Interviews with Award-Winning Graduates
Interviews with Award-Winning Graduates
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  • 승인 2021.05.18 03:40
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▲Kwangwook Ko (CHEM 15)    Valedictorian
▲Kwangwook Ko (CHEM 15) Valedictorian

Knowing my limits, I feel dazed at graduating with honors. I will think of this as an encouragement for my life going forward and try my best to become a worthwhile, respectable person. I would like to sincerely thank Professor Seung Hwan Cho, Prof. Young-Tae Chang, Prof. Kim Kimoon, Prof. Sungjee Kim, Prof. Eunsung Lee, and Prof. Seung Jun Hwang, who guided me through life in college. Thank you also to my friends, upperclassmen, lowerclassmen, and laboratory classmates who have endured with me so far.

Special studying methods?

I tried to read the class resources and textbook material two to three times quickly in order to grasp the overall flow of the content. I think that grasping the big picture allowed me to remember details for a long time and quickly find the solution to an unfamiliar problem. 

When did you feel most fulfilled and rewarded?

I think I felt most fulfilled when I could help other people even only in small ways; through the mentoring program, volunteer work, and personal relationships. I hope I can become a person with even more to give.

Any words of advice?

There are many things worth learning in college; I hope you can achieve what you wish for by picturing the person you want to be after graduation. Don’t lose faith in yourself, even when things don’t work out the way you would like them to.


▲Kanghee Park (CSE 15)    Engineering School Honor
▲Kanghee Park (CSE 15) Engineering School Honor

I am grateful to the professors who taught me, friends who studied with me, and my family. I am glad I graduated with good grades, but I think I still have a long way to go. I will work harder to become a skilled researcher.

What are your future career plans after graduation?

I was recently confirmed to attend the Computer Science Ph.D. course at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. At POSTECH, I became interested in creating a security-guaranteed program while engaging in club activities and research participation programs. I plan to study this field more deeply in graduate school.

Please advise Postechians who are struggling with studies and career issues.

There is a limit in what you can experience and gain insight into in POSTECH, so I hope you take time to listen to as many people as possible and contemplate your goals. It may sound weird since the person giving this advice himself is going to graduate school, but many career paths exist in the real world. I wish that Postechians spend enough time choosing which path to take. A clear goal decided after long thought becomes the best driving force in life.


▲Chanjong Kim (LIFE Ph.D.)    Chung Sung-Kee Thesis Award
▲Chanjong Kim (LIFE Ph.D.) Chung Sung-Kee Thesis Award

During my Ph.D., I studied lupus, a disease where immune cells attack the kidneys and skin, destroying organs. No good medicine for lupus is available since its exact cause is unknown. To find a cure, I focused on finding cells that are the starting point for long-term attacks. As a result, I found the disease-causing cell called Tfh2. Though further research is still needed, this gave us hope for the development of new treatments. 

The most important value of life in graduate school?

I think the power to think independently is most important. In undergraduate courses, students learn and absorb facts that someone has already studied. When you come to graduate school, you have to find new information on your own based on the knowledge you have learned in undergraduate courses. To do this, you need the power to think. Not many people can think independently from the beginning. You learn how to develop your thoughts without getting help from others in graduate school. The hypotheses you make are generally wrong. Regardless of the success of the hypotheses, if you learn how to make a hypothesis and how to test it, you may admit to yourself that you have had a successful graduate school life.


▲Inki Kim (ME Ph.D.)    Chang Keun-Soo Thesis Award
▲Inki Kim (ME Ph.D.) Chang Keun-Soo Thesis Award

I received my doctorate on the topic of two-dimensional metaphotonic devices for ultra-compact holographic displays and nanosensors. I studied creating ultra-compact optical devices thousands of times thinner than the width of a human hair using metamaterials. I did research that can be integrated into AR/hologram displays and ultrathin superlenses that could solve problems like the smartphone camera bump. I published papers as the first author on journals such as Nature Nanotechnology, Science Advances, Advanced Materials, Materials Today, and ACS Nano.

Overcoming difficulties?

I overcame difficulties each time by taking time to recharge. I refreshed my mind through a variety of activities in my free time, such as walking around the Hyeongsan River, riding my bike, eating out, chatting with friends, or watching a movie. Then I would return to my research reenergized.

Any words of advice?

I would like to tell people who are about to or have started graduate school to treat graduate course as a marathon. Do not chastise yourself or be too impatient. When you are tired, stop for a while and walk, look around you, talk to the people following the same path, and you will again find the energy to run again. If you look forward to going to the lab each morning to investigate something new, you are already living a successful graduate life.


▲Byungkook Jang (IME 14)    Mueunjae Award
▲Byungkook Jang (IME 14) Mueunjae Award

I am grateful to the professors who always supported the choices I made, fellow Postechians, and my parents who helped me throughout my school life. As I have gained much support and opportunities at POSTECH, I will continue to push myself forward after graduation and try to give back the benefits I received from others.

The most impressive or rewarding experience?

After three attempts, I finally succeeded in creating a startup. The startup is called CryptoQuant, which is a company that reduces the information gap between digital asset investors. It was most rewarding when it solved problems for users in 70 countries worldwide and generated sales. We also used our own cryptocurrency address deanonymization technology to help investigate crimes, including the “Nth room” case. It was a valuable experience where I could think big through encountering countless failures, while also taking care of the subordinate parts quickly.

Future career plans?

I want to expand my business by solving more of my users’ problems. I would like to help improve inefficient banking and monetary systems and create an efficient financial environment through my services. If you do not live as you think, you think as you live. In the future, I want to plan businesses that break conventional wisdom in different fields.


▲Junwoo Lee (CE Ph.D.)    Alumni Award
▲Junwoo Lee (CE Ph.D.) Alumni Award

I am Junwoo Lee, who received a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from POSTECH in Aug. 2020. It is an honor to receive the Alumni Association Chairman Award as a representative. I think this honor belongs to my beloved family, friends, Polymer Chemistry & Electronics Lab members, colleagues, Professor Park Taiho, and all of the faculty members of POSTECH who supported me. Thank you.

What are your future career and plans?

Currently at Yale University, I am challenging myself once again to become an independent researcher. I look forward to becoming a mature independent researcher through this great opportunity. By the time I return to Korea, I hope to be a person who is trusted by seniors and can help juniors throughout their lives.

Any advice for Postechians?

I hope you act not by being stimulated by others but by being motivated by yourself. In other words, I hope you explore what you have done and feel happy and fulfilled, enjoy the process of achieving your goals at your “Pace,” not as a “Race.” I anticipate your achievements, and I hope to learn from younger Postechians continually.