ask the Canadian Olympic softball team that Yee played for in 2008 and helped finish fourth. They would agree, after Yee led the Olympic tournament in runs batted in.
“It's unfortunate that softball was only able to be an Olympic sport for a short time,” Yee said. “But although [the Olympics] created publicity for me as a player, I still need to prove myself as an engineer. I hope to one day use my experience as a player to help in bat design, but I'm not there yet.”
Yee, from North Delta, British Columbia has hit in the heart of Canada’s national team order for several years. The lefty-swinging Yee was one of the stars of the national team's bronze-medal effort at the 2010 world championships in Venezuela. That same year, she led the NCAA in batting average after connecting at a .568 clip in 62 games as a senior with Georgia Tech. The 5-foot-6 Yee was also part of the Canadian squad that finished fourth at the 2008 Beijing Games.
Yee is pursuing a graduate degree in mechanical engineering
, spending much of her time here on a computer, simulating how bats of assorted materials react to pitches of various velocities. She is also an assistant coach on the UMass Lowell softball team
“It was more of a pipe dream when I was younger, but the more I was able to travel and meet people, the more I was able to realize that I can actually make a career in bat design,” she says. “I'm working on the characterization of softballs and softball bats, then in turn studying their interactions and designing for maximum performance.”
Yee has already received a job offer from Combat sports in Ottawa, where she will work after graduation in spring 2013, helping them become the market leader in composite bats.
“I want to work with athletes and use their feedback to make the best bat possible,” she says. “I'm just trying to take what I've learned to like about bats over the years to design one someday.”