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Dr.Sung-Chul Shin Inaugurated as the 16th President of KAIST
(President Shin delivers his inaugural address at the inauguration ceremony on March 15.) Professor Sung-Chul Shin was officially inaugurated as its 16th president of KAIST on March 15 in a ceremony at the KAIST Auditorium. The celebration began with a procession by dignitaries including the KAIST Board of Trustees Chairman Jang-Moo Lee, the National Academy of Sciences of Korea President Sook-Il Kwun, Daejeon City Mayor Sun-Taik Kwon, National Assemblyman Sangmin Lee, KAIST Alumni Association President Jungsik Koh. Academic leaders, foreign envoys, faculty, students, and staff members of KAIST joined the ceremony. In his inaugural speech, President Shin presented a new vision for KAIST to become a global value creator in the Fourth Industrial Revolution. He said that KAIST has played a pivotal role in the nation’s industrialization and information revolution over the past half century and, with the advent of the new industry paradigm, KAIST should be now responsible for being a new value creator, not only serving the nation but pursuing global betterment. “KAIST should be a global hub of new knowledge and technology creation,” he emphasized. Envisioning a “Global Value-Creative World-Leading University,” President Shin aims for KAIST to be an institution which can create global value as an innovative global leading research university. To realize this vision, he pledged to continue innovation in five areas of education, research & development, technology commercialization, globalization of the campus, and future strategy for the university and the nation. In the educational innovation, he emphasized multidisciplinary studies, team work, and leadership training for students. To this end, KAIST will expand the non-departmental courses toward entire 4-year course while concurrently operating the existing system of declaring a major in students’ second year. KAIST will offer mandatory courses in humanities, social sciences, and arts and most classes will be run by team-based learning and group research activities. “KAIST Global Leadership Center” will support students to develop the qualities required for collaboration and the global leaderships. With respect to the research innovation, President Shin said KAIST will establish “Convergence Research Matrix” system to foster strategic research groups for interdisciplinary and convergence collaboration across a wide range of divisions and departments. “Based on the CRMS, we will identify 10 flagship future-oriented convergence research areas for KAIST to truly claim its reputation as a world-leading research university,” he said. He added he will also introduce the “Collaborative Research Lab” system to better retain the academic successes without interruption, and to improve the continuity of research. “We will strive to organize teams of professors in diverse age groups to work together in mutually complementary fields,” he added. In terms of technological commercialization, he hopes that KAIST to be a role model. He said he will make every effort to establish a resilient R&DB environment with ideas, technologies, and entrepreneurship. KAIST will rev up a new university-industry cooperation, fully sponsoring the creation of “Technology in-Kind Investment Companies.” KAIST will continue to take initiative for globalization. He said KAIST will create an ‘English-Only Zone’ at the campus, saying that his ultimate goal is to create Korean-English bilingual campus. He also asked the foreign community to make their effort to learn Korean and Korean culture while staying at KAIST, in an effort to embrace diversity at the campus. He plans to increase the ratio of foreign faculty from nine percent to 15 percent, while doubling the current foreign student enrollment ratio of five percent. As for the future strategy for the university and the nation, he will soon finalize the long-term strategic plan of “Vision 2031” that will lay out a roadmap for KAIST future direction toward its 60th anniversary. KAIST will also play a fundamental role in shaping national policies and strategies for science and technology by operating think-tank groups that consist of KAIST beyond disciplines. These think-tanks will design detailed development plans for KAIST as well as for national strategies for the advancement of science and technology. He said that such institutional innovation will not be completed without the support, dedication, and passion of all KAIST members, adding that he will strive to serve them with 3Cs (Change, Communication, and Care). For the full text of President Shin’s inaugural address, please click.
KAIST Celebrates the 2017 Commencement
KAIST hosted its 2017 Commencement, awarding diplomas to 2,767 members of the Class of 2017 during a ceremony on February 17. President Sung-Mo Kang, Minister Yang-hee Choi of Science, ICT, and Future Planning, and Chairman of the KAIST Board of Trustees Jang-Moo Lee joined the ceremony along with the graduates and their family and friends at the Ryu Keun Chul Sports Complex. The graduating class included 638 Ph.D. degrees, 1,335 Master’s degrees, and 794 Bachelor’s degrees being conferred. Among them, Young-Ki Song from the Department of Electric Engineering was honored to win the Minister’s Award, the highest award bestowed to an undergraduate. The KAIST Presidential Award went to Min-Jae Park of the Department of Mathematical Sciences and the KAIST Board of Trustee Chairman’s Award was presented to Jae-Hyung Cho from the Department of Mechanical Engineering. Including this year’s graduating class, KAIST has turned out more than 59,000 highly educated science and technology talents including 11,731 Ph.D.s since its foundation in 1971. This year, 24-year-old Seo-Hee Oh earned her Ph.D. in chemistry as the youngest Ph.D. of the year after completing her Master’s and Ph.D. combined course in three years. President Sung-Mo Kang praised the creativity of this graduating class and their excellent ability in his charge, saying, “As future leaders of our society, you are expected to develop a sense of compassion and outstanding professionalism to contribute to the advancement of not only Korea but also the whole world.’ For full text of President Kang’s charge to the graduates, please click.
EWB-KAIST Wraps up Five-Year Project in Nepal
‘Engineers Without Borders-KAIST (EWB-KAIST)’ led by Professor Tae-ho Song from the Department of Mechanical Engineering returned to Korea on January 10 after a two-week project in Nangi, Nepal. EWB-KAIST was established in 2012 by KAIST students and professors. Since then, the team visited Nangi, in the Annapurna region of Nepal, to engage in Appropriate Technology (AT) development projects. The projects included building passive houses and small hydroelectric power, and teaching science education. In particular, passive houses that use straw as an insulator received great a reception from the locals. This was their last visit to Nepal, since the five-year project has now come to an end. Future projects in Mongolia will be led by Professor Buhm Soon Park from the Graduate School of Science and Technology Policy. Professor Song commented, “I am glad that the Nepal project was successfully conducted over the last five years. To make sure the support does not end here, I will personally continue to visit the Himalayas to assist the villagers.” EWB-KAIST is a non-profit organization that conducts activities with the aim of AT development and providing support for less-developed countries in need of the benefits of technology. ( Passive house made of straws by EWB-KAIST team in Nangi, Nepal.)
KAIST Alumni of the Year
(From left Chul-Hwan Kim, president and CEO of Orange Power, Hooshik Kim, president & CEO of Vieworks, Chilhee Chung, presient of Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology, KAIST President Sung-Mo Kang, KAIST Alumni Association President Jung-Sik Ko, Won-Pil Baek, senior vice president for R&D program at Korea Atomic Energy Research Insitute, Hyonho Jung, CEO of Medytox, Jaehwa Kim on behalf of Han-Oh Park, president & CEO of Bioneer Corporation) The KAIST Alumni Association presented the Alumni of the Year award to six of its most accomplished alumni at the New Year dinner held at the Lotte Hotel in Seoul on January 14. KAIST alumni community, which numbers over 500,000, has made a significant impact around the globe in science and technology, industry, education, and the public sector. Each year, the KAIST Alumni Association honors individuals who have made a significant contribution with outstanding leadership through the Alumni of the Year awards. KAIST Alumni Association President Jung-Sik Ko awarded the recipients at the dinner. About 200 alumni, faculty, and students, including KAIST President Sung-Mo Kang, joined the celebration. The 2016 awardees are Dr. Chilhee Chung, president of Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology(SAIT); Dr.Won-Pil Baek, senior vice president for R&D program at Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute(KAERI); Dr.Han-Oh Park, president & CEO of Bioneer Corporation; Dr.Hyonho Jung, CEO of Medytox; Hooshik Kim, president & CEO of Vieworks; and Dr.Chul-Hwan Kim, president & CEO of Orange Power. Dr. Chung of SAIT (MS in physics ’79) played a leading role in developing top-notch system semiconductors and memory device technology while serving as president of the Samsung Electronic Semiconductor R&D Center. He has focused on the development of cutting-edge future technology, the Quantum Dot, by incorporating eco-friendly materials with the highest efficiency and color purity which is cadmium-free. Working at KAERI since 2001, Dr. Baek (Ph.D. in nuclear and quantum engineering ’87) has made contributions to help Korea emerge as a nuclear technology powerhouse. He played a critical role in developing and facilitating a global nuclear safety verification facility dubbed ‘ATLAS.’ Such nuclear technological prowess led the Korean government to advance into the foreign markets, such as exporting nuclear power plants to United Arab Emirates. The CEO of Bioneer, Dr. Park (Ph.D. in chemistry ’87) started a bio-venture in Korea. His company has developed hundreds of reagents, diagnostic kits, and advanced equipment for gene research over two decades. Bioneer has paved the way for establishing a world-class level of infrastructure in genomic technology. By developing the innovative technology "SAMiRNA ™ (Self-Assembled-Micelle-inhibitory-RNA)" that overcomes the problems in drug development, Bioneer presented a new solution for the treatment of incurable diseases. In collaboration with global pharmaceutical companies and research groups, Dr. Park has successfully led joint development in the licensing of new therapeutic medicine candidates for various incurable diseases. Dr. Jung (Ph.D. in biological sciences ’88) founded the bio-pharmaceutical company Medytox in 2000. Medytox is the first company in Korea that commercialized botulinum toxin formulation. Medytox developed the non-animal liquid botulinum toxin formulation for the first time in the world. It successfully localized botulinum preparation that can treat various neurological diseases. Medytox’s new toxin formulation resulted in improving public health care as well as relieving the heavy dependence on importing bio-pharmaceutical products. As the CEO of Vieworks, Kim (MS in physics ’95) succeeded in commercializing of digital X-ray. Especially, it is leading the design of optical and image systems that affect the quality of digital X-ray image. Kim’s company established related technology base, contributing to human health promotion and national industrial development. President Kim of Orange Power (Ph.D. in chemical and biomolecular engineering ’93) is also the founder of the KITE Entrepreneurship Foundation. He launched Biogenix Co., Ltd. and Image and Materials Co. in 2005. In order to nurture an entrepreneurship and start-ups eco-system, he invested 10 billion KRW from the proceeds of the sale of one of his start-ups. In addition, he started Orange Power Co., Ltd. in 2012 to solve the secondary battery heat problem and established a global partnership with Hydro Quebec in Canada, Nexion in UK, Volkswagen of Germany, and Tesla of the US.
KAIST Commencement 2016
KAIST hosted its 2016 commencement ceremony on February 19, 2016 at the Sports Complex on campus. KAIST celebrated the event with five thousand participants including graduating students, faculty, guests, Vice Minister Nam-Ki Hong of Science, ICT and Future Planning of Korea, Chairman Jang-Moo Lee of KAIST's Board of Trustees, and President Jeong-Sik Ko of the KAIST Alumni Association. President Patrick Aebischer of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland, and the former Speaker of the National Assembly of Korea Chang-Hee Kang received honorary doctorates in science and technology for their contributions to the advancement of science and engineering in education and research. KAIST granted 570 doctoral degrees, 1,329 master’s degrees, and 867 bachelor degrees on this day. Yoon-Bum Lee of the Chemistry Department graduated with honors; Woo-Young Jin of the Mathematical Sciences Department received the Chairman’s Award of the KAIST Board and Eun-Hee Yoo of the Biological Sciences Department for the KAIST Presidential Award. Min-Hyun Cho and Yoon-Seok Chang were recipients of the President’s Award of the KAIST Alumni Association and the President’s Award of the University Supporting Association, respectively. President Steve Kang addressed the ceremony and congratulated the graduates, saying, “Now, your task is to make significant contributions to your communities: be leaders in your fields and remain active members of society. Given your academic knowledge and vision for the future, I encourage you to dream big.”
KAIST Wins the Korea Donation for Education Awards 2015
KAIST received the grand prize for the university section at the Korea Donation for Education Awards 2015. The award ceremony took place at Seoul Plaza Hotel on December 15, 2015. The Ministry of Education created the award in 2012 to raise awareness about the need for charitable donations for education and to encourage the public’s participation in such endeavors. Recipients have included private companies, public institutions, non-profit organizations, universities, and individuals who have made notable contributions to education, for example, by offering educational programs or fundraising for such programs throughout a year. Many organizations within KAIST, including the KAIST Center of Donation for Education, the Midam Scholarship Committee, the Donation for Software Education Group, the Chalk Academy, KAIST Student Volunteers, and K-LET, have been collectively recognized for their efforts to develop educational materials and managing academic camps and programs. In addition to the grand prize which KAIST won, the Ministry of Education gave Neung-In Jang, a student pursuing a social entrepreneurship MBA at KAIST, an award for his efforts to provide quality education to teenagers by establishing the Midam Scholarship Committee in 2009. The Scholarship aims to revitalize the culture of donation for education by offering free math and science classes to high school students who are less privileged and by inspiring other universities in Korea to follow suit the committee’s volunteering activities.
KAIST Holds Its Fourth Public Art Exhibition
KAIST hosted an opening ceremony for the annual art exhibition on December 3, 2015 at the KAIST Institute building. The KAIST Art and Design Committee first organized the event in 2012 to promote the integration of art and technology. This year’s event entitled “Understanding the Purpose of an Object” will display 20 art pieces under six themes. Artist Keumhong Lee, Haeyool Roh, Joon Kim, Kyung Lee, and Juhae Yang participated in the exhibition. The names of some of the art pieces include “Feedback Field” by Joon Kim, “Self Action” by Haeyool Roh, and “Net of Time” by Juhae Yang. Juhae Yang believes that, in the digital age, an identity of an object is defined by the traces of light which we read in the information hidden in the barcodes. Based on this interpretation, she transforms the black bars and white spaces into a harmony of colors and sounds. The continuum of colors and sounds in her work arouses time-space synesthesia. Professor Sangmin Bae of the Industrial Design Department, the Director of the KAIST Art and Design Committee, hopes that the exhibition will inspire novel scientific ideas and artistic spirits. The exhibition will remain open to the public until December 20, 2015.
Open KAIST 2015
KAIST’s research environment and its most recent achievements were open to the public. KAIST hosted “Open KAIST 2015” over two days from November 5-6, 2015 in which its 17 departments and three research centers were open to the public. The event is one of the largest events that KAIST holds, which permits such public viewings of its facilities. It is the eighth time it has taken place. During this event, the departments and centers offered 64 programs including laboratory tours, research achievement exhibitions, department introductions, and special lectures. The “Motion Capture System”of Professor Jun-Yong Noh’s lab (Graduate School of Culture Technology) drew particular attention. The “Motion Capture System” expresses human and animal motion in three-dimensional (3D) space using infrared cameras and optic markers, which can then be applied to various industries such as movies, games, and animation. During the program, researchers themselves demonstrated the recording of the movement and its conversion into 3D characters. Professor Yong-Hoon Cho’s laboratory introduced the scientific mechanism behind the Light Emitting Diode (LED) as well as its manufacturing process under the topic:“A to Z of LED Production.” The reserachers explained that how green LED is much more efficient compared to previous light sources and presented applications that how it is widely used in everyday life in smart phones, electronic displays, and other mobile gadgets. Professor Jun-tani of the Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering introduced “Humanoid Robot Nao’s Imitation of Human Motions.” Nao is an autonomous, programmable humanoid robot developed by a French robotics company based in Paris. Nao has an artificial neural circuit, which is the functional equivalent of a human brain, and can thus mimic the subject’s motions through learning. In addition, Professor Hyo-Choong Bang (Department of Aerospace Engineering) in his lecture on “Unmanned Vehicle Research and Nano Satellites” and Professor Hyun Myung (Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering) on his lecture on “Future Civilization Robot System: the Jellyfish Elimination Robotic Swarm and the Wall-Climbing Drone” provided information on the progress of their respective research. KAIST also displayed its most recent research achievements. A lecture on “Information Technology Convergence” offered a showroom for “Dr. M,” which is a mobile healthcare platform. Dr. M is a mobile healthcare system that collects and analyzes biosignals via a smart sensor attached to the human body that shows around 20 advanced technologies. The Satellite Technology Research Center introduced the public to its “Get to Know Satellites” program on Korea’s first satellite “Our Star 1” in addition to showing the satellite assembly room and the satellite communication center. Special lectures were also held for visitors. Professor Min-Hyuk Kim and Hye-Yeon Oh of the School of Computing talked about “Computer Graphics and Advanced Video Technology” and “Man and the Computer,” respectively, from the perspective of non-experts. Another interesting feature was the “Wearable Computer Competition” in which college students held fashion shows with computers attached to their clothes. Professor Jung Kwon Lee, the Dean of the College of Engineering, who led this event, said that “the Open KAIST, which is being held for the eighth time this year, is an excellent opportunity for the general public to experience KAIST’s research environment.” He hoped this could motivate young adults to widen their spectrum of scientific knowledge and raise affection for science.
KAIST and Hanwha Chemical Agree on Research Collaboration
KAIST signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Hanwha Chemical Co., Ltd., a Korean chemical and auto manufacturer, on November 2, 2015 to establish a research center on campus. The research center, which will be named “KAIST-Hanwha Chemical Future Technology Research Center,” will implement joint research projects for five years beginning from 2016 to develop innovative, green technologies that will help the Korean chemical industry boost its global competitiveness and to nurture top researchers and engineers in chemical engineering. The research center will lead the development of next-generation petrochemical materials and manufacturing technology and the establishment of pure high-refining processes which are more energy-efficient and environmentally friendly. KAIST and Hanwha will strive to secure new technologies that have the greatest commercialization potential in the global market. They will also establish a scholarship fund for 15 KAIST doctoral students in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. Many professors from the Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Department including Distinguished Professor Sang Yup Lee, who was listed in the Top 20 Translational Researchers of 2014 by Nature Biotechnology this year, and Professor Hyunjoo Lee who received the Woman Scholar award at the 2015 World Chemistry Conference, will work at the research center. Professor Lee, the head of the research center, said, “Collaborating with Hanwha will give us a strong basis for our efforts to carry out original research and train the best researchers in the field.” Chang-Bum Kim, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Hanwha Chemical, said, “We hope our collaborations with KAIST will go beyond the typical industry and university cooperation. The two organizations will indeed jointly operate the research center, and this will become a new model for industry and university cooperation. We expect that the research center will play a crucial role in the development of new products and technologies to grow the Korean chemical industry.” In the photo, President Steve Kang of KAIST (fourth from left) and CEO Chang-Bum Kim of Hanwha Chemical (fifth from left) hold the MOU together.
KAIST and Chongqing University of Technology in China Open an International Program
With the help of KAIST, Chongqing University of Technology (CQUT) in China established an electrical engineering and computer science program and admitted their first 66 freshmen this fall semester. The joint program was created to foster skilled engineers in the fields of electrical engineering and computer science, which are necessary for the development of the Korean and Chinese Industrial Complex located in Chongqing City. KAIST has provided CQUT with a majority of the program’s curricula currently offered to its students in Daejeon, Korea. Under the jointly administered program, KAIST takes on education and research while CQUT is responsible for student selection and administration. KAIST has dispatched eight professors to teach the related fields in English, and 17 CQUT professors will teach the rest of the curricula. In August 2014, KAIST and CQUT singed a cooperation agreement for education and research exchange and created the CQUT-KAIST Education Cooperation Center, which is headed by Professor Young-Nam Han of the Electrical Engineering Department at KAIST. The two universities will expand their collaboration to include graduate programs by 2016. In the picture below, President Steve Kang of KAIST (right) shakes hands with President Shi Xiaohui of Chongqing University of Technology (left).
KAIST Startups Annually Engage 33,000 People, and Their Sales Total Nearly 10 Billion Dollars
According to a recent study, KAIST startups annually engage 33,000 people, and their sales total nearly 10 billion US dollars. Also amongst 1,245 companies, 50 were listed in stock markets including KOSDAQ and KONEX. President Kang of KAIST commissioned an evaluation of KAIST startups last year. The report consisted of six chapters: current status of entrepreneurs and companies, cross analysis based on individuals’ background and academic degree, annual performance analysis, and current status of startup assistance. The report categorized the startups with respect to the founders’ background. Of 1,245 companies, KAIST alumni founded 929 (74.6%) of the companies under study: 191 (15.3%) were located within the KAIST campuses, 91 (7.3%) were founded by enrolled students, and 74 (2.7%) by professors. The startup founders had different levels of education: 515 (41.4%) founders had master’s degree, 443 (35.6%) Ph.D. degree, and only 213 (17.1%) had only bachelor’s degree as the highest level of education attained. The reason behind the majority of founders having a master’s degree or higher degree is that many people established a startup after obtaining specialized knowledge and skills. Focusing on the founders’ college majors, 719 (70.6%) founders were from the engineering department, 111 (10.9%) from the business administration department, 103 (10.1%) from the natural science department, and 86 (8.4%) from other departments. Looking at the companies' locations, 462 (37.5%) were placed in Seoul, 355 (28.8%) in Daejeon, and 273 (22.2%) in Gyeonggi. By the end of 2013, the total asset of 1,069 companies came to 12 billion and 444 million dollars. Their total sales figure was 10 billion and 13 million dollars, and annual employments summed up to 33,000 people. The companies generated a significant portion of gross regional domestic product (GRDP) in each region. They formed 0.49% of GRDP of Seoul, took up 1.67% GRDP of Gyeonggi, and 5.53% of that of Daejeon. Along with the performance analysis, the report also took a survey of suggestions on future startup assistance and opinions on current startup assistance policies. To a question asking what constituted the most difficult part of startup, 31.7% of respondents answered “attraction of investment,” 22.8% chose “a lack of human resources,” and 16.8% said “consulting” amongst 214 respondents. The study showed that major and medium enterprises face difficulty in finding human resources whereas small businesses experience obstacles attracting investment. Some startups had help from KAIST: 44 startups were provided with the office space, 21 had educational supports, and 18 were supported in research and development. The report demonstrates that startups established by KAIST alumni and members play a key role in the South Korean economy despite KAIST’s short startup history, which began only since the end of 1990s. Based on this report, KAIST plans to listen continuously to the needs of alumni founders, and use those responses as a guide to entrepreneurship education for current students. The Dean of the Office of University and Industry Cooperation, Joongmyeon Bae, who oversaw the publication of this report, said, "As this report is the first in Korea to study the status of alumni startups, it will be incredibly valuable in modifying the startup assistance policies.” To spread an entrepreneurial spirit and start-up cultures in the campus and enhance the startup supporting system, KAIST has founded various startup centers on and off the campus.
The Minister of Education of Kazakhstan Visits KAIST
The Minister of Education of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Aslan Sarinzhipov, and his delegation visited KAIST on June 30, 2015. Dr. Young-Suk Ji, the Chairman of Elsevier, an academic publishing company that publishes medical and scientific literature, arranged the visit. The Kazakh delegation showed great interest in KAIST’s educational system and research programs during their meeting with President Steve Kang of KAIST. In particular, the delegation was most impressed by the startups and entrepreneurship programs established at the KAIST Pangyo Innovation Center. President Kang said, “I hope the Minister’s visit will help inspire more Kazakh students to come to Korea and study at KAIST.” Kazakhstan, located in the northern part of Central Asia, gained its independence in 1991 after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Currently, there are 22 Kazakh students studying at KAIST.
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