Secured world best technology such as Theta engine and Tau engine as well as Alpha engine
Led new technology trends such as hybrid car, hydrogen fueled car, IT technologies, automatic driving, etc.
Led the global technologies as the chief technology officer of Hyundai Motors and Doosan Group
Dr. Hyun Soon Lee (1950~ )
Former Vice Chairman, Doosan
ormer Vice Chairman, Hyundai Motors
- Academic background
B.S., Dept. of Mechanical Engineering, Seoul National University
M.S. in Mechanical Engineering, Graduate School, State University of New York, Stonybrook
Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering, Graduate School, State University of New York Stony Brook
- Professional career
President, Powertrain Research institutes, Ulsan & Namyang, Hyundai Motors
President, Vice Chairman, R&D Division, Hyundai Motors
Vice Chairman, Business Innovation Division, Doosan Group
Chair-Professor, Dept. of Mechanical Engineering, State University of New York Korea
Chairman, 6th Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology
Order of Industrial Service Merit, Gold Tower
17th Sangheo Grand Prize
Technology Management Award, CEO Division (Korea Industrial Technology Association)
Grand Prize, National Academy Engineering of Korea
Korea Best Scientist and Technologist Award
Vice Chairman Hyun Soon Lee led the independent development of automotive engines and transmissions for both gasoline and diesel engines and he predicted the future technological trends in advance, serving now as the Chief Technology Officer of Korea’s automotive engineering leader.
Born during the Korean War, he graduated from the Dept. of Mechanical Engineering, Seoul National University and serviced as Instructor of the Dept. of Mechanics, Korean Air Force Academy. Then, he went to the USA to study at the Graduate School of the State University of New York, Stony Brook and he received a Ph.D. in aviation envineering. In 1982, having received the doctoral degree, he joined the world best automotive company, General Motors where he worked for the GM Institute’s engine development office. Back then, the Hyundai Group stressed the development of the automotive industry in which it had had belated start, and was looking for talented people to establish and to lead new engine development plans. In his 30s, he took up a project in 1984 at Hyundai by the request of Chairman Chung Ju-yung. He began to develop the engine and secure R&D research personnel for the newly established Mabukri Institute for work on the project. His strategy for the R&D was ‘to develop advanced technology faster than’ others.
His achievements in the development of automotive engines and transmissions we outstanding. He started out with a wild challenge of developing the Alpha engine, the first automotive engine made in Korea via independent development in 1991. This effort greatly contributed to the export of Accent models which had enhanced power and also gas mileage using the electronic unit injector method. Following this, he developed the New Alpha engine for small vehicles (1994), Beta engine (1995), Epsilon engine (1997), Delta engine for medium-sized vehicles (1998), Sigma engine (1998), and Omega engine for large vehicles (1999). The process continued until, one by one, he was able to establish an independent model system for the entire lineup. In 2002, he developed the world’s best Theta I engine, so called “World Engine” which was mounted on the new Sonata model and then he exported the engine design technology to DaimlerChrysler and to Mitsubishi, proving the excellence of the product. The Tau engine (2008) won the Wards 10 Best Engine Award, the best authority award of engine area, and it was mounted on the Genesis which was then selected as the Car of the Year 2009 for North America. Moreover, he stressed the importance of developing diesel engine for automobiles, not just for buses and trucks. His team continued to develop diesel engines such as U (1 liter), R (2 liters), and S (3 liters).
He brilliantly anticipated future technology trends for the automotive industry. For example, one of his development strategies was to develop eco-friendly automotive sector which will become the main stream in the industry and other fields as well. He worked to develop future technologies by combining IT technology, Korea strength, with automotive technology. This project led to the development of hydrogen fuel cell automobiles, followed by the mass production of hybrid cars. As a result many parts of the automobile were produced within Korea because of the eco-friendly automotive technologies pursued since 1995. The hydrogen fuel cell automobile was the challenging technology project that Hyundai Motors started to develop ahead of the rest of the world.
In 2005, he established The Environment Technology Institute to take up the comprehensive leading role for the hydrogen fuel cell automobile project. He tried to lead with the world’s best automotive technologies utilizing the achievements in the most up-to-date electronics, IT, and software for the automotive sector. In this manner, he made future-oriented endeavor to develop eco-friendly vehicles, vehicle IT systems and automatic driving which will be the new paradigm for vehicles soon.
He also distinguished himself in the establishment of the basis of world-class corporate research and culture. He made Namyang Technology Institute of Hyundai Motors into a globally recognized center offering excellent technologies and R&D personnel. He established R&D centers at the world’s major production bases to form a global R&D network to develop vehicles suited for regional needs. He also reformed inefficient systems and practices in the research institutes that were struggling to encourage researchers to have passion and the challenging spirit. Promoting the concept of ‘Human is the very technology’, he endeavored to provide an environment wherein researchers could maximize their potential and exert their capabilities.
With these achievements, he had the honor of receiving IR52 Jang Young Sil Award (1991), followed by Presidential Commendation at the National Invention Competition (1996), Order of Industrial Service Merit, Gold Tower (2005), Grand Prize, IMI Technology Management Award (2006), Technology Management Award, Korea Industrial Technology Association (2008), Grand Prize, National Academy Engineering of Korea (2009), Korea Best Scientist and Technologist Award (2009), Heros of Korea’s 100 Technologies (2010), etc. Further, he assumed important positions such as President of Hyundai Motors R&D Institute, Vice Chairman of R&D Division, Hyundai Motors, President of Korea Automobile Engineering Society, Chair-Professor of Dept. of Mechanical Engineering, State University of New York, Korea, Chairman of Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology, Member of National Science and Technology Advisory Committee, Member of National Science and Technology, Member of National Economy Advisory Committee, etc.
After retiring from Hyundai Motors, he served at Doosan Group as Vice Chairman of Business Innovation Division, directing new technology development for the group. He is developing mega-size engines for tanks and leading the acquisition of new technologies such as fuel cells for power generation, unmanned construction equipment, cooperation robots, hydrogen drones, etc. In a short period of time at Doosan Group he prepared the strategy for setting up the Doosan Research Complex already in a short period. His ambitious technological efforts are still in process, which makes us to wonder how much further he will go and what prominent achievements will emerge.