Leaping into the world, with one brave step

  • Hits : 1608
  • Registration Date : 2019-09-26
Leaping into the world, with one brave step의 대표사진

A Conversation with Alumni

Leaping into the world, with one brave step

Kim Hyang-pyo (Graduated as Astronomy and Space Science major from UST-Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute (KASI) Campus in 2019, Currently postdoctoral researcher at Nagoya University)

The field of space climate may be unfamiliar to most of us, despite space climate forecasts being used in many countries around the world, including in Korea. High energy electromagnetic radiation, solar energetic particles (SEP) and solar wind cause rapid changes in the space environment, even leading to disruptions in satellite and wireless communications, satellite orbits and ground electrical systems. As humanity challenges its boundaries in space, the field of space climate will play an ever-growing role. UST alum Kim Hyang-pyo studied the topic of electromagnetic waves in the earth’s magnetosphere during his time on the UST-KASI campus. After graduating in August, he began a postdoctoral fellowship at the Institute for Space-Earth Environmental Research, Nagoya University. Let’s hear from Kim as he sets out to chart his course after graduation.

Motivation for Leaps Ahead in Each Step

The sparkling stars in the sky made up Kim’s dreams as a boy. His interest in the stars began when he read “Byeoljari Yeohaeng (Touring the Constellations)” written by professor Kim Tae-hyung. He fell in love with the world of stars, tracing the constellations in the sky as seen in the book. He dreamt of becoming a scientist who saves the world after watching the movie Armageddon. When asked what his dream was, his answer was always to become a scientist (astronomer).

However, dreams don’t always become reality, and Kim did not become a scientist of the stars. Although he continued reaching for the stars during his undergraduate studies in Chungnam National University’s Department of Astronomy, his major changed after he completed the air force officer undergraduate degree program, worked as a research associate at KASI, and furthered his studies at UST. “Still, I’m very satisfied with where I am. I did everything and studied all the things I wanted to,” Kim says with a smile.

My research topic is electromagnetic waves in the magnetosphere, which comes under space climate studies. In the earlier part of my degree program, I conducted theoretical research on interactions between waves and electrons. After that, I performed observational studies on EMIC (Electromagnetic Ion Cyclotron) waves at low orbit using satellite data.

With his theoretical and observational research on electromagnetic waves, Kim published a total of three papers in international SCI journals. He also presented his findings at various international conferences including those organized by the American Geophysical Union and European Geosciences Union. What sets Kim’s research apart is that the analysis of EMIC in low orbit is very useful for high altitude satellite observations and related analyses. It will also lay the groundwork for SNIPE, Korea’s first 6U Cubesat mission, to be conducted in 2021, improving its precision and contributing to the design of specific operational scenarios.

“It’s hard to say if what I’ve studied so far would be a great highlight in my entire research career. However, I think it will serve as motivation for the research to come. I will have to keep working hard in my own field as I always have.”

People Who Showed Him the Way

Kim was a research associate at KASI when professor Hwang Jeong-a recommended that he pursue graduate studies at UST. It was welcome advice at that point in his life, when he was wondering whether to find a job or go to graduate school. Thanks to her, Kim was able to choose the UST integrated Master’s and Ph.D. program with confidence, and she became his academic advisor. When asked about the factors that affected his choice, Kim highlighted the great student support programs that were far more comprehensive than at any other graduate school, as well as the great research environment (researchers and infrastructure etc.) at KASI.

Thus began his life at UST, which Kim reflects on with great pride and satisfaction. He says the greatest assets he gained during this period were the people he met. His academic advisor, professor Hwang, encouraged him to broaden his horizons outside of his comfort zone. During the UST field research course, he met Dr. Park Jae-heung, KASI researcher and UST faculty.

I had not found a clear research topic two years into my degree program. That was when I took the field research course and met Dr. Park Jae-heung. I received one on one lessons from him to find my research direction. He played a decisive role in my research career.

“Goal To Be A Happy Researcher”

Kim made full use of UST’s many support programs such as international exchange programs and the Young Scientist Research Program. These played a huge role in broadening his horizons, through interactions with experts in his field from other countries. Kim has now begun a new chapter in his life. Based on the research he has conducted so far, he was selected for the National Research Foundation of Korea Overseas Postdoctoral Training Program. He selected the Institute for Space-Earth Environmental Research at Nagoya University for his postdoctoral training due to the networks he was able to form through UST’s exchange programs.

“I will be working as a postdoctoral researcher at Nagoya University for the coming year. Although the duration is short, this year could be an important starting point for the rest of my research career if I make good use of the time. Research at an overseas institution is a great opportunity to broaden my horizons, conduct research collaborations and improve the quality of my research.”

We met Kim for the interview just a week before his graduation from UST. Standing at the threshold between student and alumnus, he shared both his sorrow at parting as well as his anticipation for the future. Currently he is a member of the ERG mission at Nagoya University Institute for Space-Earth Environmental Research. He said his goal is to become a happy researcher who enjoys his work. Here’s wishing him many happy moments and laughter for the years to come.