What does KAIST EEWS Research Center do?
Introduction
  • The human habitats of the earth are facing great challenges in terms of energy, water and resource shortages, along with the global ecological challenges caused by climate change. KAIST has committed itself to solving such problems, which it conceives of as being related to ‘Energy, Environment, Water and Sustainability’ (EEWS), by establishing the EEWS Initiative in 2007., and EEWS Initiative has been changed to EEWS Research Center in September 2013.
Vision and Goal
  • The vision of the EEWS Research Center is "EEWS as a Green Growth Engine" in an effort to solve global EEWS problems. That is, the ultimate goal of the EEWS Research Center is to contribute to the green growth of Korea to enhance our national and global research capability. In order to achieve this goal, the EEWS Research Center conducts research, educates research-oriented students, recruits new faculty members in EEWS fields, provides new research equipment and facilities, and organizes international workshops to exchange research outcomes with global researchers and industrial experts. The integration of research, education, knowledge exchanges, and the commercialization of EEWS is the virtuous cycle aimed for by the EEWS Research Center as we work to solve EEWS-related problems. Through these contributions, we believe that KAIST will become a global leader of the future. This vision is funded by the Korean Government at 10 billion won per year for the years 2009-13, which we will propose to extend.
Current Status in 2013
  • During the fourth year of the EEWS Initiative, the activities in 2013 included nineteen research projects, including nine flagship projects, education by the Graduate School of EEWS and Green Growth, new faculty recruitment in the fields of EEWS, international workshops, international collaborations, the EEWS Forum, and the EEWS Business Plan Contest.
  • • Nine Flagship EEWS Projects
    • EEWS research consists of nineteen projects involving 68 professors and 211 graduate students. Among them, nine flagship projects pursue fundamentally new approaches designed to break through key technological barriers. These are outlined below:

    • - Development of the Artificial Photosynthesis Systems to Generate Sustainable Fuels using Carbon Dioxide
    • - Development of Custom-designed Microorganisms and Process Optimization for Mass Production of Bio-butanol
    • - Development of Eco-Friendly & Highly Efficient Polymer Lighting Fabricated by All-Solution-Process
    • - Development of Next Generation High Power Lithium Rechargeable Batteries
    • - Development of the Continuous Carbon Fiber Composite Bipolar Plate with Conductive Particles and Graphite-foil embedded for the PEMFC (Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cell)
    • - Nano Organic Solar Cell Development for Next Generation Photovoltaic Industry
    • - Next Generation Advanced Materials and Systems for Water Treatment and Desalination
    • - Safe Nuclear Fuel Reuse
    • - Covalent Organic Polymers(COPs) for Effective CO₂ Capture/Simultaneous Removal of Gaseous Pollutants in Furnace for Next Gneration Green Power Plant System
  • • Prominent Research Achievements
    • Notable outcomes of research are realized by publishing the research results in prominent journals such as Science and Nature, by publishing as a cover paper in journals, or by achieving a world record in terms of performance. Typical examples are given below:

    • - Prof. Sun Chang Kim (Development of Custom-designed Microorganisms and Process Optimization for Mass Production of Bio-butanol) achieved the world record in constructing host strains with a high production yield: E. coli: 15.0g/L
    • - Prof. Sun Chang Kim (Development of Custom-designed Microorganisms and Process Optimization for Mass Production of Bio-butanol) achieved the world record in constructing host strains with a high production yield: E. coli: 15.0g/L
    • - Prof. Do Kyung Kim (Development of Next Generation High Power Lithium Rechargeable Batteries) improved the power density to 2000W/kg of Lithium batteries which are essential for electric vehicles.
    • - Prof. Min-Yang Yang (Development of Eco-Friendly Highly Efficient Polymer Lighting Fabricated by All-Solution -Process) developed a process of Eco-Friendly Highly Efficient Polymer Lighting in ordinary air for the first time.
    • - Prof. Dai Gil Lee (Development of the Continuous Carbon Fiber Composite Bipolar Plate with Conductive Particles and Graphine-foil Embedded for the PEMFC) developed a low-cost, low-weight Fuel Cell Stack to reduce the production costs by half.
    • - Prof. Jong-Il Yun (Safe Nuclear Fuel Reuse) is designing a unique conceptual Pyro-SFR (Sodium-cooled fast reactor) system at KAIST in consideration of safety, economics and sustainability.
    • - Prof. Mamadou S. Diallo (Next Generation of Advanced Materials and Systems for Water Treatment and Desalination) developed ion-selective polymeric nanofibers.
  • • Graduate School of EEWS
    • Professors from eighteen academic departments participate in the EEWS project. In addition, a core group of EEWS has established multi-disciplinary MS and Ph.D. programs in the Graduate School of EEWS for the fall of 2009. The school has a special program focused on Energy Science and Engineering, which is supported for six years by the government’s World Class University Plan. Seven prominent foreign professors and twelve superb Korean professors participate in this program. They are regarded as world’s best research team on ‘green’ technologies.
  • • Recruitment of new Faculty Members in the area of EEWS
    • EEWS has recruited fifty-five new professors and plans to recruit additional professors who will research and teach issues related to green technologies in various departments. The areas in which the new professors have expertise are nuclear energy, wind and tidal energy, energy materials, solar energy conversion technology, CO₂ treatments and smart grid technology.
  • • Equipment and Facilities for EEWS research
    • The EEWS Initiative supports equipment and facilities that are essential for EEWS research. In 2012, the EEWS Initiative purchased seven pieces of research equipment and is now supporting the construction of the KAIST Research Analysis Center, which will be home to the equipment shared by the researchers.
  • • International Workshops on EEWS 2013
    • The International Workshop on EEWS has been organized annually since 2008. In 2013, nine international workshops will be held as the EEWS series in the KI building. Two of them will be held jointly with Denmark Technical University. Each one-day workshop will be organized for key themes relevant to the research projects. The themes of workshops are as follows:

    • - CO₂ Management to Open Sustainable Business for Industries
    • - Sustainable Manufacturing Technology for Opto-electronic Devices
    • - Advanced battery, High power battery, Advanced anode and cathode materials for lithium-ion batteries, Lithium metal-air battery technology
    • - BioSustainablity
    • - Toward Development of Practically Viable Organic Solar Cells
    • - Enhancement of Energy Conversion Rate with Nano-and Micro-structures
    • - Next Generation Green Aero-Engines: Open Rotor
    • - Next Generation Green Oxy-PC Power Plant for CCS system
    • - Carbon Dioxide Capture and Separation by Porous Solids
    • - Safety and Sustainability of Nuclear Energy System in the Future
  • • Korea-Danish Green Technology Research Center
    • The Korea-Danish Green Technology Research Center is a collaborative center created by KAIST and Denmark Technical University. The establishment was agreed upon by the presidents of both countries. Two research projects, BioSustainability and Integrated Water Technology are underway. These projects are funded by the Original Research Grant of the Korean Government. Last year, the Offshore Wind Turbine and Battery projects were added and Fuel Cell research was signed in May, 2013.
  • • EEWS Executive Forum
    • To propagate EEWS technologies effectively to businesses, the EEWS Executive Program was established in August of 2009. This program was delivered once a week for one semester. The program was very highly regarded by industry leaders as a unique program in which executives could learn both technologies and management strategies related to green growth. After the completion of the fourth cohort in June of 2011, this program evolved into the EEWS Forum as a channel of collaboration between KAIST and industry. The first and second meetings were held in July and October of 2011. On October 13th, of this year, a forum symposium will be held with outstanding speakers from government, industry, and academia covering key international issues, renewable power generation, batteries and solar energy.
  • • EEWS Business Plan Contest and Student Idea Festival
    • The outcomes of EEWS research projects are encouraged for commercialization. To cultivate commercialization systematically, the EEWS Research Center held the EEWS Business Plan Contest in association with two venture capital firms, DFJ Athena, LLC, and Ilshin Venture Capital. EEWS Business Plans are proposed by faculty, students, and alumni. The final projects have the opportunity to obtain investment from venture capitals firms. In 2011, we added the ‘Student Idea Festival’ to cultivate KAIST students’ brilliant ideas and creative concepts.
  • • Establishment of the new Graduate School of Green Growth
    • The Graduate School of Green Growth (GSGG) aims to cultivate the world’s top-quality human resources for the sustainable green growth. The Korean Government endorsed this vision and will support and fund the recruiting of professors and scholarships to achieve this vision. The KAIST GSGG aims to become the global hub in education and research in green policies, green businesses, and green technological entrepreneurship. As such, the KAIST GSGG has the following objectives:

    • - Perform research on green growth models and theories which can serve as the foundation for green growth education and as a knowledge platform.
    • - Develop governmental experts in green growth policy not only from a Korean perspective but also from the perspective of developing countries.
    • - Develop entrepreneurs of green business who can create new businesses with emerging green technologies.
    • - Develop ‘green’ businessmen who can transform a traditional business into a green business.
    • - Develop customized non-degree executive programs for exchanges with green industry leadership.

    • The school will recruit its first cohort to start in September, 2013.