IE Alumni, Yoo S. Hong Named Dean of Engineering at Seoul National University

Purdue Industrial Engineering Alumni, Yoo S. Hong (PhD, ’02), was recently named Dean of Engineering at the Seoul National University College of Engineering.

After graduation from Seoul National University with his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in 1990 Hong began working for Daewoo (now General Motors Korea) as a technical specialist in the area of CAD/CAM and prototyping.

“One of the most wonderful memories during my employment at Daewoo was to initiate a project to implement a 3D printing system, which was formally called a rapid prototyping system, within the vehicle development process. Being the first user of 3D printing in Korea 30 some years ago, collaborating with 3D Systems, Inc. in California, I was able to successfully finish the project, which gave me an opportunity to be recognized by the company later on. As a result, the management of Daewoo made a decision to fully support my overseas studies to pursue a PhD degree.”

With this support from his employer, he began his pursuit toward his PhD at Purdue in 1996. Purdue Industrial Engineering had been at the top of Hong’s wish list. “When preparing for admissions, Purdue had been actually on the top of my wish list because it was always among the top three Industrial Engineering graduate programs in the US, particularly specialized in manufacturing.”

The first few years of his academic progress had been smooth, but unfortunately after three years Daewoo was no longer able to provide funding.  At a crossroads Hong turned to the assistant department head, the late Professor James W. Barany, to find out about working as a teaching assistant. “I really enjoyed being a TA from then on, voluntarily offering help sessions almost every week.”  The extra effort by Hong was rewarded, as he was recognized in 2000 and 2001 with Magoon Awards for Excellence in Teaching.  The additional financial support of his TA position allowed him to focus on his PhD research and go on to earn the Pritsker Doctoral Dissertation Award by the Institute of Industrial Engineers (2003).  

Upon graduation in 2002 Hong was hired by the University of Toledo as an assistant professor in Mechanical, Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering (MIME) Department. Hong credits his experience at Purdue earning his PhD as a factor in the hiring decision.  Additionally, Hong feels that his time at Purdue combined with his experience at the University of Toledo and Daewoo helped build up his potential to become the Dean of Engineering at SNU.

“I believe that being a Purdue PhD with those awards helped the faculty search committee at the University of Toledo make a final decision... Over the last two decades as one of the faculty members at SNU, I have always been thankful for the lessons I learned as a Boilermaker. Hail Purdue!”