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Singularity Professors Represent the Future of Research at KAIST
KAIST will launch a Singularity Professor track, which gives more freedom to researchers for pursuing their research goal. This more flexible and creative research environment institutionally supports researchers as they dive deeper into their research for a longer period of time without any strings attached. The track was established in an effort to ensure more competitive researchers who can lead the way for new advances in science and technology. This innovative research initiative is part of KAIST’s expansive effort to envision and position itself to build global research competitiveness in the wake of its 50th anniversary in 2021 and beyond. From this year, KAIST will select two to three research faculty for this special track with full-scale funding for 10 years. Singularity Professors will have their annual performance evaluations waived for 10 years. Instead, their research will be reviewed in their fifth year. The professors in this track will not participate in government-funded R&D projects and be fully funded by KAIST’s endowment. In addition to those newly hired into this track, Singularity Professorships are opens to existing faculty members. The selection criteria are very simple but highly demanding: one who can pivot an existing academic paradigm or invent a new discipline by presenting a novel scientific theory. KAIST recently hosted a briefing session for current faculty members and encouraged them to apply for the new track. As part of the selection criteria, the research topic’s innovativeness, feasibility, and appropriateness will be major factors for this track. Employment under this track will continue for up to 20 years. After receiving an evaluation of Very Satisfactory at the end of first ten-year contract, another ten years will be added. President Sung-Chul Shin, who has pushed for this system since he took office in 2017, said during the briefing session, “It takes quite a long time to bear fruit in academics, especially in science. I am very delighted that KAIST is paving the way for building a longer-term research environment which allows full and longer commitments for research that the faculty is excited to try. That’s the first step to sow the seeds for bearing fruit in academics, especially in science.” This is a paradigm shift to embrace transformation in a new era. The new institutional strategy supports the change from a fast follower to a first mover during these technologically turbulent times. Under its Global Singularity Research Projects initiative, KAIST already selected focus research topics in the most challenging as well as most creative fields of neuro-rehabilitation, new materials, and molecular optogenetics. “Especially in the post-COVID era, we have a very clear mission for the world. Our knowledge should translate into global value that can benefit those suffering from this pandemic, and mitigate the inequity coming from the digital discrepancies,” President Shin added. (END)
The MSE/CBE Int'l Workshop Explores Big Ideas in Emerging Materials
(KAIST President Sung-Chul Shin with scholars participated in the workshop) The MSE/CBE International Workshop brought together editors from key academic journals in multidisciplinary materials science and scholars from leading universities at KAIST on Aug. 7. The workshop hosted ten distinguished speakers in the fields of nanostructures for next-generation emerging applications, chemical and bio-engineering, and materials innovation for functional applications. They explored opportunities and challenges for reinventing novel materials that will solve complex problems. (From left: Professor Buriak, Professor Swager and Professor Il-Doo Kim) Speakers included: Chief Editor of Nature Materials Vincent Dusastre; Editor-in- Chief of ACS NANO and professor at UCLA Paul S. Weiss; Jillian M. Buriak, Editor-in-Chief of Chemistry of Materials; Associate Editor of Macromolecules and professor at MIT Timothy M. Swager; Coordinating Editor of Acta Materialia and Head of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at MIT Christopher A. Schuh; Editor-in-Chief of Biotechnology Journal and Metabolic Engineering and Distinguished Professor at KAIST Sang-Yup Lee; Associate Editor of Energy Storage Materials and professor at KAIST Sang Ouk Kim; Professor Jeffrey C. Grossman at MIT; Professor Zhenan Bao at Stanford University; and Professor Hyuck Mo Lee, head of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at KAIST. Interdisciplinary materials research holds the key to building technological competitiveness in many industrial sectors extending from energy, environment, and health care to medicine and beyond. It has also been the bedrock of KAIST’s scholarship and research innovation. More than 200 faculty members in the field of materials science produce about 800 SCI papers every year. The two departments of materials science and chemical biomolecular engineering are leading KAIST’s global reputation, as they were both ranked 13th and 14th in the QS World University Ranking by Subject this year. (Professor Il-Doo Kim fromt he Department of Materials Science Engineering) Professor Il-Doo Kim from the Department of Materials Science Engineering has been the chair of this workshop from 2016. In hosting the second one this year, he said that he hopes this year’s workshop will inspire many materials scientists to have big ideas and work to make those big ideas get noticed in order to have a real impact. (KAIST President Sung-Chul Shin) President Sung-Chul Shin, who is a physicist specializing in materials physics, expressed his keen interest in the workshop, saying innovative materials made of unthinkable and noble combinations will be the key factor in determining the competitiveness of new technology and new industries. He lauded international collaborations for making new materials and the scholarly passion to evaluate the materials’ characteristics that made this significant progress possible. Dr. Vincent Dusastre, chief editor of Nature Materials, presented recent trends in materials for energy. He described how the rational design and improvement of materials’ properties can lead to energy alternatives which will compete with existing technologies. He pointed out that given the dramatic fundamental and practical breakthroughs that are taking place in the realization of solar cells with high energy-conversion efficiency, the improvement of batteries for electric vehicles and the grid is also a major challenge. He stressed, “Key advances in sustainable approaches beyond Li-ion batteries and control of redox processes are also greatly needed.” Meanwhile, ACS NANO Editor-in-Chief Paul S. Weiss spoke on the importance of heterogeneity in the structure and function of molecules and nanoscale assemblies. He stressed that such extensiveness of multi-interdisciplinary research will accelerate a greater impact as indicated when the fields of neuroscience and microbiome converged with nanoscience and nanotechnology. Editor-in-Chief of Chemistry of Materials Professor Jillian M. Buriak from the University of Alberta described how predictive models and machine learning can replace time consuming empirical device production and screening. By understanding and pinpointing the frustrating bottlenecks in the design of stable and efficient organic photovoltaics, much faster throughput can be obtained to enable a more direct pathway to stability, efficiency, and finally commercialization.
2018 KAIST Research Day Honors Outstanding Research Achievements
(KAIST President Sung-Chul Shin and Professor Jong-Hwan Kim) Professor Jong-Hwan Kim from the School of Electrical Engineering was recognized at the 2018 KAIST Research Day as the Research Grand Prize Awardee. The ten most distinguished research achievements of the past year were also recognized. The Research Grand Prize recognizes the professor whose comprehensive research performance evaluation indicator was the highest over the past five years. The indicator combines the number of research contracts, IPR and royalty income. During the May 25th ceremony, Professor Hyochoong Bang from the Department of Aerospace Engineering and Professor In so Kweon from the School of Electrical Engineering also won the Best Research Award prize. This year, the Research Innovation Award went to Professor Dong Soo Han from the School of Computing. The Research Innovation Award combines scores in the categories of foreign patent registrations, contracts of technological transfer, and income from technology fees, technology consultations, and startups. The Convergence Research Award was given to Professor Junmo Kim from the School of Electrical Engineering and Professor Hyun Myung from the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering. The Convergence Research Award recognizes the most outstanding research team that created innovative research results over a one-year period. President Sung-Chul Shin said, “KAIST has selected the ten most outstanding research achievements of 2017 conducted by our faculty and researchers. All of them demonstrated exceptional creativity, which opens new research paths in each field though their novelty, innovation, and impact.” KAIST hosts Research Day every year to introduce major research performances at KAIST and share knowledge about the research and development. During Research Day, KAIST also announced the ten most distinguished research achievements contributed by KAIST professors during the previous year. They are listed below. ▲ High-Speed Motion Core Technology for Magnetic Memory by Professor Kab-Jin Kim from the Department of Physics ▲ A Double Well Potential System by Professor Jaeyoung Byeon from the Department of Mathematical Sciences ▲ Cheap and Efficient Dehydrogenation of Alkanes by Professor Mu-Hyun Baik from the Department of Chemistry ▲ A Dynamic LPS Transfer Mechanism for Innate Immune Activation by Professor Ho Min Kim from the Graduate School of Medical Science and Engineering ▲ A Memristive Functional Device and Circuit on Fabric for Fibertronics by Professor Yang-Kyu Choi and Professor Sung-Yool Choi from the School of Electrical Engineering ▲ A Hippocampal Morphology Study Based on a Progressive Template Deformable Model by Professor Jinah Park from the School of Computing ▲ The Development of a 6-DOF Dynamic Response Measurement System for Civil Infrastructure Monitoring by Professor Hoon Sohn from the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering ▲ Cooperative Tumour Cell Membrane Targeted Phototherapy by Professor Ji-Ho Park from the Department of Bio and Brain Engineering ▲ HUMICOTTA: A 3D-Printed Terracotta Humidifier by Professor Sangmin Bae from the Department of Industrial Design ▲ Ultrathin, Cross-Linked Ionic Polymer Thin Films by Professor Sung Gap Im from the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
2017 KAIST Research Day Honors Professor Hoon Sohn
The 2017 KAIST Research Day recognized Professor Hoon Sohn of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering as Research Grand Prize Awardee in addition to the 10 most distinguished research achievements of the past year. The Research Grand Prize recognizes the professor whose comprehensive research performance evaluation indicator is the highest over the past five years. The indicator combines the factors of the number of research contracts, IPR, royalty income, as well as research overhead cost inclusion. During the ceremony, which was held on May 23, Professor Jun-Ho Oh of the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Professor Sang Yup Lee of the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering also won the Best Research Award. The two professors had the best scores when evaluating their research performance for one-year periods. Meanwhile, the Research Innovation Award went to Professor YongKeun Park of the Department of Physics. The Research Innovation Award scores the factors of foreign patent registration, contracts of technological transfer and income from technology fees, technology consultations, and startups and selected Professor Park as the top winner. Professors Yong Hee Lee of the Department of Physics and Jonghwa Shin of the Department of Material Science won the Convergence Research Award. The Convergence Research Award recognizes the most outstanding research team who created innovative research results for a year. After the ceremony, President Chen Shiyi of the Southern University of Science and Technology gave a distinguished lecture on the “Global & Entrepreneurial Universities for the Age of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.” the Research Day ceremony, KAIST also presented the ten most distinguished research achievements made by KAIST professors during the last year as follows (Click): ▲ Commercialization of 3D Holographic Microscopy by Professor YongKeun Park of the Department of Physics ▲ Designer Proteins with Chemical Modifications by Professor Hee-Sung Park of the Department of Chemistry ▲ Lanthanum-Catalyzed Synthesis of Microporous 3D Graphene-Like Carbons in a Zeolite Template by Professor Ryong Ryoo of the Department of Chemistry ▲ Complete Prevention of Blood Loss by Self-Sealing Hemostatic Needles by Professor Haeshin Lee of the Department of Chemistry ▲ An Immunological Mechanism for the Contribution of Commensal Microbiota Against Herpes Simplex Virus Infection in Genital Mucosa by Heung Kyu Lee of the Graduate School of Medical Science and Engineering ▲ Development of a Pulse-Echo Laser Ultrasonic Propagation Imaging System by Professor Jung-Ryul Lee of the Department of Aerospace Engineering ▲ Bi-refractive Stereo Imaging for Single-Shot Depth Acquisition by Professor Min H. Kim of the School of Computing ▲ Development of Environment Friendly Geotechnical Construction Material Using Biopolymer by Professor Gye-Chun Cho of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering ▲ Protein Delivery Via Engineered Exosomes by Professor Chulhee Choi of the Department of Bio and Brain Engineering ▲ Hot Electron Detection Under Catalytic Reactions by Professor Jeong Young Park of the Graduate School of EEWS. After the ceremony, President Chen Shiyi of the Southern University of Science and Technology gave a distinguished lecture on the “Global & Entrepreneurial Universities for the Age of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.” (Photo:President Shin poses with the 2017 KAIST Research Grand Prize Winner Professor Hoon Sohn on May 23.)
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