On February 25, 2020, Park Joo-hyun, a Professor in the Department of Materials Engineering, received the 2020 TMS EPD (Extraction & Processing Division) Science Award in San Diego, USA.
Q. How did you feel when you were nominated for the TMS EPD Science Award?
A. In the materials engineering field, researchers specializing in 3D printing, rechargeable battery, semiconductor, and biomaterials have been getting more attention lately. In such circumstance, I was very pleased to be nominated as the first Korean winner of the TMS Award in the EPD field.
Q. What were the procedure and the difficulties of your research work when you wrote “the Effect of DRI on Dephosphorization of Molten Steel by EAF Slag”?
A. CO2 emission is a serious problem as global warming progresses. Korea is ranked 7th for this problem, and my research team participated in a national project. We tried to find a new steel manufacturing process with a new material, Direct-Reduced Iron (DRI), which has been hardly used by steel industries before. Even though we perform many experiments at very high temperatures such as 1600˚C, we can make it more effectively by using the finest computer simulating software to understand its thermodynamics. The main task we focused on was removing phosphorus and sulfur from molten steel because this process can make steels much stronger. In the movie Titanic, the ship is believed to have sunk in April, 1912, because these elements made the iron very fragile when getting damaged by iceberg.
Q. Do you have any goals to achieve through the research work in the future?
A. In fact, every social infrastructure that consists of our society is made of iron and steels. As sustainable societygains attention, the mankind focuses on the 3R: Recycle, Reuse, and Reduce. For example, you can find precious metals such as gold and silver in smartphones. After they are no longer needed, that’s where our metallurgists come out, to extract them efficiently. This is called Urban Mines. After the next few decades, our society will need to have very skillful experts for the 3R tech.
Q. What would you like to say to our HYU students who wish to become a researcher like you?
A. My favorite professor, Terkel from Norway quoted this: “A metallurgist should be a jack of many trade and master of some!” It means that a researcher should be good in many areas but must also be an expert in a specific field. To achieve this, I highlight cooperating with one another. And you can actually do this kind of training in our graduate school. Even though it is a bit small and does not have a lot of fancy equipment, we pursue and realize high-quality research.