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Home : Volume 24 : Fall 1997 :
Distinguished Service Award for Youngil Youm

Youngil Youm

Youngil Youm
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Youngil Youm was born in Seoul, Korea, January 2, 1942. Youm's hard work and dedication to biomechanics has led to a distinguished career as an engineer, professor, administrator and inventor. He currently serves as director of the Center for Bio-Mechatronics and professor of mechanical engineering at the Pohang University of Science and Technology.

Youm earned his BS in mechanical engineering from Utah State University in 1968. He earned his MS in mechanical engineering as well as an MS in engineering mechanics and in 1976, a PhD in engineering mechanics from UW-Madison. At the time he earned his PhD, Youm was working as research supervisor and chief engineer at the University of Iowa's hand biomechanics laboratory.

From 1978 to 1988, Youm worked as assistant and then associate professor at Catholic University where he developed two teaching and research labs, one in biomechanics and the other in robotics. While at Catholic University he joined a research project as adjunct associate professor at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. In 1980, he was awarded U.S. patent 4,229,841 for a total wrist prosthesis. It was also during this time that Youm served as a consultant to the National Bureau of Standards, the Walter Reed Army Medical Center, and Daewoo Heavy Industry. While consulting for Daewoo, he was also visiting professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology.

After serving as head of biomedical engineering at the Catholic University of America from 1984--88 and consultant to the United Nations Industrial Development Organization, Youm was appointed professor and head of the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Pohang University of Science and Technology. In 1992 he was appointed dean of academic affairs and in 1994, vice president, a position similar to provost at UW-Madison.

Youm has published extensively on the biomechanics of the human wrist and arm.


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