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CJ Kim selected as one of 100 people who will light up Korea in the next 10 years

August 26, 2011

UCLA Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department Professor CJ Kim was selected as one of “100 People Who Will Light Up Korea in Year 2020”.

In celebration of their 90 years in service, Dong-A Newspaper has announced their selection of these 100 people, who will be leading Korea to a tomorrow that is better than yesterday. Dong-A Newspaper asked them about the Korean society they foresee and the self-portrait they dream about in Year 2020 as well as their heroes and beliefs that influenced them most.

CJ Kim - Reason for Selection
Highly-regarded internationally for his outstanding research in the field of micro electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) as well as his ability to communicate and network. Using nanotechnology, he is developing surfaces that liquids won’t stick to, which may lead to such applications as water-repelling raincoats and low-drag submarines.

What CJ Kim foresees in 2020
(Q) What will Korean society be like in 2020?
(A) Korean society will face both major crises and opportunities. The financial wealth that arrived ahead of the genuine industrial competitiveness has resulted in premature aging effects, such as the young generation avoiding science and engineering, which will soon lead to national crises. However, the magical dynamics of Koreans and their tendency to grow stronger under adversities will awaken them to identify the crises, which they will use as a springboard for another wave of growth.

(Q) What dreams do you want to make come true by 2020? Describe yourself in Year 2020.
(A) I see at least one or two of the technologies being developed in our laboratory having evolved into successful products that benefit human life (portable diagnostic devices, micro fuel cells, micro batteries, low-drag surfaces for marine vehicles, miniature robotic hand, etc.). In 2020, I may still be dreaming of riding a speedboat covered with our low-drag surfaces to a dangerous remote area and delivering our microhand powered by our micro fuel cells to a rescue team who uses our handheld diagnostic device for their mission. I hope to be a citizen of the world that Koreans will happily identify as a fellow Korean.

(Q) To make the above dreams come true, what kind of life focus and plan do you have?
(A) In life, my dream is quite realistic and even selfish: “live happily.” I am so fortunate that every day I do things that I have always dreamt about since childhood. However, there remain many more things I want to and know I can accomplish than those done so far. To make the dreams come true, it is essential for me to stay healthy both mentally and physically. Go workout tonight and have fun this Saturday; these are all important for my research next week, next month, and next year.

(Q) Who are your role models? Who excite you, who stimulate your passion, who do you want to resemble?
(A) My role model was Thomas Edison, naturally, since childhood till college. Understanding human nature and society to a certain degree, however, I started having multiple role models. Personally, I find myself influenced most by my father’s ability to be free and enjoy life and my mother’s fairness and sense of responsibility. When I was growing up, they protected me from the cruel culture dominated by class rankings and private tutoring. Without their vision, I cannot imagine myself enjoying learning and researching at this level for this long. Who excites me these days? Barack Obama.

(Q) While chasing your dreams, is there any principle you want to abide by? What would be this in the next sentences? I long for the success, but this is the last thing I will do. I don’t want to abandon this principle even if I achieve less.
(A) I won’t lie or cheat for gain, because I cannot live happily if I am not proud.