Heaven helps those who help themselves

Senior Researcher in KIST
Assistant Professor in UST

What do you think are the strengths of UNIST Chemistry?
I think the biggest strength of our department is that the professors have excellent research ability and, above all, passionately guide students. In addition, since the number of students per supervisor is small, more close guidance is possible. 

What was the most difficult part during your degree and how did you overcome?
My first-authored paper was published in the third year of graduate course. Before that, I had a lot of worries and concerns about the future. I compared myself with those around me who had relatively good results. At that time, the constant encouragement from my supervisor and colleagues gave me confidence to focus on my research, which in turn helped me achieve good research results. 

What do you currently do after graduation?
I am currently working as a senior researcher in the Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Research Center at the Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST) and an assistant professor in the Division of Energy and Environment Technology at the University of Science and Technology (UST). Our research center is conducting research to develop technologies related to production, storage, and utilization of hydrogen, and I am mainly performing research on the material development for hydrogen production by water electrolysis (WE) and application to the WE stack. 

What is the most rewarding and happiest moment in your career?
Above all, the most rewarding moment is when good research results are obtained by working together with fellow researchers. In particular, when the developed technologies are linked to the practical application of water electrolysis, I feel the greatest reward and happiness in being able to contribute to improving practical aspects of our lives. 

Do you have any long-term goal or dream?
The long term goal is to convert the majority of current fossil fuel-based energy systems to hydrogen-powered energy systems. My dream, especially as a researcher, is to develop core technologies that can contribute to advancing a hydrogen fuel-based energy society.

 As a UNIST graduate, what advice would you give to students?
I like the saying, ‘Heaven helps those who help themselves’. I believe that opportunities will surely come if you prepare for the future by believing in your values and beliefs without being swayed by the surrounding environment. Even if it takes time, I hope you do not give up until your efforts bear fruit and open your own path. In overcoming difficult time, the encouragement from family and close colleagues is so precious. I hope you all always look around.

alumni interview
Assistant Professor in Seoul National University
Senior Researcher in Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute