Colorado State University to Sign Deal for Research Exchange with One of the World’s Premier Energy Research Institutions

Colorado State University will further cement study and research ties to the Republic of Korea on Sept. 8 when it inks an agreement with The Korea Institute of Energy Research. KIER is the only institution in the Republic of Korea actively researching energy technology development.

The agreement encourages faculty, scientists and administrators to collaborate on research and outreach projects with the goal of increasing the exchange of information and advancing scientific research in the area of energy technology. This partnership will offer several mutual benefits, including the opportunity for Colorado State and KIER researchers to share new approaches and for Colorado State scientists to test out theories using the unique experimental facilities at KIER. One of the first projects being discussed is the creation of a "smart" HVAC program using artificial intelligence.

The five-year international memorandum of understanding will be signed in ceremonies in Ammons Hall on the Colorado State campus at 4 p.m. Sept. 8.

"The best science has often come through key collaborations, a sharing of knowledge that brings answers to important questions," said Albert Yates, president of Colorado State, who will be signing on behalf of the university. "This agreement will be one of those successful partnerships."

The agreement is a step toward strengthening the study and research ties between Colorado State and the Republic of Korea. In 1997, an agreement was signed with Seoul National University setting up a cooperative program which includes collaborative research and student exchange.

The Korea Institute of Energy Research in Taejon, Korea, is a non-profit, national scientific research institute supported by the government of the Republic of Korea. The main research activities are energy conversion technology for the rational use of energy, environmental technology related to fuel combustion and new and renewable energy technology.

"This partnership will enable researchers on both sides to collaborate and complement each other’s talents," said Timothy Tong, head of the department of mechanical engineering at Colorado State. "I look forward to working on joint projects which, had they been attempted individually, would not have been possible."

Signing on behalf of The Korea Institute of Energy Research will be Soo Hyun Choi, president of KIER and a Colorado State alumnus.

Choi received his bachelor’s in engineering from Seoul National University in 1969. He came to Colorado State and received his master’s in physics in 1975 and his doctorate in electrical engineering in 1978. He went on to join KIER, where he held leadership positions in several departments before being named president in 1997.

In addition to his position with KIER, Choi serves as vice president of the Korea Society for Energy Engineering and the Korea Institute of Power Electronics. He also is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Korea Energy Forum and of the Dongchon Science Research Foundation. He has co-authored over 120 technical articles and holds four registered patents. Although currently an administrator, Choi has taught various graduate level classes at Chung-Nam National University and supervised several master’s and doctoral students.

Grant Lee, professor of philosophy and, for 33 years, adviser to the Korean Students Association, said the event serves as an excellent example to students. "Dr. Choi’s achievements demonstrate to students that, through study and hard work, your rewards can be many. Additionally, Dr. Choi has made clear the importance of maintaining and nurturing ties which can be beneficial to all parties."

KIER is located in Science Town, near Taejon in the Republic of Korea. Science Town is a planned and coordinated research community which houses about 52 organizations, ranging from government-supported institutes and industry research laboratories to universities. Science Town was designed in response to the explosion of science and technology in South Korea which began in the 1970s and has steadily increased.