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UKC 2017 (US-Korea Conference on Science, Technology and Entrepreneurship 2017) was held with the theme of “Engagement Opportunities for Global Challenges: “CONVERGENCE and INNOVATION through COOPERATION” on Aug 9 – Aug 12, 2017 at Hyatt Regency Crystal City, VA. The conference was jointly hosted by Korean-American Scientists and Engineers Association (KSEA) and Korea Federation of Science and Technology Societies (KOFST) with over 1,000 scientists, engineers, government officers and entrepreneurs from the US and Korea.
The opening ceremony started on Thursday, Aug 10 at 10 am with welcoming remarks by the UKC 2017 chair, Eun-Suk Seo, President of KSEA, and co-chair, Myung-Ja Kim, President of KOFST. Honorable Sang Jin Shin, Chairman of the National Assembly Science; ICT & Future Planning, Broadcasting and Communications Committee delivered congratulatory remarks to all UKC 2017 participants emphasizing the critical role of US-Korea cooperation in Science and Technology. The congratulatory remarks from Young-min Yoo, Minister of Science and ICT was read by Director General Wonho Choi, on behalf of the Minister. Governor of Virginia Terry Mcauliffe gave a video message wishing for the success of UKC 2017, and Yumi Hogan, First Lady of the State of Maryland and Mark Keam, member of the Virginia House Delegates also gave congratulatory remarks. A congratulatory message from Congresswoman, Barbara Comstock (R-VA) was conveyed as well at the opening ceremony.
Other honorable guests included Jungjae Kim, Eunkwon Lee, Kyungjin Kim and Yong Hyeon Shin, the members of Korean National Assembly and Ho Young Ahn, Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to the US. As the keynote speaker at the opening plenary, Dr. John Mather, the winner of 2006 Nobel Prize in Physics gave a speech that inspired all UKC 2017 participants. The title of his speech was “From the Big Bang to the end of the universe, and how we’ll learn more with the James Webb Space Telescope”. Dr. Mather also gave a special lecture for general public after his plenary speech for 2 hours with the title of “The History of the Universe from the beginning to the end: where did we come from, where can we go?” .
For the plenary session on Friday, Aug 11, Dr. Cherry Murray, Benjamin Pierce Professor of Technology and Public Policy and Professor of Physics, Harvard University gave a plenary talk under the title, “Grand Challenges for Research and Development in Sustainable Energy Systems”. Dr. Hongkun Park, Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Biology and of Physics, Harvard University gave a plenary speech on the same day. The title of his plenary talk was “‘Nano’ as a Guiding Narrative: A Personal Journey”.
On the third day, Aug 12, a plenary panel discussion with leaders in healthcare was performed for the 1st time in the UKC history.
The annual KSEA Awards and KSEA-KUSCO graduate scholarship awards ceremony were held during UKC 2017. "2017 Outstanding Contribution Award" was awarded to Dr. Sung-Kwon Kang, IBM Research by the Minister of MSIT, and the “2017 Engineer of the Year Award” was presented to Dr. Gyeong Hwang, University of Texas at Austin by President of KOFST at the opening ceremony.
UKC 2017 focused on basic science, industry technology and emerging technology. Significant research findings, R&D trends, and future prospects of sciences and technologies were solicited in the 12 symposiums, 11 Interdisciplinary sessions, and 19 KSEA and Sponsor Forums. Job opportunities were given through on-site job interviews by Korean agencies sponsoring UKC 2017 throughout the conference period.
During the UKC 2017, the 2nd Youth Science & Technology Camp (YSTLC) was held with 14 high school students on Aug 6 - 12. This one-week program contributed to the advancement of high school students from the US and Korea in their knowledge of their science related majors and pursuits their dreams as future scientists and engineers through performing hands-on team project at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and visiting National Institues of Health, Walter Reed Hospital, and Johns Hopkins University. Students also participate in the full program of UKC 2017 while meeting with Nobel prize winner and networking with renowned scientists and engineers.
UKC has been the annual flagship conference for researchers, scientists, engineers, and technology experts in academia and industry as well as decision makers and opinion leaders in government, legislative offices, and industry for decades showing rapid growth every year. The next UKC (UKC 2018) will be held on Aug 2018 in New Jersey.