On October 2, Professor Ha Sung-kyu and the Center for Structures and Composites at Hanyang University ERICA campus won the Innovation Award in Research and Development (R&D) and Design, at the 2013 JEC Americas Composites Show and Conference. Each year, the JEC Composites presents the Innovation Award, for those who earn a high reputation in various fields related to composite materials. This year, Professor Ha was acknowledged for his work with many industries and the composites designs that he is developing now. It was the first time that a university lab won this award.
Composite materials refer to fiber and resin which are used for the airplanes, cars, aero generators, and so on. Professor Ha revealed his deep affection and confidence towards his major saying, “Nowadays the usefulness of composite materials is very promising and in the future, they can be utilized in more and more industries.”
He started to conduct research on composite materials during his Master’s course. He majored in Mechanical Engineering at HYU, and went to the U.S. for further studies in composite materials. In the U.S., he managed a huge project to design a yacht for the America’s Cup, which is a famous yacht racing competition. This experience inspired him to learn more about the material design and to start practical work with related industries.
Professor Ha is now conducting about 10 projects with companies all over the world, such as Hyundai Heavy Industries, Airbus, Bosch, and so on. Juggling his work in many industries at once, he said he has had some troubles with time management. “Since I am working with foreign companies in various regions, it is hard to schedule conferences. But, I overcame this problem by splitting one day into 8 hours units and using teleconferencing for meetings,” he said.
Continuing research on aero generators, he is planning to delve into the automobile field. He said, “Korean automobiles are excellent in performance. But in terms of materials, more research is needed. So I would like to study more about the application of composite materials for automobile.” Professor Ha and his laboratory have gained global reputation for innovation and diversification of work in numerous industries. He said that such positive appraisals give him motivation to continue his research.
For Hanyangians, he advises finding a field that they are passionate about. He said, “Don’t be afraid of failure. Trial and error is an ordinary thing that occurs when you try to find what you really love to do. To find it, you should plan and do something that you feel is worthwhile. You will be allowed to show your full capabilities when you find it.”