LG Chem announced on Jan. 20 that it has recruited former Seoul National University (SNU) professor Lee Jin-kyu, a world-renowned expert in inorganic nanomaterials, as a head researcher.
LG Chem Ltd. set out to reinforce its research and development (R&D) capabilities for new technology for the future. The company decided to increase the investment in R&D and beef up its research manpower with a doctorate in order to break through a prolonged depression in the petrochemical industry and create next-generation businesses.
LG Chem is hoping that its R&D for inorganic nanomaterial will speed up as he joins the company.
Lee received a doctoral degree in inorganic chemistry under the guidance of Nobel Prize laureate in Chemistry Richard Schrock. Since then, he served as a chemistry professor at SNU since 1998, and conducted various studies related to inorganic nanomaterial synthesis technology and nanoparticle surface modification and dispersion. He has published 106 academic dissertations and holds nearly 100 patents, being known as the world’s foremost expert in the inorganic nanomaterials sector.
Starting next month, Lee will start new projects in the inorganic nanomaterials sector, including a new concept battery material and an organic and inorganic hybrid complex, and work as the advisor in the Research Park.
Also, LG Chem has renamed its main R&D center from Corporate R&D to The Research Park this year. It is expanding the support for human and physical resources in order to reinforce its capabilities for new technology development in the future.
The Research Park is responsible for the development of technology that can be used equally in LG Chem’s three business sectors - basic materials, IT and electronics materials, and batteries. It also seeks out new businesses.
In particular, more than 40 percent of the staff at the center are researchers holding a doctorate. Out of its 500 researchers at the center, more than 200 of them have a doctorate.
Excluding The Research Park, LG Chem has R&D centers under each of its three divisions and one sector, employing a total of 2,900 researchers.
Following last year, the outlook on the petrochemical industry this year continues to seem dim. However, the company is planning to increase the investment in R&D further. An LG Chem official said, “The size of R&D investments this year is undecided yet, but we will increase further than the last year of 590 billion won [US$542.78 million].”