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2019-05 13

[Academics][Excellent R&D] Manpower Cultivation for Industry Convergence of 5G and Unmanned Vehicles

The Fourth Industrial Revolution has changed and is still influencing the development of all of society in its technological advancements, which has enabled further convenience in people's daily lives. Recently, South Korea obtained the title of being the first country in the world to launch the 5th generation (5G) of wireless communication, and the utilization of 5G technology has become a hot potato all across the globe. In light of pursuing 5G utilization, Professor Kim Sun-woo (Division of Electronic Engineering) is making efforts toward the innovation of the core original technology of 5G and unmanned vehicle technology based on 5G. Professor Kim Sun-woo (Division of Electronic Engineering) has successfully enrolled in a research center that concentrates on the intensive research of unmanned vehicles based on 5G technology. Kim was first appointed as a Hanyang University professor in 2005 and has continuously been conducting research on wireless communications, signal processing technology, and precise positioning, which is technology that accurately locates moving objects. Along with his steady efforts into his field of interest, Kim particiated in a 5G technology proposal contest at the 2017 University Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Research Center and was successfully selected among other fierce competitors. His team at the research center is composed of 10 professors from Hanyang University, Seoul National University, and Ajou University, along with 10 related large conglomerates and small and medium-sized enterprises. “Current research regarding 5G unmanned vehicles has been ongoing since 2017 and is expected to continue for up to six years. The research is based on in-depth applied mathematics for developing core original technology, and we are working on innovating both software and hardware for the realization of such technology,” said Kim. For the research to be successful, a firm basis along with a high quality of programming is also needed. Furthermore, in order to compete internationally, Kim’s team is actively progressing with joint research with skillful personnel from all parts of the world and conducting customized research in accordance with the enterprises’ requirements. The 5G Research Center is demonstrating drone flights incorporated with 5G, running a demonstration on an RC car that drives autonomously, and using a specific device that recognizes vision and motion. (Photo courtesy of Wireless Systems Laboratory) As 5G technology is becoming more commercialized in our society and is expected to maintain its influence for approximately 10 years, continuous innovation of original technology on communications is needed, and as time passes by, various applied technology will emerge. The current notable autonomous vehicles, smart cities, Internet of Things (IoT) technology, drones, etc. are all based on and will be further developed using 5G. According to Kim, “Developing 5G and original technology for unmanned vehicles, along with cultivating related manpower to this field, has significant implications. Keeping such a research center at Hanyang plays a pivotal role when it comes to increasing the status of our university.” While communication technology was utilized fundamentally for conversations between individuals or for transmitting data in the past, the current and the future trend of 5G technology will be expanded to include communication between objects. “Based upon such trends, a variety of applied services are expected to emerge, and these services will have considerable influence on human society that will change the entire spectrum of thoughts from people,” insisted Kim. Kim believes that gaining international competitiveness and surviving in such a fast-moving society is important. For these things to happen, providing the best quality of funding in Research and Development (R&D) and progressing differentiated research programs are necessary. In addition, efforts toward internationalization and participation in various academic activities are also needed. “Of course, I am willing to conduct more research into communication technology, but I think my first job as a professor is to foster Hanyang students into excellent academic experts. Students have limitless potential and talent. What we lack is imagination. With their infinite imagination, the way to success is to keep expanding their efforts into fulfilling their dreams,” Kim concluded. The Wireless Systems Laboratory will continue with their research and development to help increase their global competitiveness. (Photo courtesy of Kim) Kim Min-jae

2019-05 13

[Academics][Researcher of the month] Silver Nanoclusters for Solar Cells Advanced in Stability and Efficiency

Professor Bang Jin-ho (Department of Chemical and Molecular Engineering, ERICA Campus) recently published his research "Ag(I)-Thiolate-Protected Silver Nanoclusters for Solar Cells: Electrochemical and Spectroscopic Look into the Photoelectrode/Electrolyte Interface," and was chosen as the researcher of the month for ERICA Campus. This research uncovered a new synthesis route that ensures better stability and extends the excited state lifetime of silver nanoclusters. Such research findings are expected to take our society one step closer to developing nontoxic, environmentally-friendly solar cells. Professor Bang Jin-ho (Department of Chemical and Molecular Engineering, ERICA Campus) secured the safety of solar cells and advanced the efficiency of light conversion. Silver is an environmentally-friendly material that easily absorbs light. However, silver is in a more unstable state than gold, and a new synthesis route was needed to improve its stability. In order for silver to be used in solar cells, the electron needs to be in a floating state for a long period. This so called floating state is known as the excited state lifetime, which is the length of time that the electron beamed by light stays in a high energy state. A longer excited state lifetime is necessary for more opportunity for electron transfer to occur. So what is the new synthesis route? The research team found out that if pH is reversible back and forth, then it is possible to create a ligand frame if pH is turned into acid, and back to normal if pH is raised. The ligands that cover the surface of the silver nanoclusters stabilize it. With the shell protection provided by the ligands, stability and the excited state lifetime can be enhanced. The new synthesis route helped overcome the drawbacks of the silver nanoclusters by inducing agglutination of the compounds silver (Ag) and sulfur (S) at the surface of the silver nanoclusters. This extended the light conversion efficiency of solar cells by two times and extended the safe driving period of solar cells. Professor Bang Jin-ho and a professor from his research team are showing the darkroom used to evaluate the solar cells. This research began in 2013 and is still ongoing after the publication of this research article. Bang and his research team are the leading group in this field, holding the highest conversion efficiency. Currently, Bang is conducting research related to materials, specifically batteries. He is interested in the development of electrode materials, and the advancement of electrode systems, which have a lot in common with batteries. He discussed his ultimate goal of actualizing and commercializing his research findings, so that they can increase convenience in people's lives. The primary goal for the research team now is to increase the efficiency to a level that allows competition compared to the traditional solar cells, in terms of engineering perspectives. The secondary goal is in line with the initial goal in that fundamental research of knowing the basic principle of motion is vital in an attempt to increase efficiency. Kim Hyun-soo Photos by Lee Hyeon-seon

2019-05 12

[Academics][Excellent R&D] Repairing Software with Software

As the era of the Internet of Things (IoT) approaches, the everyday embedded devices (from MP3 players to cars) also happen to carry their users' most personal information. If they fall into the wrong hands, these handy devices could easily turn against their users. Nevertheless, the software embedded in most devices has serious, well-known security weaknesses. Professor Oh Hee-kuck (Division of Computer Science, ERICA Campus) saw this problem, and through his recent study ARM Architecture-specific Binary Adjustment Technique and Low-level Obfuscation Method Research, invented software that can remove all software vulnerabilities. Through his research, Professor Oh Hee-kuck (Division of Computer Science, ERICA Campus) invented software that protects the security vulnerabilities of the software of embedded devices. According to Oh, many of the vendors of embedded devices are not mainstream platforms. Thus, they lack the capital and technology to properly implant the latest security technology or to offer sufficient updates for their software. Also, although 90 percent of small devices are based on the same ARM processor (a type of CPU), the devices have myriads of varieties. The security technologies applied on one device do not work on other kinds of devices, based on factors such as the manufacturing platform or the compiler version. For this reason, many embedded devices are left vulnerable to even the most outdated attacks. Through his research, Oh invented security software that can repair other software. His software aims to detect weak spots and strengthen devices’ security in a uniform way, regardless of the manufacturing platform or the program version. So, even if the device was not aided with security technology upon manufacturing or even if the original vendor disappeared, the device's security can constantly be strengthened. “Success in this research will greatly enhance the general security of embedded devices and may also encourage faster development of safe IoT,” explained Oh. Oh heavily emphasizes the importance of the individual device-user's awareness on the issue of security. Most importantly, Oh stressed the importance of individual’s awareness about security. “How many of you ignore the update message of the security system or set very weak passwords?” asked Oh. Even if the security system is strong, if the user’s password is weak, the attackers will easily make it through to the confidentialities. Furthermore, Oh explained that security is like a chain - if one link is broken, the others will easily collapse. “Perhaps, the ones who contribute the most to weak security are the individual users,” added Oh, encouraging each user to pay more attention to the importance of security. Lim Ji-woo Photos by Lee Hyeon-seon

2019-04 30

[Academics][Researcher of the Month] Hedging Deep Features for Visual Tracking

Professor Lim Jong-woo (Division of Computer Science and Engineering) has recently published his thesis "Hedging Deep Features for Visual Tracking" in IEEE Transactions on Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence (TPAMI). The thesis was mainly about discovering an algorithm that enables visual tracking of objects' features within a video through an artificial neural network. Professor Lim Jong-woo (Division of Computer Science and Engineering) wrote a thesis on discovering an algorithm that enables the visual tracking of the features of objects within a video through an artificial neural network. Convolutional Neural Network (CNN) According to Lim, the studies of Convolutional Neural Networks (CNN) have led to the development of the field of computer vision and deep learning by producing continuous results over the past 10 years. A CNN refers to a network that delivers information about certain objects through the analysis of data produced within each layer of information. The former part of the network provides information about the location of a certain object, whereas the latter mainly handles data related to the type or meaning of the object. In order to accurately position or track an object within a video, both types of information are required, which leads to the need for technology that can successfully fuse the provided information within each layer. Lim’s recent research enables this particular fusion of the various layers of information by applying a technology called hedging, which was derived from machine learning methods. Whenever a new frame is input, the location of the object is traced based upon a corrective filter that collects the information within the different layers of the CNN. This "history sensitive hedging" method, which was newly introduced in Lim’s studies, recalls every result of each layer, enabling the selection of the most relevant layer in relation to the present frame. This hedging method has allowed more efficient and productive results compared to the conventional methods of the visual tracking of objects. The overall visual tracking process that occurs within a newly input frame, using the hedging technology introduced by Lim (Photo courtesy of Lim) The significance of the research Lim’s recent thesis is an extension of his past research "Hedged Deep Thinking," published in 2016 in the IEEE Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR), which focused on applying the visual features in deep learning to the procedures for tracking objects. The conventional method was simply using all the positional information derived from each layer of the CNN, yet the CVPR thesis introduced an algorithm that selects only the necessary information through a hedging method. “My latest thesis is one that expands such studies by applying a Siamese network that further distinguishes the object of scrutiny and a cumulative regret model that reflects the former weight measures within previous frames into the most present one,” explained Lim. A Scale search step was also added in order to prepare for situations in which the size of the object changes. Lim stated that his newly presented algorithm has allowed a further step within the field of visual tracking technology by producing superior results compared to the conventional State-of-the-art algorithm. For an easier understanding, Lim pointed out the current CCTV business. Enabling the visual tracking of certain objects within a video, which includes both organic and inorganic materials, Lim’s newly introduced algorithm allows this process to be conducted in a more intelligent manner by efficiently selecting only the necessary features within each layer of the CNN. As an example, Lim illustrated a potential use of this new technology by using the CCTV monitoring process at airports. His new technology would make the process of identifying and tracking suspicious figures easier. Automatic driving and action cameras were also other fields that Lim presented as examples the technology could be applied to. Lim is explaining the significance of his newly published thesis and how it can be applied to more practical fields. Future plans Lim shared his future plans of conducting research on the multiplex visual tracking technology that allows the tracking process to be widened towards multiple objects, which is an expansion of the current visual tracking technology which mainly focuses on tracking a single object. Furthermore, he also stated how he and his laboratory students are working on the image-based attitude estimation and three dimensional restoration technologies, which can be related to the fields of automatic driving, AR/VR, and even robots. As for the last comments, Lim stated that many professors and students of the Division of Computer Science and Engineering are currently conducting research on artificial intelligence and its related fields such as computer vision and data mining. “I hope that such research aids in the needed progress in this field, and that the professors and students are able to find various opportunities of acquiring the professional knowledge to develop their strengths and abilities,” finished Lim. Choi Seo-yong Photos by Kim Joo-eun

2019-04 15

[Academics][Excellent R&D] BK21 PLUS, Supporting and Fostering Talented Students

United Arab Emirates (UAE) is well known for being an oil-producing country and a typical example of a wealthy country whose prosperity is due to its natural resources. On the other hand, South Korea does not have any natural resources to export; thereby, it focuses on technological advancement to remain competitive in global society. In order to enable such development, the government has been putting a significant emphasis on fostering talented individuals. This has led South Korea to possess a high quality of education. Considering the situation and trend of Korea, Brain Korea (BK) business has emerged to educate and train more competent individuals. The current head of BK PLUS, Professor Park Wan-jun (Department of Engineering), introduces the necessity of such educational programs. Professor Park Wan-jun (Department of Engineering) is currently the representative of Hanyang University in BK21 PLUS business. What is BK21 PLUS? In general, the overall BK business's purpose is to foster the highest level of talented creative students in Master’s or Doctoral programs that supports new creativity-based knowledge and innovative technology. This business first started under the name BK Program at Seoul National University as a pilot project. With successful outcomes, BK project upgraded to BK21 PLUS, which aims to bring up outstanding individuals in the 21st century. Through the assistance of the Korean government, selected universities’ graduate students receive a considerable amount of financial support for advanced and further research. In fact, the Department of Electronic Engineering of Hanyang University has been participating in this business since September 1st of 2013 and will end on August 31st of 2020. During the seven years of this project, each selected university should meet quality outcomes standards in order to receive financial assistance. Hanyang University has successfully produced fulfilling outcomes and has been able to receive 2.3 billion from the government annually. BK21 PLUS business has its importance in improving the quality of graduate schools’ education and research that strengthens the basis of research-centered universities. In addition, it not only fosters talented master's and doctorate students to become proficient at field experiences through industrial cooperation, but also further supports those who are in specialized areas that can become legitimate experts. Lastly, it provides the graduate students’ research scholarships and actualizes the personnel expenses of rising research manpower. This means that by reflecting the inflation rate, the amount of financial support correspondingly increases so that graduate students do not have to worry about living expenses; this provides them with an environment in which they can fully concentrate on research and education. Hanyang University ranks the highest in terms of research capability amongst other participants in BK21 PLUS. Hanyang University’s performance in BK21 PLUS BK21 PLUS is currently focusing on a semiconductor display system, convergence of broadcasting communication systems, and mobile phone systems. The participating universities ought to produce a certain item regarding these technologies and those universities are: Hanyang University, Seoul National University, Korea University, Yonsei University, Kyunghee University, Sungkyunkwan University, Pohang University of Science and Technology, and Kaist. Park notes, “Our university ranks first in terms of research capability. In fact, in the 2015 mid-term evaluation, Hanyang University was reported as being the top class amongst the participants.” However, Park criticizes, “Although we have the highest level of research capability, we ranked low in educational capability and the extent of system improvement. Therefore, I believe our school should put more effort into this program.” National Research Foundation (NRF) of Korea is planning to launch the succeeding business BK21 FOUR after the end of BK21 PLUS. Park believes, “It is absolutely appropriate for the government to make investments in education. Since there are a lot of privileges and advantages in this project, many graduate schools are seeking to become part of it. Hanyang University should keep up with the research results and definitely remain in this business in the future as well.” Kim Min-jae Photos by Park Guen-hyung

2019-04 01

[Academics][Researcher of the Month] The High Mobility of Single-Crystal Nanowires Opens Potential for Future Displays

Semiconductors have become indispensable in our daily lives as we use electronic goods almost every moment. In those goods, most of the semiconductors used are inorganic semiconductors, with occasional exceptions of organic semiconductors. This is because the former is far superior in conduction velocity than the latter. In response to the latter's inferiority, Professor Sung Myung-mo (Department of Chemistry), in his paper "Single-Crystal Poly Nanowires with Ultrahigh Mobility," have introduced a single-crystal nanowire using the newly created polymer called PCDTPT and increased the electrical coductivity of organic semiconductors by more than 10 times. Professor Sung Myung-mo (Department of Chemistry) is the researcher of the month with his thesis "Single-Crystal Poly Nanowires with Ultrahigh Mobility." The organic semiconductor has two noticeable advantages when it comes to applications in electronics. First, it is flexible, and it can be made into solution form. However, it is not yet widely used because it lacks in its mobility compared to inorganics. Also, it has the downside of being unsafe since it is organic matter. However, after Sung's research, humanity has come one step closer to the possibility of substituting inorganic semiconductors, now that the mobility performance of organic semiconductors has significantly increased. Organic semiconductors can be divided into small molecules and polymers. Organic semiconductor polymer is called conducting polymers, which means that the organic matter contains conductivity. Mobility is the speed per second that the transistor moves. The mobility has increasedby more than 10 times, overturning the previous notion that an organic matter cannot have high mobility. Here, the mobility is important because it is frequently used in transistors and decides the working speed. It only took Sung and his team about six months to deduct the research results, because they had already accumulated research needed to facilitate the process. One of the major research prjoects that they have been looking into over the past 10 years was the Nano Patterning method. It is the technology needed to make nano-sized sticks, with which matters that cannot be made into single crystal forms can transform with the creation of a nano-sized wire. They learned that the mobility increased when they made nanowire single crystals. The process of how single-crystal nanowires are made. Each stick-shaped line refers to one single-crystal nanowire. (Photo courtesy of Sung) The question on the surface may be, "How did the mobility increase by over 10 fold?" They predict that it is due to the unique structure of PCDTPT crystals. In existing conducting polymers, which are molecules that have the shape of a thin board, the molecules align next to each other and the conduction takes place sideways. In the case of PCDTPT crystals, however, it takes a vertical direction that differs by 90 degrees from the established conducting polymers. Samsung first created OLED electronics, made of organic semiconductors and it caught the attention of the global market due to its thin, lightweight structural characteristics, and low-power technology. While it seemed impossible at the time, it is now an ongoing research project that the world may conveniently be using as everyday technology in the future. “Persistence is the most important factor a researcher must have. Never give up, even if it seems unlikely that the research will succeed,” advised Sung to future researchers of Hanyang. Kim Hyun-soo Photos by Lee Hyeon-seon

2019-03 11

[Academics][Excellent R&D] To Stay Safe on Nuclear Power

Being a country in the possession of nuclear power plants, we are bound to be under the constant threat of a nuclear accident. The recent research of Professor Jae Moo-sung (Department of Nuclear Engineering) on Multi-Unit Probabilistic Safety Assessment (PSA) Test Regulation Technology Development is a step forward to keep us and our planet safe from a nuclear disaster. Professor Jae Moo-sung (Department of Nuclear Engineering)’s five-year-research on Multi-Unit Probabilistic Safety Assessment (PSA) Test Regulation Technology Development ensures greater safety around multi-unit nuclear plants. Korea has up to nine nuclear plants in one site, with a massive population living nearby. According to Jae, there are not many countries that have this many nuclear plants in one site as Korea does. For instance, America has a maximum of three plants in one site. Logically, malfunction of these plants could inflict catastrophic damage on those living nearby, which is why a thorough multi-unit risk test is necessary. Calculating the risk of a nuclear plant consists of three levels. Level 1 involves finding all possible combinations of conditions that could lead to the meltdown of the reactor core. Level 2 calculates the probability of a nuclear reactor containment building being destroyed and leaking radiation. Next, level 3 calculates how much damage the leaked radiation could have on the neighboring population, and the entire country. On top of these procedures, Jae managed to add a fourth level: calculating the risk of the multi-unit nuclear plants. The modeling Jae invented calculates whether a particular multi-unit plant meets the appropriate safety target level. This calculation allows for risk monitoring and deducing the optimum number of plants. In other words, it helps evaluate which part of the plant needs risk management, and finds out the maximum number of nuclear plants that can be located per site. With help from Jae’s modeling, the multi-unit plants could be up to 10 times safer. Calculating the risks posed by a nuclear plant consists of three levels. Jae added a fourth level: calculating the risk of the multi-unit nuclear plants, which increases the safety level by up to 10 times. Jae says this multi-unit PSA is the first in the world, and is thus receiving much attention from all over the world. His Multi-Unit Risk Research Group, consisting of eight institutes and more than a hundred researchers, awaits many important international workshops such as the International Symposium on Multi-Unit Risk and plans to stay on top of the latest research to ensure the greatest safety for our people. Lim Ji-woo Photos by Park Geun-hyung

2019-02 25

[Academics][Researcher of the Month] Using Proteogenomic Research to Look into Early Onset Gastric Cancer

Through the proteogenomic research of 80 early onset gastric cancer patients, Professor Paek Eun-ok (Department of Computer Science) and her team have provided a better understanding of cancer biology and patient stratification in diffuse type gastric cancers (GCs). The Research team which professor Paek was mostly responsible for in the interpretation of the collected data using software was recognized by publishing ‘Proteogenomic Characterization of Human Early-Onset Gastric Cancer’ in one of the most significant academic journals in the field of cancer named, Cancer Cell. 15 percent of our country’s gastric cancer patients are young, being 45 years old or younger. This is called Early Onset Gastric Cancer (EOGC). However, many of these types of cancers are diffuse types meaning that they are easy to spread and have shaky prognoses, often resulting in death. The research team collected paired tumors and adjacent normal tissues from 80 Early Onset Gastric Cancer patients under 45. They predicted that the research result, through genes and proteins, would be complementary, which is why they decided to go on with the proteogenomics research, combining both genomic and proteomic analysis. A photo indicating the subtypes of Early Onset Gastric Cancer (EOGC) sorted through proteogenomic analysis (Photo courtesy of Paek) Through integrated analysis of mRNA and proteins, it has shown that the 80 gastric cancer patients can be sorted into four different subtypes, and that each subtype is engaged in different cell signaling pathways. It is becoming more and more possible to precisely sort out the cause of disease in early onset gastric cancer patients through proteogenomics research. Amongst 7,000 somatic variations, they found rogue genes (CDH1, ARID1A, RHOA) which were related to the occurrence of early onset gastric cancer, and they discovered the high interrelationship in their variations and the state of Phosphorylation, proving that these genes are engaged in very important cell signaling pathways related to occurrences of EOGCs. While the research was highly successful in that it brought out the importance of personalized therapy in the future by categorizing patients into four different subtypes and allowing the team to look at a patient with more refinement, there were some difficulties that the team had faced during research. They had to take cancer tissues directly from patients which needs to be frozen within minutes out in the air before any proteomic changes happen. Also, professor Paek construed proteogenomics through an algorithm that she created, but she emphasized the need for advancement in technologies to better interpret proteome data, comparing the lack of available software to research around the genome. Professor Paek Eun-ok (Department of Computer Science) joined NewsH for an interview on February 22, 2018. When asked what professor Paek considers the most important trait in a researcher, she recalled objectivity. “Researchers must always try to be as objective as possible because it is easy to look only at what you want to see,” she advised to her students. She is currently working closely with researchers participating in the CPTAC (Clinical Proteome Tumor Analysis Consortium) program at NIH (National Institute of Health), USA. They are also actively sharing research methods and data with one another to find yet another discovery that could increase understanding of the once unknown diseases in our society. Kim Hyun-soo Photo by Park Geun-hyung

2019-02 04

[Academics][Researcher of the Month] How to Effectively Create Eco-friendly Energy Using FOG

When we flush the toilet, the waste goes to the sewage treatment plant where the solid waste called sludge is separated from liquid waste. It seems as if this sludge will have no further use, but that turned out to be false. In fact, sludge is a massively important energy source for humans. In ‘Recent trends in anaerobic co-digestion: Fat, oil, and grease (FOG) for enhanced biomethanation,’ Professor Jeon Byong-hun (Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Engineering) explains the new trend in anaerobic digestion called, ‘anaerobic co-digestion,’ which is recently receiving a lot of attention. Anaerobic co-digestion yields energy through combusting not only the sewage sludge but also the lipidic waste such as fat, oil, and grease. FOG contains dense carbon and, thus, can largely increase the amount of methane when co-digested, which in turn can increase the amount of energy. Professor Jeon Byong-hun (Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Engineering) explains the anaerobic co-digestion, which creates methane from sludge and FOG, which can be combusted to create eco-friendly energy. When sludge gets processed in the sewage treatment plant, this biomass is broken down by micro-organisms in the absence of oxygen. This results in several end products, and one of them is methane. Methane could in turn be combusted to generate energy – a renewable, eco-friendly energy. This process is called anaerobic digestion. The anaerobic digestion is a necessary process used world-wide in order to reduce the amount of sewage sludge as well as to create eco-friendly energy. However, anaerobic digestion with only the sewage sludge as its source yielded an insignificant amount of energy, and there needed to be a way to increase the yielded energy. The diagram explains the ordinary sewage treatment in Phase 1 and the process of anaerobic co-digestion in Phase 3. (Photo courtesy of Jeon) Nonetheless, there have been several drawbacks in this particular process, which Jeon acknowledges and has suggested a new direction for the research. The problem is that long chain fatty acids (LCFA) contained in FOG inhibits the process, creating problems such as sludge floatation, washout, and scum formation. In the paper, Jeon discussed numerous pretreatment approaches and the latest techniques to solve these problems. Finally, based on the laboratory, pilot, and full-scale investigations, he concluded that the co-digestion of sludge and FOG greatly increased biomethane production, and presented several factors (such as concentration of FOG loading, mixing intensity, reactor configuration, and operation conditions) as the influential factor in improving the biomethane production. Jeon highlights the necessity of this particular form of bioenergy. “Most forms of energy can only be electrical energy. Solar, wind, and even atomic energy are all electrical energy only. Electrical energy is important, but it cannot replace everything, especially fossil fuel. Fossil fuel can be converted into electrical energy, but unlike other electrical energy sources, it can also become liquid, as well as gas and a solid energy carrier, and do many things, such as being put into transportation vehicles. The bioenergy coming from sludge and FOG can replace this portable energy source. Basically, this energy can do what any other eco-friendly energy cannot do,” Jeon emphasized. (Front row, middle) Jeon and his students pose for a photo in the laboratory. Lim Ji-woo Photos by Kang Cho-hyun

2019-01 30

[Academics][Excellent R&D] ACEnano Toolbox for H2020

Whilst the rapid development of technology has made our lives immensely easier, it has also brought unavoidable consequences that have affected our society. It is a double-edged sword with ongoing debates among scholars, civilians, and politicians regarding the extent to which it should be regulated to safeguard our society, resulting in such different standards and regulations imposed onto products. Yoon Tae-hyun (Department of Chemistry), is in the process of developing a toolbox that would allow companies to avoid clashes with these different regulations imposed in each country. H2020 stands for horizon 2020, which marks the project's initial deadline in the year 2020 massively funded by the European Union. (Photo courtesy of NewsH) Yoon’s work in the field of analytical chemistry involves analyzing the influence of each nanoparticle that is also vastly used in our daily products such as makeup and humidifier sterilizers, depending on their size, shape, component, physical or chemical response, and biological influence. His focus is on developing the ACEnano toolbox (Analytical and Characterization Excellence in nanomaterial toolbox), which is an international cooperative research between Korea and the European Union (EU) with the goal of H2020 (Horizon 2020). With the goal of creating a nanomaterial risk assessment tool, he wishes to help companies overcome the different regulatory barriers in each country when exporting their products. “Each country has its own legal and regulatory systems that companies must pass before putting their products out in the market. Most companies do have the capacity to develop high quality and effective products to bring maximum profit, but they don’t have enough capacity nor specialized knowledge in the safety area that ultimately prevents them from entering the market,” said Yoon. ACEnano toolbox development steps (Photo courtesy of Yoon) The project is carried out with ACEnano international consortium, with main members from the EU such as Austria, Germany, and Sweden, as well as partner countries such as Korea, China, and Mexico. The research also involves global equipment and manufacturing companies to add practicality. The developed toolbox will help companies using nanotechnology to minimize any potential harm coming from the nanoparticles on the human body or the environment, hence giving it the name, "safety by design." “The fact that companies will also be able to develop environmentally and physically safe, high quality and effective products and thus have no problems with tough regulations in different countries will allow countries to avoid clashes and lead to continuous exchange,” stated Yoon. According to Yoon, the EU has already started registering all nanomaterials since 2018, and Korea plans to follow its steps in 2023. This creates an opportunity for partial commercialization of the toolbox in just two to three years. He believes that in order to protect the environment from nano-chemical materials and our health from unregulated nano-chemical products, it is definitely crucial for there to be regulations. However, there should also be a global standard that rules out unnecessary and tough regulations that are not based on scientific evidence to also allow companies to be more interactive with their products and their development. “Recently, there have been frequent chemical material accidents that have instigated debate on whether to have tougher regulations or not. However, I don’t think this is a simple black-and-white matter to decide. New technology is always a double-edged sword, and we should look for ways to minimize the negatives and maximize the positives,” said Yoon. Park Joo-hyun