Seven people in white gowns are busy in a laboratory stacked full of books and papers. Machines whirr. Lined up desks are covered with flasks of strange liquids. This is the birth place of the “Shuttle Process,” discovered and researched by Professor Kim Kwan-mook (Chemistry & Nano Science) and his team. Their acheivements were published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society and Science magazine in 2007. Last year, the team published an article on the application of the process to drug manufacturing.
In Kim’s laboratory, there are four researchers with an M.S. degree and one with a Ph.D.
“Professor Kim leads us on what to study and how to study. First, he does theoretical research, sets targets, and then we start the application together,” said Nandhakumar Raju, a post-doctor researcher from India. “Practical applications may take weeks or years to develop. For example, establishing the process in 2009 took longer than three years, and when we finally got it I felt sure it could really improve science and the industry.”
Applications not only take time, but also demands numerous trials.
“Only one out of ten applications may succeed. Due to such slight chances of success, it is true that we feel discouraged sometimes. However, in chemistry we discover more from failures,” said Joo Ri-la (Chemistry & Nano Science, 2). “We have a seminar once every week to share lab results and discuss what each of us has been doing and what we have learned. This is important because in the broad range of science, there are a lot of ideas.”
Professor Kim’s special care also helps the team in times of discouragement.
“Professor Kim is very reliable. He is like a father to all of us. We get along very well within the boundary of our research projects, but we also go for meals and spend coffee time together,” said Nandhakumar. “Professor Kim helped me a lot in adjusting to the foreign culture and in communicating with the other researchers. He especially likes Indian food, so we visit Indian restaurants together.”
The researchers describe Kim as “very energetic,” and “funny,” making them feel more comfortable in the workplace.
“Professor Kim lets us use half of his office for our conveniences and studies,” said Lee Ye-jeong (Chemistry & Nano Science, 1). “Professor Kim likes the lab and his students very much.”
Caption: Professor Kim Kwan-mook (Chemistry & Nano Science) and his research team at the lab where the “Shuttle Process” was born.