Yongmin Kim, professor and former chair of the UW Department of Bioengineering, has been named President of POSTECH-Pohang University of Science and Technology in his native South Korea. His term begins this fall, and the inauguration ceremony is scheduled on Sept. 5. Kim has been at the UW for nearly 30 years, having joined the faculty in the Department of Electrical Engineering in 1982 after completing his doctoral training at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He joined the Department of Bioengineering in 1984 as an adjunct faculty member before becoming professor and chair in 1999.
Kim works in the area of medical imaging and computing, and directs the Image Computing Systems Laboratory at the UW, a lab that focuses on medical imaging, image processing, and computer architecture. He has a joint appointment in the Department of Electrical Engineering and is an adjunct professor of radiology and of computer science and engineering.
“Professor Kim led our department through a period of great growth and great change,” said Paul Yager, chair of bioengineering at the UW. “Under his leadership we created our ABET-approved undergraduate program, which thanks to his experience of what worked at other institutions, is now ranked as sixth in the world. He also helped UW secure the funding to build the Foege Building, a fabulous facility that houses the department, and successfully competed for a 5-year grant from the Wallace H. Coulter Foundation, which has led to great successes in commercializing technology by many UW faculty members. POSTECH should be very proud to have secured Professor Kims wisdom and inspiration for their leadership.”
“Yongmins impact on the field of medical imaging has been enormous,” said Matt ODonnell, dean of engineering. “He has been especially successful in both translating advanced imaging tools into routine clinical use and graduating students that become industrial and academic leaders in the field.”
In recent years, Kim has been working on next-generation medical ultrasound technology, which could provide more widespread and accurate imaging of living tissue to aid in diagnosis and treatment of disease. Some of his other recent research involves using ultrasound elastography to analyze the elasticity of thyroid nodules to determine the likelihood of malignancy. Some thyroid nodules can become cancerous, and the project in the Kim lab is aimed at analyzing those nodules less invasively than a tissue biopsy. Kim and his colleagues also have a project using Doppler ultrasound to identify coronary artery stenosis, a major health condition in the world.
Kim has received many honors and accolades during his academic career, most recently the 2011 William J. Morlock Award, the IEEE EMBS Award for Excellence in Biomedical Technology. The IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society (EMBS) gives the Morlock Award every other year to an outstanding individual who has made an original contribution involving important application of electronics techniques and concepts to the solution of biomedical problems. He has also been named a fellow of the IEEE, the largest professional society dedicated to advancing technology, and of the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering, one of the top professional societies for bioengineers.