We have been sharing with you here, at Samsung Village, the stories of key R&D and technology experts who have contributed to making Samsung a leader in various industries on the global stage.We have already introduced to you a number of special recognitions Samsung grants to its technology experts to support their research and honor their contribution to the company. Among them is Samsung Fellow, the highest such recognition at Samsung.
As a quick reminder, Samsung Fellow is a title given to key technology experts throughout Samsung affiliates who boast world-class technology skills and substantial contribution to Samsung’s key businesses and research areas.
From today, we are going to start posting interviews of 11 incumbent Samsung Fellows, and as our first guest we were very lucky to invite Dr. Kinam Kim, President of Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology. He is also a member to the U.S. National Academy of Engineering, which is an honor granted to top experts in each field. Dr. Kim assumes a very important role of spearheading efforts to set visions for Samsung’s better future 10 years from now.
Having received his doctorate in Electrical Engineering from UCLA, Dr. Kim has helped Samsung Electronics become a global leader in the semiconductor industry since he participated in developing the company’s early chip products in the 1980s. Dr. Kim was named a Fellow in 2003 in recognition of his expertise and contributions to semiconductor development. He also heads the committee responsible for selecting Samsung Fellows.
Now, let’s all tune in to Dr. Kim’s vision for the future paradigm of technology and his idea on how fellow researchers should brace themselves for it.
Samsung Village: Dr. Kim, could you tell us the role of Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology please?
Kim: It’s the biggest research institute run by a private company in Korea, with a history of more than 20 years. Its main mission is to prepare Samsung for technologies that would be in need five to ten years from now.
We explore and incubate promising technologies to identify new future businesses in a wide range of areas including information technology, new materials and devices, biotechnology, healthcare as well as energy and environment. As for me, I participated in setting the technological foundation for the company’s semiconductor business, and in a way, am still carrying on the role I have always dedicated myself to – securing key future technologies.
Our institute is also responsible for developing fusion technologies that encompass various industries including IT, energy, medical, health and environment to create new business opportunities. To this end, we implement numerous technologies our institute has developed to various businesses throughout Samsung.
SV: What are the key qualities a top researcher such as a Samsung Fellow should have?
Kim: Researchers should continuously hone their skills to become the very best in their field. Passion, as a researcher, and perceptiveness to identify core problems are such qualities they should possess.
It is also worth noting how, in today’s world, creativity-based technologies and new values-generating technologies, lead to new businesses and ultimately lead the industry. An open and flexible mind that could breed innovative and creative ideas and the ability to culture those ideas into real technologies and businesses are also core qualities Samsung Fellows should have.
For Samsung Fellows, one needs to be recognized as the world’s best expert and also needs to have contributed to helping the company’s business to become a global leader. Fellows are the ones who help secure future technologies that could ensure Samsung’s continued growth. They should also help raise R&D human capital who could be future leaders of Samsung.
SV: As the head of the Samsung Fellow selection committee, which areas do you think would attract R&D talents and offer opportunities for new Fellows in the next 10 years?
Kim: If you look at the Fellows selected in the past 10 years, you can see how their fields of expertise have expanded from areas such as electric/electronic materials and devices, and multimedia to areas such as shipbuilding and energy. In the future, I expect more Fellows to emerge from sectors such as software, biotechnology, healthcare, energy and environment.
Software is a segment where Samsung as a company is most focused on developing. Software technologies that can create new distinctive services and break down boundaries between industries hold the key to future competitiveness. I hope we can meet a Samsung Fellow of software expertise in the very near future.
SV: Can you give any word of wisdom to fellow researchers at Samsung?
Kim: I believe R&D played a crucial role in making Samsung a leader in the global IT industry as it is today. Researchers should be proud of how technologies they develop create the world’s best products and services and contribute to the happiness and prosperity of mankind.
The technology paradigm shifts so rapidly these days. And the importance of R&D is underscored more than ever. Be passionate and don’t shy away from challenges as the future leaders of Samsung.