The University of Akron (Ohio) and its Department of Polymer Science will present Dr. Hwi Joong Kim of Hankook Tire Co. Ltd. with its "2009 Outstanding Alumni Award" on Friday, Oct. 2, at the university's Goodyear Polymer Center. The award ceremony is part of the school's Alumni Award Symposium.

Kim is Hankook's chief technology officer and chief production officer. He is responsible for all global engineering, technical, and manufacturing activities at Hankook, and is actively involved in the operations of manufacturing plants in Korea, China and Hungary.

Prior to attending the University of Akron, Kim majored in applied chemistry at Seoul National University in Korea (B.S., 1971). He received his master’s degree in polymer science from Akron in 1974, and returned and received his Ph.D. in the same field under Dr. Alan Gent in 1990.

Along the way, he applied his education to the functional tasks of manufacturing, research and development, material sciences and management.

"The importance of education coupled with the value of hands-on industrial experience is critical to success," he says.

Since joining Hankook in 1970, he has:

* held various positions in manufacturing , research, development and engineering;

* organized tire research teams, expanded the development teams and guided overseas technical branches in Akron, Ohio, Germany and China; and

* successfully led numerous projects in order to improve tire quality, design and manufacturing, production productivity and environments for plant workers and plant "neighbors."

In addition to his current responsibilities, Kim allocates time for teaching tire engineering and polymer science to engineers, chemists and technicians. He has arranged financial support
for nine polymer scientists and mechanical engineers at the University of Akron; six of them are now working for Hankook, and another is returning to the company this fall.

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