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Reasons for Hope: Jane Goodall Lectured at KAIST
Dr. Jane Goodall, globally acknowledged chimpanzee researcher and environmental activist, was invited to KAIST and gave a lecture on the importance of preservation and restoration of the ecosystem on the earth. The lecture took place on the 28 of September at the university’s auditorium from 5PM to 7PM. The lecture, titled “Reasons for Hope: Celebrating 50 Years of Chimpanzee Research,” was organized to celebrate her longtime career as a primatologist and anthropologist. The visiting of Dr. Jane Goodall, who had dedicated a long period of time in spreading the significance of the diversity of life, gave a meaningful opportunity to increase the Korean public’s awareness of life’s diversity. This lecture was jointly sponsored by Ehwa Woman’s University and KAIST, and the lecture was translated by Professor Choi Jae-Chun of Ehwa University.
"Our addiction to oil is the major cause of global warming."
Joongang Daily, one of the major newspapers in Korea, interviewed Professor John Spengler from Harvard University, an internationally renowned scholar in environmental science, who visited Korea for a conference. He mentioned KAIST’s online electric vehicle (OLEV) during the course of interview. The paper interviewed him on a wide range of environmental issues, and below is a translation of the original Korean article. For the Korean article, please download the attached picture file. “Our addiction to oil is the major cause of global warming.” Interview with Professor John Spengler from Harvard University—he is an internationally renowned scholar in environmental science. By Chan-Soo Kang, Joongang Daily September 3, 2010 “The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico by British Petroleum (BP), a multinational oil company, took place against the backdrop of our addition to oil,” said Professor John Spengler (66 years old) from Harvard University on September 2. “The fact that we are addicted to oil means we are obsessed with mobility as well. Throughout the history of mankind, there has never been the time when we move from one place to another as frequently as today and are dependent on fossil fuels as much as today.” Visiting Korea to attend a conference co-sponsored by International Society of Exposure Science (ISES) and International Society of Environmental Epidemiology (ISEE) that was held at Coex in Seoul from August 28 to September 2, he gave his speech at plenary talks of the conference on the a topic titled, “Our health is our planet.” Professor Spengler is an internationally well-known expert in the research of indoor air pollution and environmental exposures of chemical compounds. At the conference, he mostly talked about an ecological catastrophe resulted from the explosion of an oil rig operated by BP in the Gulf of Mexico. He pointed out, “It’s been a problem that oil companies are more willing to take risks of exploring dangerous places to obtain oil as the demand for oil has increased. Excessive oil consumption cannot help but lead to global warming.” “Particularly,” he said, “the unusual climate events, frequently happening in recent years, including severe heat wave and drought in Russia this summer, are somewhat expected to occur by weather forecast models. However, it seems that the extreme weather patterns are taking place more frequently, and accordingly, we are facing more severe effects of weather conditions.” Professor Spengler emphasized that “We should change our diet and lifestyle to reduce the stress put on our ecosystem, such as getting protein from vegetables rather than from fish or meat and having a habit of curtailing energy consumption.” “While I’m here, I have a chance to see an online electric vehicle (OLEV) developed by KAIST. If this technology is applied, we can reduce environmental problems as such,” he assessed the development of OLEV. He also said that “the State of Utah in the US has expressed its intention to adopt the OLEV technology.” With regard to his research focus on indoor air pollution, Professor Spengler said, “We are having problems like “New House Syndrome” because we try to build a house with cheap materials. Governments should set a standard and control pollutants released from building materials in order to reduce risks resulted from indoor air pollution.” He argued, “In the early 1990s, when the Irish government introduced an enhanced regulation of air pollution in Dublin, the mortality rate of the city in that winter dropped dramatically.” “It’s been proven that as fine particle pollution gets worse, more patients with cardiovascular diseases die. Therefore, we need to make efforts to reduce the air pollution.” “Compared with other nations,” Professor Spengler estimated Korea as a nation that “definitely improved its air quality by introducing buses with a Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) engine to its public transportation system.” (End)
Bioengineers develop a new strategy for accurate prediction of cellular metabolic fluxes
A team of pioneering South Korean scientists has developed a new strategy for accurately predicting cellular metabolic fluxes under various genotypic and environmental conditions. This groundbreaking research is published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA (PNAS) on August 2, 2010. To understand cellular metabolism and predict its metabolic capability at systems-level, systems biological analysis by modeling and simulation of metabolic network plays an important role. The team from the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), led by Distinguished Professor Sang Yup Lee, focused their research on the development of a new strategy for more accurate prediction of cellular metabolism. “For strain improvement, biologists have made every effort to understand the global picture of biological systems and investigate the changes of all metabolic fluxes of the system under changing genotypic and environmental conditions,” said Lee. The accumulation of omics data, including genome, transcriptome, proteome, metabolome, and fluxome, provides an opportunity to understand the cellular physiology and metabolic characteristics at systems-level. With the availability of the fully annotated genome sequence, the genome-scale in silico (means “performed on computer or via computer simulation.”) metabolic models for a number of organisms have been successfully developed to improve our understanding on these biological systems. With these advances, the development of new simulation methods to analyze and integrate systematically large amounts of biological data and predict cellular metabolic capability for systems biological analysis is important. Information used to reconstruct the genome-scale in silico cell is not yet complete, which can make the simulation results different from the physiological performances of the real cell. Thus, additional information and procedures, such as providing additional constraints (constraint: a term to exclude incorrect metabolic fluxes by restricting the solution space of in silico cell) to the model, are often incorporated to improve the accuracy of the in silico cell. By employing information generated from the genome sequence and annotation, the KAIST team developed a new set of constraints, called Grouping Reaction (GR) constraints, to accurately predict metabolic fluxes. Based on the genomic information, functionally related reactions were organized into different groups. These groups were considered for the generation of GR constraints, as condition- and objective function- independent constraints. Since the method developed in this study does not require complex information but only the genome sequence and annotation, this strategy can be applied to any organism with a completely annotated genome sequence. “As we become increasingly concerned with environmental problems and the limits of fossil resources, bio-based production of chemicals from renewable biomass has been receiving great attention. Systems biological analysis by modeling and simulation of biological systems, to understand cellular metabolism and identify the targets for the strain improvement, has provided a new paradigm for developing successful bioprocesses,” concluded Lee. This new strategy for predicting cellular metabolism is expected to contribute to more accurate determination of cellular metabolic characteristics, and consequently to the development of metabolic engineering strategies for the efficient production of important industrial products and identification of new drug targets in pathogens.”
KAIST introduced environmentally friendly public transportation to Seoul Grand Park.
KAIST introduced environmentally friendly public transportation to Seoul Grand Park. First step toward the commercialization of Online Electric Vehicle (OLEV) An online electric vehicle (OLEV) developed by KAIST replaced a trackless combustion-engine train running inside Seoul Grand Park in Gwacheon City, South Korea. On March 9, 2010, Seoul City and KAIST celebrated the completion of OLEV that picks up electricity from power cables buried underground through a non-contact magnetic charging method, called electromagnetic induction. Electromagnetic induction is the process of inducing electric current in a coil with the help of a magnet. The pickup unit installed underneath OLEV collects electricity from a roadway and distributes the power either to operate the vehicle or for battery storage. Whether running or stopped, OLEV constantly receives electric power through the underground cables. As a result, OLEV mitigates the burden of equipping electric automobiles with heavy, bulky batteries—OLEV’s battery size is one-fifth that of the batteries installed in electric vehicles currently on the market. There is no need to establish massive charging stations or to set aside much time for recharging. If the underground power lines installed on road curbs, bus stops, parking lots, and intersections, the power system could support a substantial portion of public transportation: For example, KAIST estimates that by establishing 20% of the road infrastructure for a bus route in Seoul City, the city could offer its citizens the online electric buses. The non-contact charging of vehicles while running, idling, or parking is an important and practical technology necessary for the development of commercialized electric vehicles. This technology solves many of the issues related to the current batteries of electric vehicles, including size, expense, and repair/maintenance. In addition, non-contact charging is safer because it prevents potential electrical hazards, such as electric shock, that result from direct contact with power sources. Furthermore, it is more convenient to drive vehicles without overhead wires directly connected to power lines, as is necessary for streetcars and trams. The recharging strips are divided into several meters of segments in length, and vehicles receive the power each time they pass over one. In other words, a sensor is affixed within each segment. When a car with the pickup equipment drives over the segment, the sensor is turned on for the car to receive electricity. This means that when a car without the pickup equipment passes over the segment, it will not collect any electricity. The power supply via on/off switch (sensors) relieves safety concerns about electromagnetic field (EMF). Pedestrians or cars without the pickup unit will not be exposed to EMF because the sensor embedded in the segments will not work, thus no electricity generated. In addition, even under the circumstance of EMF yield, the test results for OLEV are well below the 1998 the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) guideline, 62.5mG at 20khz. OLEV’s EMF test results range from 20mG (inside OLEV while running) to 50mG (around OLEV while parking). When talking about a wireless energy transfer such as electromagnetic induction, the most critical issue is how to reserve an air gap of 12cm (in accordance with Korean law) between the surface of roads and the bottom of vehicles while having 60% power transmission efficiency or above. There was a similar research done in the US at University of Berkley—their research was considered unsuccessful because they obtained an air gap of 5-7cm with 60% maximum level of efficiency. Besides, their electromagnetic field (EMF) was quite high (2000A), and they were unable to bring down the high cost of installing power supply system. By contrast, for the first time in the world, KAIST has succeeded to obtain 12cm (and up to 17cm) of air gap with more than 70% efficiency level of power transmission. The EMF is also well below the international standard of 62.5mG. In a nutshell, KAIST has achieved a core technology in terms of capacity, efficiency, and EMF to develop electric vehicles for commercial use. The city government of Seoul and KAIST signed a Memorandum of Understating (MOU) on the development of an online electric vehicle in August 2009. Against the backdrop of the public’s increased awareness of environmental pollution and the depletion of fossil fuels, the two organizations agreed to introduce eco-friendly vehicles to the city’s public transportation, beginning with the introduction of a trial version of OLEV to places like an amusement park, bus terminal, airport, shopping mall, and the like. KAIST’s OLEV research team is made up of experts from a variety of fields, including electrical and electronics engineering, computer sciences, civil engineering, information technology, and mechanical engineering. OLEV’s success at Seoul Grand Park is a result of KAIST’s innovative initiatives on convergence research, and KAIST has submitted more than 120 applications for patents right in connection with the development of OLEV. Online Electric Vehicle at Seoul Grand Park In terms of power transmission efficiency, KAIST’s research team achieved a maximum pick-up capacity of 62kw/h, 74% with an air gap height of 13cm from a road to the bottom of a vehicle. Composed of one engine and three passenger cars, OLEV travels along a total length of 2.2km beltway. There are four sections of power supply infrastructure established on the route (Sections 1, 2, and 3: 122.5 meters long each, and Section 4: 5 meters long). The power supply cables were laid underground for a total of 372.5 meters, 16% of the total distance of the 2,200 meter route.
Prof. Woo's Team Discovers Eco-Friendly Solid-Oxide Fuel Cell System
A KAIST research team led by Prof. Seong-Ihl Woo of the Department of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering has found a method to use glycerol, a byproduct from the production of biodiesel, as fuel for solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC), university authorities said on Tuesday (Oct. 27). The research finding shows that glycerol can be an environmentally sustainable fuel when it is used for operating SOFCs with internal reforming, instead of hydrogen and methane. The finding was published in the Oct. 14, 2009 online edition of ChemSusChem, a sister journal of Angewandte Chemie, the world"s leading chemistry journal. Biodiesel is an attractive alternative energy source because of its low sulfur content and demand is growing worldwide as oil price soars. Bio-derived glycerol will not contribute to the greenhouse effect and has the potential to contribute to reducing global warming. Currently, glycereol is used as a raw material in the cosmetic, pharmacy, food, and tobacco industries. However, its supply exceeds its demand as the volume of biodiesel production increases. The production of 1 ton of biodiesel produces 0.1 ton of glycerol. Many researchers have investigated various routes for the consumption of surplus glycerol. The research is expected to contribute to sustainable growth by reducing the emissions of carbon dioxide and reusing generated carbon dioxide for the production of biomass. The new method enables manufacturers to use glycerol as a fuel for operating SOFC.
KAIST Secures Top Ranking of Korean Universities
KAIST won the No. 1 position for the second year in a row in the daily JoongAng Ilbo"s university rankings for 2009. Seoul National University took back the No. 2 spot, followed in order by POSTECH, Korea and Yonsei universities. The survey was conducted in the four categories, educational environment/finance, professors" research, general reputation/social advancement and globalization. KAIST scored 293 points out of possible 400 this year, while the second-ranking SNU and third-ranking POSTECH earned 234 and 226 points, respectively. The daily noted that KAIST particularly excelled in the category of educational environment/finance. It observed that donations to KAIST surged almost 100 times for the past three years since 2006 when President Suh took office. In specific rankings of universities by academic disciplines, SNU came in first overall. KAIST topped in the science and engineering field, while Korea University ranked first in liberal arts studies. This year, 88 four-year universities participated in the survey. The daily JoongAng Ilbo started its annual evaluation of Koran universities in 1994 to stimulate productive competition among institutions of higher learning and to provide objective standards for students and their parents to select schools for application. For more information, news.joins.com/article/391/3789391.html
Prof. Park to Receive HP's Annual Innovation Research Award
Prof. In-Kyu Park of the Department of Mechanical Engineering, KAIST, has been will receive an award from Hewlett-Packard"s second annual Labs Innovation Research Program, university authorities said on Wednesday (July 8). Prof. Park was chosen as the winner of the research award for his paper entitled "Eco-friendly nanomanufacturing for intelligent environment sensing applications." Sixty projects from 46 universities in 12 countries were selected as the recipients of the awards from HP Labs, the company"s central research arm. The program is designed to create opportunities for colleges, universities and research institutes to conduct collaborative research with HP. HP Labs Innovation Research Awards provide project funding of up to $100,000 for one year to each of the chosen academic institutions, which is renewable for up to three years based on research progress and HP business requirements. Prof. Park has conducted joint researches on nanoimprinting, nanosensors, and nanoelectronics with HP"s Information and Quantum Systems Lab since 2005. Starting from the later half of 2009, he is to receive research grants under the industry-academia cooperation program of the world"s information technology giant firm.
KAIST to hold 2008 Int
KAIST, Korea"s premier science and technology research university, will hold the 1st International Presidential Forum on Global Research Universities at the Westin Chosun Hotel in Seoul on Sept. 8, 2008. Presidents of research universities in all regions of the world have been invited to the conference aimed primarily at identifying common issues and opportunities in strengthening globalization of higher education and research. Participants in the forum will exchange views and ideas on how to build and utilize global research network to promote the sharing of expertise and facilities, conduct joint researches and effectively implement dual degree and roaming professorship programs. KAIST President Dr. Nam P. Suh said of the purpose of the conference: "Research universities have become global enterprises. Collaborations that were once primarily between individual researchers are now increasingly occurring at institutional and international levels. Similarly, educating students which used to be the responsibility of a single university has now become a multi-institutional undertaking, involving many universities in different countries. "Now leading research universities in many countries depend on the continuous supply of outstanding graduate students form the "feeder" schools of developing nations. There are concerns that the current system may not be serving the interest and need of some institutions, especially those in developing nations. This should be examined and understood to devise international mechanisms that can accentuate the positive aspects of globalization. "Through this forum, we hope to forge an international network of universities that will strengthen the effort of individual universities and create alliances for research and education that can become a new paradigm for global collaboration." Keynote presentations will be made on the following five major subjects: -- Roaming Professorship-- Dual Degree Program-- Sharing Facilities and Expertise-- Joint Research, and-- Globalization through Interfacing with Existing Networking Leaders of the world"s major education and research institutions have been asked to lead panel discussions with their rich experiences in globalization programs. Following the conference in Seoul, participants are invited to come to the KAIST campus in Daejeon, about 150 kilometers from Seoul, where a symposium on EEWS (environment, energy, water and sustainability) will be held to examine the progress in interdisciplinary research activities in these vital problems facing the mankind and look for a new direction in international collaboration. Co-sponsors of the International Presidential Forum include the Dong-A Ilbo, a major national daily, and the Dong-A Science Magazine. Message from KAIST President Suh: Research universities have become global enterprises. Collaborations that were once primarily between individual researchers are now increasingly occurring at institutional and international levels. Similarly, educating students used to be the responsibility of a single university but has now become a multiinstitutional undertaking, involving many universities in different countries. These changes are a consequence of globalization and integration of the world’s economy. Temporal andgeographical separations are no longer barriers to the collective generation and transfer of knowledge andenlightened education. It is also a natural response to the demand for educated workforce who can functionin any country. Current globalization was preceded by the migration of graduate students who were seeking to fulfill theiraspirations for better education at the world’s leading universities. This international movement of studentshas benefited not only students but research universities as well. Now leading research universities in manycountries depend on the continuous supply of outstanding graduate students from the “feeder” schools ofdeveloping nations. There are some concerns that the current system may not be serving the interest and need of some institutions,especially those in developing nations. This should be examined and understood to devise institutionalmechanisms that can accentuate the positive aspects of globalization. The purpose of the International Forum of Research University Presidents, which will be held on Sept. 8 inSeoul, Korea, is to identify common issues and opportunities for research universities that further strengthenglobalization of higher education and research. Participants will hear diverse views and ideas and will learnfrom those who have been active in global education and research. Participants also will examine dualdegree programs that are already in place among many universities and the effective implementation of aglobal research network. Through this process, we hope to forge an international network of universities that will strengthen the effortof individual universities and create alliances for research and education that can become a new paradigm forglobal collaboration. Looking forward to meeting you in Seoul, Prof. Nam P. SuhPresidentKAIST Tentative Program(Theme: Global Science and Technology Networking) Sept. 7, 2008, Sunday 17:00 - 18:30 RegistrationSept. 8, 2008, Monday09:00 - 09:10 Opening Ceremony09:10 - 09:40 I. Keynote Presentation: Roaming Professorship09:40 - 10:20 Panel Presentations:- Improving the competitiveness of global university education- Sharing differences in culture and environment for sustainable education for the future generation- Promoting science and engineering education among secondary students- Preserving and utilizing expert knowledge for better education10:20 - 10:40 Open Discussion10:40 - 11:00 Coffee Break11:00 - 11:30 II. Keynote Presentation: Dual Degree Program11:30 - 12:10 Panel Presentations:- Benefits of dual degree program- The role of dual degree program easing brain drain- Global branch campus or dual degree program?- Raising international IQs of scientists and engineers for global enterprises12:10 - 12:30 Open Discussion12:30 - 14:00 Luncheon14:00 - 14:30 III. Keynote Presentation: Sharing Facilities and Expertise14:30 - 15:10 Panel presentations:- How to spin off international joint ventures from the sharing of research facilities and expertise- Economic benefits of sharing research facilities and expertise- How to communicate science and technology agenda to political leaders- Easing the gap between the developed and less developed regions through science and technology cooperation15:10 - 15:30 Open Discussion15:30 - 16:00 IV. Keynote Presentation: Joint Research16:00 - 16:40 Panel Presentations:- Benefits of international joint project- Ways to formulate the international joint projects- Sharing intellectual property rights- Global economic and social contributions of international joint project cooperation16:40 - 17:00 Open Discussion17:00 - 17:30 Coffee Break17:30 - 18:00 V. Keynote Presentation: Globalization through Interfacing with Existing Networking18:00 - 18:40 Panel Presentations:- Establishing global science and technology networking- The role of global science and technology networking for the higher education of the next century- Regionalized or globalized science and technology networking- Connecting regional science and technology networks for the global networking18:40 - 19:00 Open Discussion19:00 - 19:15 Closing Remarks by President Suh19:15 - 21:30 Banquet Venue: Westin Chosun Hotel, Seoul
KAIST Inks Agreement with KERI for EEWS Technological Cooperation
KAIST concluded an agreement with the Korea Institute of Energy Research for technological cooperation in the research on the four global issues of energy, environment, water and sustainability (EEWS) on Tuesday (April 15). The agreement was signed by KAIST President Nam-Pyo Suh and Moon-Hee Han, director of the Korea Institute of Energy Research at the KAIST. The agreement calls for building a cooperative network for exchanges of personnel and information, and joint use of research facilities and equipment between the two institutions. Under the agreement, KAIST and KIER will also jointly conduct scientific researches. When it comes to personnel exchange, KAIST will appoint researchers of KIER as adjunct professors of KAIST, while KIER will appoint KAIST professors as its adjunct researchers. Undergraduate students of KAIST will be given an opportunity to join government-commissioned projects and participate in an internship program of the institute.
KAIST, K-Water Sign MOU for Cooperation in EEWS
KAIST has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Korea Water Resources Corporation (K-Water), a state-invested organization responsible for the development and management of inland water resources, for cooperation in the research on the four global issues of energy, environment, water and sustainability (EEWS). The MOU was signed by KAIST President Suh Nam-Pyo and K-Water President Kwak Kyul-ho on Feb. 22 at the KAIST. KAIST and K-Water agreed to establish a cooperative network for exchanges of personnel and research resources for advanced R&D on EEWS. The agreement has been reached on the common belief that EEWS is the most imminent problem facing the humanity in the 21st century. Under the MOU, KAIST and K-Water will work together to build a EEWS global network; to develop policies and conduct researches to strengthen the competitiveness of Korea"s water industry; and to train and exchange research manpower of the two institutions. The agreement also calls for sharing technological information, exchanging research results and publications; and jointly hosting symposiums and workshops.
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