Technology, Business and Government Distinguished Lecture Series

Recognizing an increasingly significant inter-relationship between the rapid growth of new technologies and the business and governmental sectors, this lecture series brings distinguished individuals to Penn Engineering to interact with students and faculty on broad issues affecting technology and science, research and policy.

Featured Lecture:

Dr. Soyeon Yi
South Korea's First Astronaut

"A Fireside Chat with Dr. Soyeon Yi,  South Korea’s First Astronaut"
Friday, March 16, 2018

2:30-3:30 PM
Heilmeier Auditorium, Towne Building

Abstract: Penn Engineering welcomes Soyeon Yi, who in her talk, "A Fireside Chat with Dr. Soyeon Yi,  South Korea’s First Astronaut," will share the story of her journey into space. Selected from over 36,000 applicants to be South Korea’s first astronaut, Dr. Yi trained with Russian cosmonauts to prepare for her journey, and later launched into space aboard the Soyuz TMA-12. Throughout the 11-day mission at the International Space Station (ISS), Dr. Yi completed an aggressive set of experiments on the effects of Zero-G on fruit flies, plants and her own heart, eyes and face. 

During her historical return to earth, she survived a force of nearly 16-G (4-G is the average) due to a malfunction of the Soyuz vehicle, and landed 260 miles off target. As a result of these re-entry complications, the nomads in the plains of Kazakhstan were the first to welcome her return to earth.

Biography: Dr. Soyeon Yi is South Korea's first and only astronaut. She was selected as an astronaut in December, 2006, out of 36,000 contestants vying for the title of South Korea’s First Astronaut. On April 8, 2008, she launched into space on-board Soyuz TMA-12.During her 11-day mission at the International Space Station (ISS), Dr. Yi completed aggressive number of experiments contributing to South Korea’s science text books and science channel television lectures. During her historical return to earth on April 19, 2008, she survived a force of nearly 16-G (versus 4-G average) upon the ballistic re-entry. Due to re-entry complications, the first to welcome her return to earth were nomads in the plains of Kazakhstan.

Dr. Yi received her Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering, Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering and her Ph.D. from KAIST (Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology). Her Ph.D. thesis is "DNA Separation Chips Using Temporal Asymmetric Ratchet Effect in Non-Uniform E-Fields."  In May, 2014, Dr. Yi received her MBA with emphasis on Technology and Global Leadership at the Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley.

Currently a volunteer with The Museum of Flight and Northwest Nuclear Consortium and a lecturer at University of Washington and local community colleges, Dr. Yi is passionate about nurturing the next generation of leaders in STEM. When she is not busy with her global speaking engagements, she enjoys singing, playing the piano, gardening, crafts and hiking. She presently lives in Puyallup, Washington, with her husband.

Guest Speakers in the Series:

April 3, 2017: Patrick T. Harker, "Fintech: Revolution or Evolution?"

November 30, 2016: Vijay Kumar, Geoffrey Garrett, Theodore Ruger, "Predicting the Future: What Will the Next Four Years Bring?"

November 15, 2016: Arati Prabhakar, Director, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), "Postcards From the Future: A DARPA Perspective"

October 15, 2015: Matthew S. Grob, Executive Vice President Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and Chief Technology Officer - "Your Smartphone is Your Next Robot"

February 1, 2012: David S. Bem, Global R&D Director, The Dow Chemical Company - "Materials Innovation at Dow
Impacting the Future of Energy and the Environment"

April 27, 2011: Arun Majumdar, Director, Advanced Research Projects Agency - Energy (ARPA-E) -"ARPA-E: Catalyzing Energy Breakthroughs for a Secure American Future"

November 16, 2010: Robert S. Fredell, Managing Director, Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) - "Critical Issues in Accreditation and Engineering Education"

December 3, 2009: Mark Zandi, Chief Economist and Cofounder, Moody’s - "The New Economic Normal: The Role of Technological Change and Universities”

February 19, 2009: Garrete E. Resiman, NASA Astronaut - "Living Aboard the International Space Station - One Quaker's Journey"

November 13, 2007: James R. Wiemels, Vice President, Global Manufacturing Engineering, General Motors Corporation - "The Journey to a Global Company"

March 20, 2006: James C. Greenwood, President, Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), and Former Congressman, US House of Representatives - "Living in the Biotechnology Century"

April 7, 2005: Hital R. Meswani, Executive Director of Reliance Industries Limited - "Ideas that Worked: Creation of World–class Businesses through Management of Technology"

March 15, 2005: Siegfried Bocionek, Chief Operating Officer of Siemens Medical Solutions Health Services - "The Digital Hospital: Development of Metrics-Driven Efficient Software"

March 18, 2004: Paul M. Horn, Senior Vice President and Director of Research, IBM Corporation - "Innovation in the Information Technology Industry"

December 2, 2003: Richard A. Clarke, Chairman, Good Harbor Consulting, and former Senior White House Advisor - "Critical National Infrastructure"

March 4, 2003: Richard F. Rashid, Senior Vice President of Research, Microsoft Corporation - "The Digital Experience: Emerging Technologies to Improve the Way We Live and Learn"

February 3, 2003: Congressman Curt Weldon, 7th Congressional District - "Homeland Security and the Role of Government"

March 6, 2002: Alan I. Taub, Executive Director - Science, General Motors Research and Development - "Automotive Research - The Technical Challenges and the Role of Universities for GM"

April 24, 2001: Irwin Mark Jacobs, Chairman and CEO, Qualcomm - "Wireless Access to the Internet, the Technology and the Business"

October 16, 2000: Joseph P. Nacchio, Chairman and CEO, Qwest Communications International, Inc. - "Business in the Information Age: What's New, What's Not"

October 13, 1999: George Heilmeier, Chairman Emeritus and former Chairman and CEP Telcordia Technologies - "From Pots to - Information Systems and Technology for the Next Decade and Beyond"

April 14, 1999: Joseph Bordogna, Deputy Director Nominee and Chief Operating Officer of the National Science Foundation - "Trajectories, Inflections, and Innovation: Trends in Science, Engineering, and Technology Policy"

February 24, 1999: David J. Farber, the Alfred Fitler Moore Professor of Telecommunication Systems - "The University in the Information Age: A Technologist's Look at the Future Directions in Computing and Communications and its Impact on the University"

February 1, 1999: Congressman Curt Weldon, 7th District, Pennsylvania, Senior Member of the House Committee on Science, Chairman of the Military Research Committee - "Technology and Business in the Twenty-first Century: A Congressional Perspective"