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The Center for Anthropocene Studies (CAS) Opens
KAIST will start Anthropocene research, a convergence field of study, to address issues related to the commencement of human activities that have had scientific, industrial, and economic impacts on the Earth’s ecosystem. The National Research Foundation (NRF) of Korea endorsed the KAIST Center for Anthropocene Studies as its Convergence Research Center project. Anthropocene refers to a new geological age in which various polluting materials that humans have made during the post-industrial revolution era have made a significant impact on the Earth and the lives of humankind. The studies expand the diverse socio-economic and environmental sectors for responding to climate change, natural disasters, ecological destruction, the polarization of the inequality and wealth, and many others. The KAIST research group at the center, in collaboration with the Graduate School of Science and Technology Policy, the Graduate School of Culture Technology, the School of Humanities & Social Sciences, the Department of Industrial Design, the School of Electrical Engineering, the Satellite Technology Research Center (SaRTec), and the KAIST Initiative for Disaster Studies will conduct multidisciplinary research to address intriguing challenges with complex but creative approaches incorporating the fields of engineering, socioeconomics, and art. The group will investigate topics such as▲ surface and marine changes to the Earth by applying satellite data ▲disaster prediction and governance system building through AI modeling ▲sustainable housing, transportation, and lifestyles ▲ engineering and artistic approaches for envisioning a new future for humankind and the Earth. Professor Buhm Soon Park, who is in charge of the center, said, “This pioneering research work will inspire the re-creation of a new paradigm of convergence studies in science, engineering, humanities, and social science. We will contribute to making the world better by designing new technologies and social policies.
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
The First Recipient of the KPS Award in Plasma Physics
( Research Professor Sanghoo Park) Research Professor Sanghoo Park received the Young Researcher Award in Plasma Physics during the Korean Physical Society (KPS)’s Spring Meeting from April 25 to 27. He is a KAIST graduate with a PhD in Physics and currently holds the position of research professor in the Department of Nuclear and Quantum Engineering. The Young Researcher Award in Plasma Physics is given to a specialist in plasma who has the potential to make a contribution to plasma and accelerator physics in Korea. Professor Park has gained recognition for his work, including awards, publications in 24 journals, and 12 technical patent registrations of plasma, which led to his selection as the recipient of this award. He is now conducting a leading role in this field nationally and internationally by delving into the study of partially-ionized plasma. Professor Park said, “It is my great honor to become the first recipient of the Young Researcher Award in Plasma Physics. I will continue to engage in research to develop the field of plasma in Korea.”
Professor Hee-Sung Park Named Scientist of May
(Professor Hee-Sung Park) Professor Hee-Sung Park from the Department of Chemistry was named ‘Scientist of May’ sponsored by the Ministry of Science and ICT and the National Research Foundation of Korea. Professor Park was honored in recognition of his developing a tool to engineer designer proteins via diverse chemical modifications. This approach provides a novel platform for investigating numerous diseases such as cancer and dementia. His research focuses on the production of synthetic proteins and the generation of diverse protein functions as well as the designing and engineering of new translation machinery for genetic code expansion, and the application of synthetic biology techniques for basic cell biology and applied medical science. Post-translational modifications (PTMs) are constantly taking place during or after protein biosynthesis. PTMs play a vital role in expanding protein functional diversity and, as a result, critically affect numerous biological processes. Abnormal PTMs have been known to trigger various diseases including cancer and dementia. Therefore, this technology enables proteins to reproduce with specific modifications at selected residues and will significantly help establish experimental strategies to investigate fundamental biological mechanisms including the development of targeted cancer therapies. Professor Park also received 10 million KRW in prize money.
Undergrad's Paper Chosen as the Cover Article in Soft Matter
(from left: Research Professor KyuHan Kim and Undergrad Student Subeen Kim) A KAIST undergraduate student, Subeen Kim, had his paper chosen as the cover article in an international journal during his senior year. There have been an increasing number of undergraduate students who were published as the first author because the KAIST Undergraduate Research Participation program allows more active research participation by undergraduate students. Through URP, Kim successfully published his paper in the internationally-renowned journal, Soft Matter, which is published by the Royal Society of Chemistry, and it was chosen as the cover article of that journal in February 2018. This publication means a lot to him because he designed the cover image himself, based on his imagination and observations. His research is about controllable one-step double emulsion formation. Double emulsion is a system in which dispersed droplets contain additional immiscible liquid droplets. Having great retention ability, double emulsion has been used in various applications in the food industry, in cosmetics, and for drug delivery. Nevertheless, two-step emulsification is a conventional approach to produce double emulsions that typically leads to partial destabilization of the emulsion formed during the initial stage. Hence, it does not ensure the stability of a double emulsion. On the other hand, a microfluidic approach with various flow-focusing techniques has been developed, but it has low production efficiency and thus limited industrial applications. Kim’s results came from the process of phase inversion to solve this problem. He identified the instant formation of double emulsions during the process of phase inversion. Based on this finding, he proposed criteria to achieve high stability of double emulsion. Through constant research, he developed a quite general method using a combination of an oil soluble poly methyl methacrylate (PMMA) and hydrophobic silica nanoparticle (HDK H18). This new method enables one-step and stable production of double emersions in a stable manner. It also allows control of the number and the volume of inner oil droplets inside the outer water droplets by adjusting PMMA and HDK H18. Kim enrolled at KAIST as a KAIST Presidential Fellowship and Presidential Science Scholarship in 2014. While studying both chemical and biomolecular engineering and chemistry he has been developing his hypothesis and conducting research. He was able to begin conducting research because he has taken part in URP projects twice. In his sophomore year, he studied the formation of high internal phase double emulsions. After one year, he conducted research to produce superabsorbent resins, which are the base material for diapers, by using colloid particles. Using partial research outcomes, he published his paper in Nature Communications as a second author. Kim said, “Double majoring the chemical and biomolecular engineering and chemistry has helped me producing this outcome. I hope that this research contributes to commercializing double emulsions. I will continue to identify accurate principles to produce chemicals that can be controlled exquisitely.” Figure 1. The cover article of Soft Matter
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.”
KAIST to Host FinTech Conference 2018
KAIST will be hosting a FinTech Conference with Princeton University (USA), Tsinghua University (China), and EDHEC Business School (France) in Seoul from April 12 to 13 titled State of the Art in Robo-Advising Systems: Financial Technologies for Enhanced Social Security. The Bendhein Center for Finance and Department of Operations Research and Financial Engineering from Princeton University, Fintech Lab from Tsinghua University, and the Risk Institute from EDHEC will participate as co-hosting organizations in this conference organized by the Department of Industrial & Systems Engineering and the KAIST Center for Wealth Management Technologies. The conference will discuss issues required for providing customized asset management to the public in terms of theory, technology, and industry. During the conference, KAIST President Sung-Chul Shin and Chairman and CEO of the National Pension Service Sung Joo Kim will deliver welcoming addresses. Professor John Mulvey from Princeton University, Professor Michael Dempster from Cambridge University, Professors Wei Xu and Changle Lin from Tsinghua University, Professor Lionel Martellini from EDHEC, and Professor Woo Chang Kim from KAIST are some of the invited speakers at the event. Moreover, renowned experts in related fields will also participate in the conference, including Founder of Vanguard Group John Bogle, Jin Lee from Ant Financial, Youngsuh Cho from Shinhan Financial Group, Jung-Hwan Lee from Samsung Asset Management, and Hye Young Sung from the National Pension Service Research Institute. Professor Kim said, “Only a small number of wealthy people can receive life-cycle customized asset management services due to the high cost structure; however, new technology derived from the Fourth Industrial Revolution can reduce the service price in an innovative manner, ultimately leading it to be popularized.” “In an era with the poverty rate of older people reaching almost 50%.Fintech can enable individuals to manage their assets in an active manner, reinforcing social security without additional social costs in the period,” he added. These four universities have been hosting the FinTech Conference since 2017. China will host the conference this fall, followed by France next year. Samsung Asset Management, Alibaba Group, and Ant Financial will sponsor the conference. Anyone interested in this event can find more details at http://wmt.kaist.ac.kr/conference.html.
KAIST-KU Sign MOU on 4th Industrial Technology Development
(President Shin(second from left) poses with Khalifa University President Tod Laursen after signing an MOU in the UAE on March 25. Far left is Chairman of the NST Kwangyun Wohn and far right is the UAE Minister of Educatiion Hussain Al Hammadi.) KAIST President Sung-Chul Shin and Khalifa University Interim President Tod Laursen signed an MOU on the Fourth Industrial Technology Development on March 25 in the UAE. They signed the MOU during the UAE-ROK Nuclear Friendship and KAIST Alumni Night at Khalifa University co-hosted by KAIST and the Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute (KAERI). The MOU will bring new opportunities to further expand bilateral cooperation in education and training in the relevant technologies called for the era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. More than 100 dignitaries including Chairman of National Research Council of Science and Technology (NST) in Korea Dr. Kwangyun Wohn, President of KAERI Jaejoo Ha, the UAE Minister of Education His Excellency Hussain Al Hammadi, Minister of State for Advanced Sciences Her Excellency Sarah bint Yousef Al Amiri, and His Excellency Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR) Director General Christopher Viktorsson attended the event. In particular, a significant number of Emirati graduates of the KUSTAR-KAIST education program and many others who completed various KAIST training programs joined the event. The Nuclear Friendship Night was celebrating the completion of the first nuclear power plant in Barakah exported by Korea. This is the first nuclear reactor in the Middle East, which is to start operation later this year. The event also coincided with Korean President Moon Jae-In’s state visit to the UAE. KAIST and KAERI gathered distinguished leaders from the higher education and nuclear industries at the event in response to the UAE government’s top national agenda of fostering future talents and promoting the nuclear industry in order to ensure energy security. KAIST and Khalifa University signed an initial agreement in education and research in 2009 when the governments of Korea and the UAE signed a contract to build four nuclear power plants in Barakah. Since then, the two universities have worked together closely in the areas of nuclear engineering, bio-medical engineering, robotics, mechanical engineering, chemical engineering, and materials science. With this signing on the new MOU, the partnership between the two institutions will mark the second phase of educating high-caliber human resources in science and technology of the two countries. The KAIST Alumni Night also brought more opportunities to appreciate the achievements that the two countries have made through collaboration in education and research, mostly represented in the field of nuclear technology between KAIST and Khalifa University. During the event, KAIST graduates also shared their experiences from the education at KAIST, followed by the welcoming speeches from the UAE Minister of Education and the UAE Minister of State for Advanced Sciences. KAIST President Shin, in his welcoming speech at the event, said, “I look forward to more students in the UAE having the opportunity to experience the world’s top-level education and global environment that KAIST offers. The collaboration with Khalifa University and the UAE is very important for building both countries’ future growth.” KU President Laursen said, “This MOU on research cooperation focusing on technologies for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, nuclear engineering, and other technical areas will further consolidate our partnership with KAIST and support us in developing human capital suitable to take on future challenges in the science and technology sectors. We firmly believe the talent pool of experts created by this initiative will contribute to the overall economic growth of the UAE.”
The 8th KINC Fusion Research Awardees
The KAIST Institute for NanoCentury held the 8th KINC Fusion Research Award in order to encourage professors’ convergence studies and instill students’ willingness to research. The award ceremony took place in the KI Building at KAIST on March 13. The KINC Fusion Research Award selects the most outstanding convergence studies among research undertaken last year, and awards researchers who participated in that research. The 8th KINC Fusion Research Award went to Professor Yoon Sung Nam from the Department of Materials Science and Engineering and Professor Inkyu Park from the Department of Mechanical Engineering. Their research reported the spontaneous self-biomineralization of palladium (Pd) ions on a filamentous virus to form ligand-free Pd nanowires without reducing reagents or using additional surface stabilizers (Title: Virus-Templated Self-Mineralization of Ligand-Free Colloidal Palladium Nanostructures for High Surface Activity and Stability, Advanced Functional Materials (2017)). Professor Hee-Tae Jung, the Director of KAIST Institute for the NanoCentury and the host of the KINC Fusion Research Award said, “Convergence will be the crucial keyword that will lead to revolutionary change. Hence, the importance of convergence study should be improved. We will put every effort into creating a research environment for increasing convergence study. The KAIST Institute for the NanoCentury was established in June 2006 under the KAIST Institute with a mission of creating convergence study by tearing down boarders among departments and carrying out interdisciplinary joint research. Currently, approximately 90 professors from 14 departments participate the institute. It aims to become a hub of university institutes for nano-fusion research.
Scientist of March, Professor Hee-Seung Lee
(Professor Hee-Seung Lee) Professor Hee-Seung Lee from the Department of Chemistry at KAIST received the ‘Science and Technology Award of the Month’ awarded by the Ministry of ICT and Science, and the National Research Foundation of Korea for March 2018. Professor Lee has been recognized for successfully producing peptide-based molecular machines, which used to be made of metals. The methodology can be translated into magnetotactic behavior at the macroscopic scale, which is reminiscent of magnetosomes in magnetotactic bacteria. The team employed foldectures, self-assembled molecular architectures of β-peptide foldamers, to develop the peptide-based molecular machines that uniformly align with respect to an applied static magnetic field. Professor Lee said, “Molecular machines are widely used in the field of medical engineering or material science; however, there were limitations for developing the machines using magnetic fields. By developing peptide-based molecular machines, we were able to develop body-friendly molecular machines.” Every month, the Ministry of ICT and Science and the National Research Foundation of Korea award a cash prize worth 10,000,000 KRW to a scientist who has contributed to science and technology with outstanding research and development performance.
Soul-Searching & Odds-Defying Determination: A Commencement Story of Dr. Tae-Hyun Oh
(Dr. Tae-Hyun Oh, one of the 2736 graduates of the 2018) Each and every one of the 2,736 graduates has come a long way to the 2018 Commencement. Tae-Hyun Oh, who just started his new research career at MIT after completing his Ph.D. at KAIST, is no exception. Unlike the most KAIST freshmen straight out of the ingenious science academies of Korea, he is among the many who endured very challenging and turbulent adolescent years. Buffeted by family instability and struggling during his time at school, he saw himself trapped by seemingly impenetrable barriers. His mother, who hated to see his struggling, advised him to take a break to reflect on who he is and what he wanted to do. After dropping out of high school in his first year, ways to make money and support his family occupied his thoughts. He took on odd jobs from a car body shop to a gas station, but the real world was very tough and sometimes even cruel to the high school dropout. Bias and prejudice stigmatizing dropouts hurt him so much. He often overheard a parent who dropped by the body shop that he worked in saying, “If you do not study hard, you will end up like this guy.” Hearing such things terrified him and awoke his sense of purpose. So he decided to do something meaningful and be a better man than he was. “I didn’t like the person I was growing up to become. I needed to find myself and get away from the place I was growing up. It was my adventure and it was the best decision I ever made,” says Oh. After completing his high school diploma national certificate, he planned to apply to an engineering college. On his second try, he gained admission into the Department of Electrical Engineering at Kwang Woon University with a full scholarship. He was so thrilled for this opportunity and hoped he could do well at college. Signal processing and image processing became the interest of his research and he finished his undergraduate degree summa cum laude. Gaining confidence in his studies, he searched around graduate school department websites in Korea to select the path he was interested in. Among others, the Robotics and Computer Vision Lab of Professor In-So Kweon at the Department of Electrical Engineering at KAIST was attractive to him. Professor Kweon’s lab is globally renowned for robot vision technology. Their technologies were applied into HUBO, the KAIST-developed bimodal humanoid robot that won the 2015 DARPA Challenges. “I am so appreciate of Professor Kweon, who accepted and guided me,” he said. Under Professor Kweon’s advising, he could finish his Master’s and Ph.D. courses in seven years. The mathematical modeling on fundamental computer algorithms became his main research topic. While at KAIST, his academic research has blossomed. He won a total of 13 research prizes sponsored by corporations at home and abroad such as Kolon, Samsung, Hyundai Motors, and Qualcomm. In 2015, he won the Microsoft Research Asia Fellowship as the sole Korean among 13 Ph.D. candidates in the Asian region. With the MSRA fellowship, he could intern at the MS Research Beijing Office for half a year and then in Redmond, Washington in the US. “Professor Kweon’s lab filled me up with knowledge. Whenever I presented our team’s paper at an international conference, I was amazed by the strong interest shown by foreign experts, researchers, and professors. Their strong support and interest encouraged me a lot. I was fully charged with the belief that I could go abroad and explore more opportunities,” he said. Dr. Oh, who completed his dissertation last fall, now works at the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT under Professor Wojciech Matusik. “I think the research environment at KAIST is on par with MIT. I have very rich resources for my studies and research at both schools, but at MIT the working culture is a little different and it remains a big challenge for me. I am still not familiar with collaborative work with colleagues from very diverse backgrounds and countries, and to persuade them and communicate with them is very tough. But I think I am getting better and better,” he said. Oh, who is an avid computer game player as well, said life seems to be a game. The level of the game will be upgraded to the next level after something is accomplished. He feels great joy when he is moving up and he believes such diverse experiences have helped him become a better person day by day. Once he identified what gave him a strong sense of purpose, he wasn’t stressed out by his studies any more. He was so excited to be able to follow his passion and is ready for the next challenge.
Finding Human Thermal Comfort with a Watch-type Sweat Rate Sensor
(from left: Professor Young-Ho Cho and Researcher SungHyun Yoon) KAIST developed a watch-type sweat rate sensor. This subminiature device can detect human thermal comfort accurately and steadily by measuring an individual’s sweat rate. It is natural to sweat more in the summer and less in the winter; however, an individual’s sweat rate may vary in a given environment. Therefore, sweat can be an excellent proxy for sensing core body temperature. Conventional sweat rate sensors using natural ventilation require bulky external devices, such as pumps and ice condensers. They are usually for physiological experiments, hence they need a manual ventilation process or high power, bulky thermos-pneumatic actuators to lift sweat rate detection chambers above skin for continuous measurement. There is also a small sweat rate sensor, but it needs a long recovery period. To overcome these problems, Professor Young-Ho Cho and his team from the Department of Bio and Brain Engineering developed a lightweight, watch-type sweat sensor. The team integrated miniaturized thermos-pneumatic actuators for automatic natural ventilation, which allows sweat to be measured continuously. This watch-type sensor measures sweat rate with the humidity rising rate when the chamber is closed during skin contact. Since the team integrated thermos-pneumatic actuators, the chamber no longer needs to be separated manually from skin after each measurement in order for the chamber to ventilate the collected humidity. Moreover, this sensor is wind-resistant enough to be used for portable and wearable devices. The team identified that the sensor operates steadily with air velocity ranging up to 1.5m/s, equivalent to the average human walking speed. Although this subminiature sensor (35mm x 25mm) only weighs 30 grams, it operates continuously for more than four hours using the conventional wrist watch batteries. The team plans to utilize this technology for developing a new concept of cognitive air-conditioning systems recognizing Human thermal status directly; while the conventional air-conditioning systems measuring air temperature and humidity. Professor Cho said, “Our sensor for human thermal comfort monitoring can be applied to customized or smart air conditioners. Furthermore, there will be more demands for both physical and mental healthcare, hence this technology will serve as a new platform for personalized emotional communion between humans and devices.” This research, led by researchers Jai Kyoung Sim and SungHyun Yoon, was published in Scientific Reports on January 19, 2018. Figure1. The fabricated watch-type sweat rate sensor for human thermal comfort monitoring Figure 2. Views of the watch-type sweat rate sensor Figure 3. Operation of the watch-type sweat rate sensor
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