Thomas Hahn inaugurated as the 21st President of KIST
September 8, 2009
After 18 years of dedicated and loyal service, UCLA Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department Professor Thomas Hahn has accepted the challenging and prestigious position of President of the Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST), effective Sept. 1, 2009. KIST is the premier research institute in Korea, covering almost all fields of science and technology. Prof. Hahn will guide KIST toward its goal of becoming a world class institute.
The MAE Department thanks Prof. Hahn for everything he has done for the department. Since he joined the department in 1991, he has contributed greatly to MAE in a variety of ways. In addition to maintaining a thriving research program and teaching many different courses, he has undertaken numerous initiatives that have enhanced the educational and research programs of the department.
Here are several highlights of Prof. Hahn’s tenure in UCLA’s MAE Department:
- Prof. Hahn established the Integrated Manufacturing Engineering program in the late 1990’s. This was an interdisciplinary Masters degree program which served a need at that time to retrain engineers for advanced manufacturing technology.
- Prof. Hahn served with dedication as department Chair from 2002 to 2006. During that four year period he oversaw the hiring of nine faculty members and was proactive in seeking out female and minority faculty candidates.
- Prof. Hahn and Prof. Sungtaek Ju established the UCLA-KAIST MAE Exchange Program.
- Prof. Hahn and Prof. Laurent Pilon brought a GAANN fellowship award to the department, which supported several graduate students (focusing on minority and female students).
- As Chair, Prof. Hahn led a shift to put more information about the department and its processes online.
- In 2006, Prof. Hahn received the UCLA Faculty/Staff Partnership Award, nominated by our departmental staff.
Prof. Hahn held the Raytheon Chair in Manufacturing Engineering in the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department and had joint appointments in the Materials Science and Engineering Department and the California NanoSystems Institute. He currently serves as the editor-in-chief of the Journal of Composite Materials.
Prof. Hahn’s research interests cover a wide spectrum of composites technology ranging from design and analysis to processing and manufacturing. The current research focus is on multifunctional polymer nanocomposites. His work in composites started in 1972 when he was with the Air Force Materials Laboratory. Before joining the UCLA faculty in 1992, he was the Harry and Arlene Schell Professor at Penn State. Other previous experiences include a professorship at Washington University in St. Louis and research positions at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and the University of Dayton Research Institute. He served as an IPA/Program Manager of the Mechanics of Materials and Devices Program at the Air Force Office of Scientific Research from 1999 till 2001, and as chair of the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department between 2002 and 2006.
Prof. Hahn is a fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, a fellow of the American Society for Composites, and a member of the National Academy of Engineering of Korea. He is the recipient of a 1991 Outstanding Research Award from the Penn State Engineering Society, the 1996 Medal of Excellence in Composite Materials from the University of Delaware Center for Composite Materials, the 1998 Charles Russ Richards Memorial Award from Pi Tau Sigma and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the 1999 Ho-Am Prize for Engineering from the Ho-Am Foundation, the 1999 Technomic Award for Excellence in Composites from the American Society for Composites, and a 2000 Distinguished Engineering Alumni Award from Seoul National University. In 2006 he was designated as a Centennial Fellow of the Department of Engineering Science and Mechanics, Penn State University, and received the Faculty/Staff Partnership Award at UCLA. He was president of the American Society for Composites, 1996-1997, and president of the Korean-American Scientists and Engineers Association, 1999-2000. He was the president of the International Committee on Composite Materials for the 2005-2007 term.
Prof. Hahn has a B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering from Seoul National University, Korea, and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Engineering Mechanics from Penn State University.
Congratulations, Prof. Hahn! We wish you the best in your new endeavor.