A Daughter’s Question that Changed the Fate of His Research - Professor Ma Pyeong-su, “Teaching Is My Calling as a Researcher” - Professor Seo Seung-il

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A Daughter’s Question that Changed the Fate of His Research - Professor Ma Pyeong-su,  “Teaching Is My Calling as a Researcher” - Professor Seo Seung-il의 대표사진

Reflections on Teaching

A Daughter’s Question that Changed the Fate of His Research

Professor Ma Pyeong-su (UST-Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI) School)

You’ll often hear the name ETRI in the news, which often comes with the line “Some technology was developed or commercialized that will lead to a big change in the world.” One day, Professor Ma Pyeong-su’s daughter, an elementary school student back then, asked her Dad a question “What was your job there?” The harmless question from his daughter stunned the professor. It was when he was pouring all the energy into his thesis paper and though he was experienced in technology transfer, which results in little public notice, there was nothing he could say about technology commercialization, where your achievements are much easier to show. Since then, he has channeled his passion to commercializing technology and fostering talented students.

Mission to Find the Best Student to Foster the Best Researcher

The casual comment from his daughter motivated Professor Ma to focus on commercializing technology and fostering talented students. That’s when he developed the operation system used in automobile engine control―the technology is currently installed in cars and sold in the market―and a remote electricity meter reading device, which was imported by India and Norway. In 2006, he started to teach at UST.

“Since I became a representative professor in 2013, I thought about how UST can best help ETRI. I found it meaningful to find the best students and foster them to be the best they can be so they can later contribute back to ETRI. I wanted to build a relationship where we all help and reinforce each other. For school information sessions, I go to the colleges myself to pick the best students.”

Professor Ma has set a goal to establish the UST-ETRI School where the best students can be full time employees at ETRI. In result, 28 graduates from UST-ETRI School eventually became employed at ETRI.

“Song Jun-geun and Jang Jae-yoon are my most memorable students. They are currently researchers at ETRI and producing incredible accomplishments there. They pulled me out of stereotypical and slightly jaded views and made me think that I should find more gems like them.”

His effort doesn’t stop there, he also works toward creating a stable educational system. Part of this effort includes participating in forming UST School system. Back in the past, the administrative system worked separately in accordance with professors or majors, which was changed into an integrated system. It was not easy to make happen, but it eventually helped him achieve his goal of “setting the standard high.”

Setting up the perfect UST-ETRI School system is the professor’s goal. He hopes this established system sets a good example for other UST schools and campuses, which calls for attention and help from students in Internet of Things (IoT) field. ETRI is proud of its passionate faculty members, and provides the opportunity to improve oneself.

Message for the Dream Partner, UST

I’d like to say UST has almost reached the nation's top graduate school. I believe so.


Reflections on Teaching 2

“Teaching Is My Calling as a Researcher”

Professor Seo Seung-il (UST-Korea Railroad Research Institute (KRRI) School)

Riding the train is a form of transportation that makes our lives more convenient and that we often take for granted. Due to its easy availability, we don’t think of questions such as “Who made this rail system?” Behind the scenes, however, there is a place that leads the nation’s rail technology and train professionals. KRRI and UST-KRRI School is the place. UST-KRRI School is a founding member of UST along with Professor Seo Seung-il. He has been a part of and witnessing all of the changes and growth of the school since the beginning.

Hope for UST-KRRI School Students to Advance Korean Rail Technology

Professor Seo’s main focus of work is to develop rail system technology at the railway vehicle headquarters. He’s working on “mountain rail technology” to be operated in mountainous tourist spots and remote mountain areas. In the past, he participated in developing Korean tilting train technology and Korean high-speed train technology, the original model of KTX-Sancheon. When it comes to Korea's rail system technology, Professor Seo’s presence is felt everywhere.

Above all, he has thought UST’s system is rewarding for not only researchers but for students, which led him to choosing his path as an educator, along with being a researcher. Professor Seo particularly highlighted reinforcing education. In 2017, when UST adopted a “School” system, UST-KRRI also went through a change in its identity from “Campus” to “School.” In that process, a lot of effort was put into systematizing the UST-KRRI school.

“In the initial stage of UST, it had a hard time attracting students or creating a stable system. However, year after year, since the school system was introduced, UST members, professors and students have seen their collaborative effort bear fruit in a more stabilized student fostering system. In result, six UST graduates were hired at KRRI and others demonstrate their capability at renowned agencies and corporations. Our dream is that students educated here are spread all over and play a significant role in enhancing rail technology.”

Professor Seo is a representative professor since 2011. He looks carefully to see if there are any students struggling in their study and research. He also brings international students to his home during Korean holidays so they can experience and enjoy the holidays. It’s such a warm gesture. There are two things Professor Seo wishes: he wants to see UST-KRRI School Transportation System Engineering major become a prestigious graduate school, and UST-KRRI School’s students contribute to improving rail technology in Korea or in their countries. As long as he continues his endeavor and passion, we believe his wishes will come true in the future.

Message for the Dream Partner, UST

I hope UST improves and becomes a global graduate school and the students take advantage of the great resources that UST offers to harness their prowess. It’s also my hope that they move forward with a sense of responsibility and mission as a researcher.