Heon was born in a small town in the middle of South Korea. He lived there until he was 15 years old and after completing middle school, he moved to a city where he went to high school. When he graduated, his curiosity for how things were built and operated led him to choose a degree in engineering.
While majoring in mechanical engineering at Chungbuk National University, he was particularly interested in mechatronics, internal combustion engines, and computer science. After graduating, he joined Westinghouse Air Brake Company (WABCO), a global company based in Korea, which primarily manufactured vehicle braking systems using air pressure and electronic control. As an application engineer, one of his greatest accomplishments was successfully applying the braking system to commercial trucks and buses from global automotive manufacturers like Hyundai Motor Company and Tata-Daewoo.
As Heon performed his many projects in the automotive field, he gained knowledge and experience in areas such as control system, electricity, failure mode, effect analysis, and vehicle networking. After 10 years with WABCO, Heon had developed a special interest in electronic stability control systems and their applications, leading him to consider going back to school where he could explore this new interest through academic research. With support from his family, Heon decided to travel abroad to the US to pursue an MS degree in Mechanical Engineering and conduct research in the M3 Robotics Lab.
Heon is currently researching tunably compliant modular robotics through using smart materials and structures. Heon is developing this concept by constructing finger-like elastomer forms actuated by tendons and reinforced with low-melting Field’s metal.
Humanoid robots, artificial intelligence, space rovers, science fiction films, soccer, and automotive interior design.