Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering (CEPS) - South Korea
The primary purpose of my travel to South Korea over winter break 2018 was to network with two universities and two industries located there. During the almost three-week trip I successfully gave talks and met with all the key researchers in my area that I had hoped, with the addition of a visit to the national lab. After my visit, I continue to build closer relationships with colleagues in Chonnam National University, Kyungpook National University, POSCO, LG, and the Korean Institute of Materials Science.
Visit to POSCO
The main purpose of my visit to POSCO, a steel-making company headquartered in Pohang, South Korea, was to network and share ideas about potential collaborations. My main interest was lithium purification from brine. We had in-depth discussions over two days. In the first day of my visit to the core facility in Gwangyang, I met Dr. Kim, Tae Chul (Principal Researcher) and Dr. Kim, Jong-Sang (Senior Vice President). I had a general tour of the core facilities and research labs. From the meeting, I got the idea to discuss their R&D regarding the lithium purification and some technical challenges in the fundamental levels as well as the commercialization process. The biggest challenge that POSCO has now is to purchase the brine not the purification itself. I had another meeting with Dr. Park, Hyeon (Senior Vice President of New Business Department in POSCO) in Seoul, where I learned about the future direction of the rare metal production in POSCO.
Visit to Chonnam National University (CNU)
I was invited to give a one-hour talk in a graduate seminar for Biomedical Engineering and Environmental Engineering students in Yeosu. In the beginning of my slides, I included the introduction of UNH and Chemical Engineering department, which drew a lot of attention from the audience. I met Prof. Kim, Eun-Sik (Environmental System Engineering), Prof. Hwang, Min-Jin (Environmental System Engineering), and Prof. Lee, Chang-Moon (Biomedical Engineering, Vice Dean of College of Engineering Sciences). We discussed various US-Korea collaborative grants that are awarded by the Korean government in the area of wastewater treatment.
Visit to Kyungpook National University (KNU)
Under the coordination with my colleague, Prof. Chun, Sang-Eun, I gave a one-hour talk to graduate and undergraduate students in the Department of Materials Science and Metallurgy at Kyungpook National University in Daegu. I also had a very productive meeting with Prof. Chun, Prof. Huh, Jeung-Soo (Materials Science and Metallurgy), and Prof. Kim, Young Kyoo (Chemical Engineering) about aqueous energy storage systems using biomaterials. We shared some of the recent studies in our labs and discussed our various projects. In addition, we had a good conversation about exchanging scholars between UNH and KNU in the future. I would like to share more information with them by the end of this summer regarding this possibility.
Visit to LG
I visited LG in Seoul to meet two researchers, Mr. Yang (Senior Researcher in LG) and Mr. Park (Senior researcher in LG Innotek), to talk about potential collaboration. Among several topics we discussed, power supplies for implantable biomedical devices would be the best fit with my research portfolio. We are continuing to discuss more details via conference call meeting.
Visit to Korean Institute of Materials Science (KIMS)
I also visited one of the Korean National Lab, KIMS, located in Changwon. I gave a one-hour talk to the researchers there. They were very interested in my research group and wanted to send their students when they graduate. This would help to promote UNH as well as increase student recruitment in chemical engineering.