National CTO of the Korean Government and former CEO of Samsung visits Oxford

In May, the Department of Engineering Science hosted a special visit by Dr Chang-Gyu Hwang who is the National Chief Technology Officer (CTO) and Head of the Office of Strategic R & D Planning in the Ministry of Knowledge Economy with the Government of the Republic of Korea. Dr Hwang was previously President and CEO of Samsung Electronics.

Dr Hwang and his delegation from the Ministry of Knowledge Economy comprised Mr Hoon Park, Director; Mr Dong-Kun Lee, Senior Research Fellow and Head of Strategic Planning and Ms Heather Yoon, Research Fellow, Strategic Planning Team. They enjoyed a full day of activities which one delegate described as ‘the Oxford experience’.

The day included:

  • Scientific discussions over lunch at the Department of Engineering Science
  • A tour of the Institute of Biomedical Engineering laboratories in Headington
  • Dr Hwang giving a lecture titled: “SMARTOPIA inspires the next big thing” at the Oxford Union -  during which he shared dramatic stories of his close relationships with Andy Gove and Steve Jobs
  • A visit to the Bodleian Library where rare Korean treasures were on show
  • An entertaining dinner at Wadham College in the historic Trapp Room

Hwang delegation at Engineering Science
At the Department of Engineering Science (left to right): Professor Yiannis Ventikos, Professor Jong Min Kim, Mr Dong-Kun Lee, Dr Chang-Gyu Hwang, Mr Hoon Park, Ms Heather Yoon, Professor Guy Houlsby.

Hwang delegation at the Oxford Union
At the Oxford Union representatives from the University of Oxford are pictured here with Dr Hwang and Oxford Union members. (Photograph courtesy of ©Oxford Union, Photographer: Jonathan Dunbar).

Joining Dr Hwang’s delegation were representatives from the University of Oxford, namely: Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Planning and Resources), Professor William James; Professor Alex Halliday, Head of the Mathematical, Physical and Life Sciences Division; Professor Guy Houlsby, Head of the Department of Engineering Science; Professor Patrick Grant, Department of Materials; Professor Peter Edwards, Department of Chemistry; Dr John Wheater, Department of Physics, and Professors Jong Min Kim, Yiannis Ventikos and Constantin Coussios from the Department of Engineering Science.

Dr. Hwang coined the so-called “Hwang’s Law”, which refers to a hypothesis that the density of the top-of-the-line memory chips will double every 12 months. Hwang’s Law gained prominence in the world’s semiconductor history. Under his stewardship, Samsung Electronics became one of the world’s largest semiconductor manufacturers after introducing revolutionary new products every year in accordance with Hwang’s Law.

Dr Chang-Gyu Hwang
Dr Chang-Gyu Hwang at the Oxford Union.
(Photographs courtesy of ©Oxford Union, Photographer: Jonathan Dunbar).

It is hoped that Dr Hwang’s visit to Oxford will mark the start of a long term partnership with the University. Instrumental in building this relationship will be Professor Jong Min Kim who, after 17 years as Senior Vice-President of Samsung Electronics, was recently appointed as the new Chair of Electrical Engineering with the Department of Engineering Science.

Professor Jong Min KimProfessor Kim’s research interests lie in the area of nanotechnology and he has played a key role in international collaborations with the EU, USA, Japan, China and Russia. Professor Kim said: “My role at the Department of Engineering Science will focus on the convergence of nanotechnology with information technology, energy technology, and bio technology. I am looking forward to developing this area of work”.