Dr. Seong Keun Kim Inaugurated as 9th President of POSTECH
Dr. Seong Keun Kim assumed office as the 9th President of Pohang University of Science and Technology (POSTECH) at the official inauguration ceremony held at the POSCO International Center at 11:00 AM on September 5, 2023.
The event was attended by guests from academia and government, both domestic and international. Notable attendees included Pohang city mayor Gang-deok Lee, Pohang city council chairman In-gyu Baek, President Dosoung Choi of Handong Global University and POSTECH Foundation Chairman Jeong-Woo Choi. Faculty, staff, and students also joined the event.
In his inaugural address, President Seong Keun Kim remarked, “POSTECH has grown into a world-class institution in an impressively short period of time with outstanding leaders who had an incredible foresight, strong support from POSCO and its subsidiaries, and extraordinary passion from our members.” He further added, “I stand here with a profound sense of responsibility and a resolute commitment to take POSTECH to the next level of excellence.”
He referred to an unoccupied pedestal located within the campus, intended for a future Nobel laureate from POSTECH, emphasizing: “The Nobel Prize honors not just academic success but also celebrates the spirit of adventurers who tread where no one has gone before.” To address the challenges that the university faces, such as rapid population decline and resource concentration in the metropolitan areas, he underscored the imperative to “forge a new path in education, research, and societal contributions.”
President Kim added, “POSTECH should become a highly open university, fostering two-way exchange that empower students to chart their own destinies on the global stage.” He also pledged to introduce a range of policies benefiting students, faculty, researchers, and staff.
In conclusion, he conveyed his determination, stating: “As we look forward to our 40th anniversary, POSTECH will embark on our voyage for a second leap onto the world stage from Pohang, the center of the pioneering spirit of Korea.”
POSTECH Foundation Chairman Choi, in his appointment statement, extended congratulations to President Kim, affirming: “Our new president possesses a well-rounded set of leadership, drive, and communication skills. He exhibits the capacity and passion to properly embody POSTECH’s educational philosophy, making him the ideal candidate that POSTECH needs.”
President Kim, a native of Daegu, holds a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Seoul National University. He pursued postgraduate studies at Harvard University, obtaining both a master’s and a Ph.D. in chemical physics. He joined the Seoul National University faculty in 1989, serving as a professor in the Department of Chemistry until 2022. Additionally, in 2014, he assumed the role of dean of SNU’s College of Natural Sciences. He has also chaired the Samsung Science and Technology Foundation since 2019, contributing significantly to the discovery of exceptional emerging researchers.
Renowned for his outstanding research achievements in physics and chemistry, President Kim was honored as the inaugural national scholar (Star Faculty) by the Ministry of Education in 2006. In 2013, he was inducted as Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (FRSC) and in 2015, he became the first non-European editor-in-chief of Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics (PCCP), one of the world’s top three journals on physical chemistry.