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Upbeat Message for a New Future at President Lee’s Inauguration
KAIST’s 17th President Kwang Hyung Lee reaffirmed his commitment to building a new future preparing for the post-AI era during his inauguration on March 8. The Board of Trustees selected the former provost and executive vice president as the new president, succeeding 16th President Sung-Chul Shin whose four-year term expired last month. In his inaugural address, President Lee proposed a new culture strategy, ‘QAIST’ designed to foster more creative talents and ensure innovative research infrastructure. He said that the best way to stand out as a leading global university is to carve out our own distinctness. The ceremony was live streamed via YouTube due to the social distancing guidelines, with a very limited number of distinguished guests attending. Among them were President Lee’s former student Jung-Ju Kim who started Nexon, now the world’s most popular online game company, and former Chairman of the Board of Trustees Moon-Soul Chung who President Lee worked with when he made the endowment for establishing the Department of Bio and Brain Engineering in 2001 and the Moon Soul Graduate School of Future Strategy in 2013. In his induction speech, Chairman Woo Sik Kim of the Board of Trustees said that President Lee is a proven leader who has deep insight and passion and he will help KAIST make a new leap forward. “I believe that Professor Lee will be the right leader at this critical moment for the university, ushering in a new future for KAIST as it turns 50 this year.” President Lee explained that for the next 50 years, KAIST should double down to identify the challenges humanity faces, then define and resolve them with unyielding innovations in education, research, technology commercialization, and internationalization. “We definitely should pull together to produce sustainable global value that will serve the prosperity and happiness of all humanity, not only our nation. We will become one of the top 10 universities in the world when we realize all these goals. We can live up to the people’s expectations by producing creative global talent, staying ahead of new research topics, and producing corporations that will lead the nation’s industries.” “To this end, I will continue to strive to help us achieve our mission of becoming a ‘Global Value Creative Leading University’ as described in KAIST Vision 2031. I will do my utmost to bring about the ‘KAIST New Culture Strategy, QAIST’ for a post-AI era.” He added that he would like to inspire students and faculty to have more humanistic approaches in their education and learning. The ‘Q’ in “QAIST” refers to questioning. President Lee believes that the learning starts with questions and being curious about something. “We will innovate the educational system to have them question everything.” Then, he said that he will focus on ‘A’dvanced research to prepare for the post AI-era. “We should be the first mover who can define and solve new problems. It’s more important to be the ‘first’ one than the ‘best’ one.” He also said he will create a new culture that failing would not be stigmatized, offering more chances after failing. ‘I’nternationalization is another vision the new president will continue to pursue. He plans to embrace greater diversity on the campus to achieve goals of 15% international faculty, 25% female faculty, and 15% international students by reshaping the recruiting policy. He will continue to expand KAIST campuses overseas. ‘S’tartup and technology commercialization will be the crucial areas where the president will make innovations. “I will fully support any startups at KAIST. I encourage every lab to start a startup,” he stressed. President Lee said he plans to increase KAIST’s annual revenue from technology commercialization fees to 100 billion KRW in 10 years, a step to secure financial independence. He plans to privatize the Institute of Technology Value Creation, which is responsible for technology commercialization at KAIST to enhance its competitiveness. ‘T’rust building is the prerequisite value for creating transparent and reliable management in finance and HR. President Lee said he would like to make a new organizational culture that will be more ethical, responsible, and autonomous with a high standard of integrity. His predecessor, President Sung-Chul Shin lauded his successor in his congratulatory speech saying, “He is a president prepared for this job.” “I have known him for more than 30 years. He is a man of action. With unparalleled ideas and prompt execution, he carried out all his duties efficiently for the Committee of Vision 2031 that he chaired, and played a central role in establishing the full vision of KAIST. First and foremost, he is a man of great passion, with a firm vision but a warm heart.” Nexon founder and Chairman Jung-Ju Kim also made an emotional tribute to his former professor. Holding back tears, he said, “I was not a good student. I was struggling in my graduate courses so I had to drop out of my PhD course. But Professor Lee and his wife never gave up on me. They were so kind to me and were always encouraging despite my disappointing days. I am now ready to do something good for KAIST, for Professor Lee, and for the future of our society. I believe that President Lee will guide us down the new path for KAIST.” IDIS Holdings CEO Young-Dal Kim also attended the ceremony to congratulate his former professor on his inauguration. (END)
Cross-Generation Collaborative Labs Open
KAIST opened two cross-generation collaborative labs last month. This novel approach will pair up senior and junior faculty members for sustaining research and academic achievements even after the senior researcher retires. This is one of the Vision 2031 innovation initiatives established to extend the spectrum of knowledge and research competitiveness. The selected labs will be funded for five years and the funding will be extended if necessary. KAIST will continue to select new labs every year. A five-member selection committee including the Nobel Laureates Professor Klaus Von Klitzing at the Max-Planck Institute for Solid State Research and Dr. Kurt Wüthrich from ETH Zürich selected the first two labs with senior-junior pairs in March. (Two renowned scholars' Cross-Generation Collaborative Labs which opened last month. Distinguished Professor Lee's lab (above) andChair Professor Sung's lab) Both labs are run by world-renowned scholars: the Systems Metabolic Engineering and Systems Healthcare Laboratory headed by Distinguished Professor Sang-Yup Lee in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and the Acousto-Microfluidics Research Center for Next-Generation Healthcare led by Chair Professor Hyung Jin Sung in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. Distinguished Professor Lee will be teamed up with Professor Hyun Uk Kim, and their lab aims to mass produce new eco-friendly chemical materials as well as higher-value-added materials which will be used for medicine. The new platform technologies created in the lab are expected to provide information which will benefit human healthcare. Meanwhile, the Acousto-Microfluidics Research Center for Next-Generation Healthcare will team up with Professors Hyoungsoo Kim and Yeunwoo Cho under Chair Professor Sung. The lab will conduct research on controlling fluids and objects exquisitely on a micro-nano scale by using high-frequency acoustic waves. The lab plans to develop a next-generation healthcare platform for customized diagnoses as well as disease treatment. KAIST President Sung-Chul Shin, who introduced this novel idea in his research innovation initiative, said that he hopes the Cross-Generation Collaborative Labs will contribute to honoring senior scholars’ research legacies and passing knowledge down to junior researchers in order to further develop their academic achievements. He said, “I sincerely hope the labs will make numerous research breakthroughs in the very near future.”
President Shin Reaffirms Innovation Initiatives in New Year Speech
(President Shin and representatives of faculty, students, staff celebrate the New Year in a reception held on January 2 at the auditorium.) The KAIST community gathered to celebrate a fresh start for the year 2018. At the ceremony, held in the auditorium on January 2, members of KAIST community reaffirmed their commitment to be the trailblazers of Korea and beyond through unwavering innovations. President Sung-Chul Shin presented his new vision and plan in his New Year speech, which focused on innovation for enhancing institutional competitiveness and global visibility. He said that as you are the future of KAIST, KAIST is the future of Korea. KAIST’s vision for a better future will have a significant impact on national progress and beyond. He stressed that innovation in the five pillars of education, research, technology commercialization, globalization, and future strategy will further advance the excellence of KAIST. At the ceremony, President Shin also presented the award for ‘the KAISTian of the Year’ to Professor YongKeun Park of the Department of Physics. The annual award recognizes a distinguished professor whose academic accomplishments made the most significant impact. In his New Year speech, President Shin said that the year 2018 will provide an opportunity to take a leap forward for becoming a ‘Global Value Creative, World-Leading University. The Vision 2031 Committee endorsed the five innovation initiatives to fulfill KAIST’s long-term vision and will open its recommendations to the public on March 20. Educational innovation tops the initiatives. President Shin explained that the future of Korea is in the hands of talented individuals in science and technology, emphasizing the need to nurture creative, transdisciplinary talents with the capacity to enhance the social value of science and technology. To this end, KAIST will establish a new undergraduate non-departmental program for transdisciplinary education. This plan will eventually provide students with more options in choosing their major, as well as help students build a strong foundation in basic science and engineering and encourage multidisciplinary approaches. For creating an innovative institutional research infrastructure, KAIST plans to build a Network of Excellence for the Fourth Industrial Revolution (NExFire) for convergence research. The plan of ‘Cross-Generational Collaborative Labs,’ will bring out a new collaboration platform by pairing up senior and junior faculty. President Shin said it will be a stepping stone to extend the spectrum of knowledge without any cessation. For technology commercialization, KAIST will maximize its intellectual property and economic value by stimulating technology-invested companies and startups. Close cooperation with venture capitalists at home and abroad will further accelerate the commercialization drive at KAIST. Saying that the globalization is no long an option but a necessity, he stressed KAIST will strengthen its efforts to established a bilingual campus. “KAIST will make every effort to create a more welcoming and comfortable atmosphere for the international community and their families. We will expand benefits to our international community, such as access to the KAIST Child Care Center and collaboration with the Taejon Christian International School (TCIS),” he said. President Shin added he will further expand global networks and partnerships this year, participating in a diverse range of international events at home and abroad for increasing global visibility. He also said that well-designed future strategies will complete innovation initiatives. The Future Strategy Research Center will serve as a think tank for identifying future agendas, establishing strategies and advocating for them. In addition to the five innovation initiatives, President Shin emphasized a new organizational culture that embraces inclusiveness and mutual respect among all of the members of KAIST. “So far, the ideal qualifications expected of KAISTians have included creativity and a challenging spirit. From now on, we will nurture talents with a focus on the 3Cs: Creativity, Challenge, and Caring. I would like to make a campus in which all members care for each other to help attain mutual growth with warmth and respect," he said. For the full text, Click
Dr. Sung-Chul Shin Selected 16th President of KAIST
(President Sung-Chul Shin) The KAIST Board of Trustees elected Professor Sung-Chul Shin of the Department of Physics the 16th president of KAIST on February 21. Professor Shin succeeds President Sung-Mo Kang whose four-year term will end on February 23. He is the first KAIST alumnus to serve as its president. The Board of Trustees announced, “We believe that Professor Shin’s scientific achievement, outstanding leadership, and clear vision will serve KAIST faculty, students, and staff very well. He will be the best person to help KAIST leap forward in the four years ahead.” The newly-elected president said, “I am humbled and honored to have been elected to lead such a prestigious institute of Korea. Aiming to be one of the top ten global universities, KAIST will continue to innovate its systems.” Previously, Dr. Shin led the Daegu Gyeongbuk Institute of Science and Technology (DGIST) for six years as president since 2011. Professor Shin joined the KAIST faculty in 1989. He graduated from Seoul National University and then earned his MS degree in condensed matter physics at KAIST in 1977. After earning his Ph.D. in material physics at Northwestern University in 1984, he worked at Eastman Kodak Research Labs as a senior research scientist for five years. Before heading to DGIST, President Shin held key administrative positions at KAIST from the early 1990s including dean of planning, dean of the international office, and vice-dean of student affairs. During President Robert Laughlin’s tenure, the first foreign president at KAIST, he served as vice-president for two years from 2004. He also served on the Presidential Advisory Council on Science and Technology of the Korean government as vice chairperson from 2015 to 2016. A renowned scholar in the field of nanoscience, President Shin’s research focuses on the artificial synthesis and characterization of nonmagnetic materials, magnetic anisotropy, and magneto-optical phenomena. He leads the Laboratory for Nanospinics of Spintronic Materials at KAIST and has published in 290 journals while holding 37 patents. A fellow in the American Physical Society (APS) since 2008, he was the president of the Korean Physical Society from 2011 to 2012. He has been on the editorial board of J. Magnetism and Magnetic Materials from 2009 and was the first Korean recipient of the Asian Union of Magnetics Societies (AUMS) Award, which recognizes outstanding scientists in the field of magnetics. President Shin envisions making KAIST’s research and education more competitive through continuing innovation. His innovation efforts will extend to the five key areas of education, research, technology commercialization, globalization, and future planning. Among his priorities, he emphasizes multidisciplinary studies and leadership training for students. He plans to focus on undeclared major courses for undergraduates to help them expand their experience and exposure to diverse disciplines. This approach will help create well-rounded engineers, scientists, and entrepreneurs by enabling them to develop skills while leveraging a strong connection to the arts, humanities, and social sciences. To better respond to Industry 4.0, which calls for convergence studies and collaborative work, he proposed establishing a ‘Convergence Innovation System’ by strategically selecting 10 flagship convergence research groups. In order to accelerate the technology commercialization and ecosystem of start-ups, he will strengthen entrepreneurship education, making it a prerequisite requirement for students. President Shin said he will spare no effort to incubate and spin-off ventures in which KAIST technology is being transferred. For globalization efforts, he plans to increase the ratio of foreign faculty from 9 percent to 15 percent, while doubling the current foreign student enrollment ratio of 5 percent. For future strategic innovation, he will implement a long-term innovation strategic plan dubbed ‘Vision 2031.’
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