On March 21, the POSCO TJ Park Foundation held its 2018 awards ceremony at the POSCO Center.
The POSCO TJ Park Awards were established in 2006 to honor the legacy of the late Chairman Tae-joon Park, who laid the groundwork for the industrialization and modernization of Korea and encouraged citizens to adopt POSCO’s founding principles of creativity, talent development, sacrifice and service. This year marks the foundation’s 12th anniversary.
The recipients this year were selected among candidates recommended by leading domestic and overseas institutions and experts after 6 months of screening. The selection process included a review by a committee of experts from various fields. Counseling and final evaluation were conducted by renowned scholars in Korea and abroad.
The science award went to Prof. Young-woo Son of the School of Computational Science at the Korea Institute for Advanced Study (KIAS); the education award to Posan High School; the philanthropy award to Joo-hee Won, chairperson of Saemmul Hospice Hospital; and the technology award to Chul-joo Hwang, CEO of Jusung Engineering. Each recipient received a plaque and prize money of KRW 200 million.
POSCO CEO Ohjoon Kwon said in his welcoming speech, “Korea, despite having no natural resources of its own, was able to accomplish remarkable economic growth because we possess excellent human capital and made effective use of it. We thus have very high expectations for the TJ Park Award recipients as valuable assets for Korea’s future.”
He added, “This year is significant to POSCO as we celebrate our 50th anniversary. All employees will further strengthen the competitiveness of our top-tier steelmaking industry by laying more groundwork to make another leap forward in the next 50 years.”
Hyeong-oh Kim, former Chairman of the National Assembly, said in his congratulatory message, “Over the last 12 years, the POSCO TJ Park Awards have recognized those who have made great contributions to science, education, community development, and technology, encouraging society to widely adopt these values. These awards have become a prestigious achievement that not only Koreans, but other global citizens, are now paying close attention to. I would like to honor the sincere passion, effort, and innovative spirit of the four awardees, and I hope that they will continue to illuminate our society in the future.”
Excellence in Science: Prof. Young-woo Son, School of Computational Science at KIAS
Prof. Young-woo Son, winner of the TJ Park science prize, is a world-class scientist who amassed studies on precise computation and analysis models over the past 20 years to establish theories on the basic physical properties of nanomaterials. His prolific works provided the basis of application for not only physics, but also nanoscience, technology, chemistry, and materials science.
In particular, Prof. Son’s two papers about graphene nanoribbon were cited as much as 7,000 times over the past 10 years. Today they are regarded as significant accomplishments in the research on graphene. He published more than 70 papers, tackling a theory on 2D crystal growth as rearranging the surface structure of silicon carbide (SiC) that had heretofore not been solved for more than 40 years. They were cited more than 13,000 times, attracting the attention of academic circles.
Excellence in Education: Posan High School
Posan High School, recipient of the Education prize, is a small school with nine classrooms located on the outskirts of Daegu. The school was once on the verge of being closed, as the poor educational environment and rural exodus led to dwindling student attendance, but it became an autonomous public high school with dormitories in 2008 and introduced unique educational programs. Its remarkable transformation from one of the lowest-ranking schools to a prestigious institution attracting the nation’s top 1% marks it a true paragon of success in public education.
Posan High introduced selective after-school programs, which take students’ personal interests and aptitudes into consideration. These programs have revolutionized individual student potential and maximized the beneficial effects of education. Most notably, academic achievement has been improved through student-centered activities and community learning. Efficient operation of its dormitory facilities has also led to reduced private education expenses and normalization in public education. The high school’s achievements regained the trust of parents and the local community, earning high acclaim from the educational community.
Excellence in Philanthropy: Joo-hee Won, Chairman of Saemmul Hospice
Chairman Joo-hee Won, winner of the philanthropy and volunteerism award, started the first independent hospice program in 1993 when the concept of hospice care was new. He took care of almost 10,000 terminal cancer patients until their passing.
Church sponsors and volunteers joined hands to establish the Saemmul Hospice Hospital in Yongin, one of the largest and well-furnished hospices in the world. It is virtually free of charge, including room, board, and funeral services, for patients who cannot afford the fees, as prescribed in the National Health Insurance Act and the Medical Care Assistance Act.
Excellence in Technology: Cheol-joo Hwang, CEO of Jusung Engineering
Chul-joo Hwang, CEO of Jusung Engineering, received the technology award. He pioneered the first generation of Korean venture firms that challenged high overseas technical barriers and realized the globalization of the Korean equipment industry through creative technologies and research on innovative equipment.
To develop semiconductor equipment, which used to depend entirely on imports, Hwang founded Jusung Engineering in 1993. In 2002, he commercialized the Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD) for semiconductor microfabrication for the first time in the world, surprising the global semiconductor industry. In 2012, he developed the Space Divided Plasma Atomic Layer Deposition (SDP ALD), again for the first time in the world, and exported it globally. Jusung Engineering was thus revered for its unrivaled competitive edge in the global market.
Meanwhile, more than 290 past award recipients attended the ceremony, including POSCO CEO Ohjoon Kwon; Hyeong-oh Kim and Chang-hee Kang, former Chairmen of the National Assembly; Hong-gu Lee, former Prime Minister; Bong-ho Son, Chairman of Korea Food for the Hungry International (KFHI); Yong-hak Kim, president of Yonsei University; and Jae-ho Yeom, president of Korea University.