With a peninsular geography, the Korean landmass is situated close to the sea. The oceans, thus, play an indispensable in communication, travel, trade, and surveillance between Korea and the rest of the world. Maneuvering these tides, however, can be challenging and requires immense skill and technical expertise. This is why the National Korea Maritime and Ocean University (KMOU) aims to train young and talented individuals in maritime operations.
Although it was established in 1945, the university dates back to 1919, when the Jinhae Marine Officer School was first established. It was further developed over the next few years by the visionary Dr. Lee Si-Hyeong into what, today, is one of the top maritime institutes. Since then, the university has grown by leaps and bounds. Over the past six decades, the university has successfully educated several maritime personnel, driving Korea to become a major country specializing in the field of marine transportation.
The university is located in Yeongdo-gu in Busan, with the entire campus situated on a picturesque island. The campus is equipped with advanced infrastructure that can enable candidates gain first-hand experience in maritime transportation, navigation science, marine engineering, coast guard studies, shipping management, ocean science, marine information technology, and offshore plant management, along with 1 year of practical experience. In this way, the program accustoms students to operations, execution, and design and development of high-end technologies and devices required on board.
As part of the course, students acquire skills like independent thinking, adaptability, and leadership qualities, which can help them sail them through unpredictable situations that the seas may hold. Considering the ocean dynamics, it is of utmost importance to first understand the seas and gauge them before venturing into them. To this end, the university helps students look beyond the horizon, overcome inhibitions, and visualize Korea as the future global maritime hub.
Not just this, the faculty at KMOU comprises eminent figures from the field of maritime and ocean sciences who are experts in cutting-edge marine technology, such as Kitack Lim (Secretary-General, International Maritime Organization) and Seonghyeok moon (Minister of Oceans and Fisheries).
In fact, various members of the faculty have been instrumental in driving sustainable marine research. For example, recently, a team led by Dr Jun Kang (Associate Professor at the Division of Marine Engineering at KMOU) reported strategies to overcome the limitations of carbon-based anode materials for sodium-ion batteries, which in turn could lead to “greener” electric propulsion ships and alleviate the environmental crisis. These findings were even featured on the cover pages of Carbon and ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces! Similarly, in another study published in Chemical Engineering Journal, Dr. Myoung-Jin Kim (Professor of Environmental Engineering at KMOU) came up with a method to convert carbon dioxide into a useful industrial product using just costless seawater.
Thus, with these stalwarts, the institute continues to develop and strengthen resources that can advance the fields of marine engineering and transportation.
Prof. Deok-Hee Do, President of KMOU, says, “With the advent of the fourth Industrial Revolution, taking pride in one’s history alone is not sufficient anymore. KMOU is mandated to create new values befitting the new era and foster flexible and dynamic talent equipped to cope with all future challenges.”
The Korean marine industry indeed awaits a bright future, shaped by the efforts of this prestigious university.
KMOU web site: https://www.kmou.ac.kr/english/main.do