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Distinguished Professor Sukbok Chang Named the 2022 Ho-Am Laureate
Distinguished Professor Sukbok Chang from the Department of Chemistry was named the awardee of the Ho-Am Prize in the fields of chemistry and life sciences. The award has recognized the most distinguished scholars, individuals, and organizations in physics and mathematics, chemistry and life sciences, engineering, medicine, arts, and community service in honor of the late founder of Samsung Group Byong-Chul Lee, whose penname is Ho-Am. The awards ceremony will be held on May 31 and awardees will receive 300 million KRW in prize money. Professor Chang became the fourth KAIST Ho-Am laureate following Distinguished Professor Sang Yup Lee in engineering in 2014, Distinguished Professor Jun Ho Oh in engineering in 2016, and Distinguished Professor Gou Young Koh in medicine in 2018. Professor Chang is a renowned chemist who has made pioneering research in the area of transition metal catalysis for organic transformations. Professor Chang is also one of the Highly Cited Researchers who rank in the top 1% of citations by field and publication year in the Web of Science citation index. He has made the list seven years in a row from 2016. Professor Chang has developed a range of new and impactful C-H bond functionalization reactions. By using his approaches, value-added molecules can be readily produced from chemical feedstocks, representatively hydrocarbons and (hetero)arenes. His research team elucidated fundamental key mechanistic aspects in the course of the essential C-H bond activation process of unreactive starting materials. He was able to utilize the obtained mechanistic understanding for the subsequent catalyst design to develop more efficient and highly (stereo)selective catalytic reactions. Among the numerous contributions he made, the design of new mechanistic approaches toward metal nitrenoid transfers are of especially high impact to the chemical community. Indeed, a series of important transition metal catalyst systems were developed by Professor Chang to enable the direct and selective C-H amidation of unreactive organic compounds, thereby producing aminated compounds that have important applicability in synthetic, medicinal, and materials science. He has also pioneered in the area of asymmetric C-H amination chemistry by creatively devising various types of chiral transition metal catalyst systems, and his team proved for the first time that chiral lactam compounds can be obtained at an excellent level of stereoselectivity. Another significant contribution of Professor. Chang was the introduction of dioxazolones as a robust but highly reactive source of acyl nitrenoids for the catalytic C-H amidation reactions, and this reagent is now broadly utilized in synthetic chemistry worldwide. Professor Chang also leads a research group in the Center for Catalytic Hydrocarbon Functionalizations at the Institute for Basic Science.
KAA Recognizes 4 Distinguished Alumni of the Year
The KAIST Alumni Association (KAA) recognized four distinguished alumni of the year during a ceremony on February 25 in Seoul. The four Distinguished Alumni Awardees are Distinguished Professor Sukbok Chang from the KAIST Department of Chemistry, Hyunshil Ahn, head of the AI Economy Institute and an editorial writer at The Korea Economic Daily, CEO Hwan-ho Sung of PSTech, and President Hark Kyu Park of Samsung Electronics. Distinguished Professor Sukbok Chang who received his MS from the Department of Chemistry in 1985 has been a pioneer in the novel field of ‘carbon-hydrogen bond activation reactions’. He has significantly contributed to raising Korea’s international reputation in natural sciences and received the Kyungam Academic Award in 2013, the 14th Korea Science Award in 2015, the 1st Science and Technology Prize of Korea Toray in 2018, and the Best Scientist/Engineer Award Korea in 2019. Furthermore, he was named as a Highly Cited Researcher who ranked in the top 1% of citations by field and publication year in the Web of Science citation index for seven consecutive years from 2015 to 2021, demonstrating his leadership as a global scholar. Hyunshil Ahn, a graduate of the School of Business and Technology Management with an MS in 1985 and a PhD in 1987, was appointed as the first head of the AI Economy Institute when The Korea Economic Daily was the first Korean media outlet to establish an AI economy lab. He has contributed to creating new roles for the press and media in the 4th industrial revolution, and added to the popularization of AI technology through regulation reform and consulting on industrial policies. PSTech CEO Hwan-ho Sung is a graduate of the School of Electrical Engineering where he received an MS in 1988 and a PhD in EMBA in 2008. He has run the electronics company PSTech for over 20 years and successfully localized the production of power equipment, which previously depended on foreign technology. His development of the world’s first power equipment that can be applied to new industries including semiconductors and displays was recognized through this award. Samsung Electronics President Hark Kyu Park graduated from the School of Business and Technology Management with an MS in 1986. He not only enhanced Korea’s national competitiveness by expanding the semiconductor industry, but also established contract-based semiconductor departments at Korean universities including KAIST, Sungkyunkwan University, Yonsei University, and Postech, and semiconductor track courses at KAIST, Sogang University, Seoul National University, and Postech to nurture professional talents. He also led the national semiconductor coexistence system by leading private sector-government-academia collaborations to strengthen competence in semiconductors, and continues to make unconditional investments in strong small businesses. KAA President Chilhee Chung said, “Thanks to our alumni contributing at the highest levels of our society, the name of our alma mater shines brighter. As role models for our younger alumni, I hope greater honours will follow our awardees in the future.”
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