Kiseok Song Selected as 2014 Young Scholar

Kiseok Song Receives the 2014 Marconi Society Young Scholar Award

Mountain View, CA, August 28, 2014 –Kiseok Song, a Ph.D candidate at Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), has been selected as a 2014 Marconi Society Paul Baran Young Scholar, recognizing his academic achievements and leadership in the field of communications and information science.

“Our committee was impressed with Kiseok’s outstanding work developing bio-medical SoCs, his excellent academic record and his demonstrated entrepreneurial capabilities,” says Robert Tkach, a Marconi Fellow and chairman of the Marconi Society’s Young Scholar Selection Committee. “He is already making an impact in the bio-medical field with several extremely promising inventions.”

Song completed his undergraduate degree, a B.S. in EE, at KAIST in 2009 and earned an M.S. in EE there in 2011. He entered the EE Ph.D program that same year.

KAIST Professor Hoi-Jun Yoo, Song’s primary advisor, points to the wide range of 26-year- old Song’s achievements, which include the invention of smart wireless bio-medical systems combining with optimized “System on a Chip” (SoC); compact bio-medical patch systems connected to smart phones; smart electro-acupuncture and transdermal drug delivery; and multi- modal non-invasive glucose monitors, among others.

“All of these bio-medical systems open a new healthcare paradigm to improve people’s quality of life in combination with the current mobile smart phones,” says the professor. “The challenge was to take into account wide design considerations, such as high performance, convenience, and safety for bio-medical system design, from transistor (bottom) level to system (top) level, covering biological background, circuit technique, system and application design.”

The Seoul native became interested in the idea of using smartphones to help people at an early age, envisioning the potential of combining electrical engineering knowhow and bio- medical technology. His research focused on bio-medical circuitry. One important feature of his inventions is low power consumption; another is that bio-feedback is integrated into the electrical stimulation.

“For example, there have been many types of transdermal drug delivery systems such as my beauty mask and pain relief patches,” Song says. “But the previous ones could not monitor the drug delivery status because they don’t have any feedback from the patient. I integrate various types of bio-signal sensors to monitor the drug delivery status and patient’s status. As a result, I can achieve the bi-directional or active transdermal drug delivery.” His adaptive electro-acupuncture system integrates the same type of feedback, monitoring the patient’s status and adaptively controlling the stimulation parameters.

Professor Tadahiro Kuroda of Japan’s Keio University encountered Song at several annual international workshops. “Mr. Song demonstrated himself as an exuberant and avid young researcher. He led discussions after thoroughly dissecting problems given by other researches, and proposed different, yet well-suited solutions, thus inevitably differentiating himself from his fellow colleagues. In addition to his academic achievements, Mr. Song’s innate passion and loyalty to the society is remarkable. His devotion to his team and the society is well recognized by not only his teammates but also international friends including students in my laboratory.”

In addition to academic and research achievements, the Marconi Young Scholar Awards recognize entrepreneurship. Song’s bio-medical SoCs have been integrated into practical bio- medical systems and he demonstrated the live operation of his systems at ISSCC 2012/2013 and BioCAS 2013. He also visited a number of Korean and Chinese bio-medical system companies and medical schools to collaborate on commercialization of his systems. Though he enjoys collaboration, he hopes to start his own business to produce his inventions after graduation. His goal is to change and enhance people’s lifestyles.

Song and another Young Scholar will receive their awards at the Marconi Society’s annual awards gala at the National Academies of Science Building in Washington D.C. on October 2, 2014. For more information about the event and about the Young Scholars program, go to www.marconisociety.org.

The Young Scholar Awards winners are selected from nominations submitted by faculty members, department chairs, or managers with whom they have worked closely. The awards include a financial stipend and an invitation and travel funds to attend the annual Marconi Award Dinners and other events.

About the Marconi Society

The Marconi Society was established in 1974 by the daughter of Guglielmo Marconi, the Nobel Laureate who invented radio. The organization promotes awareness of key technology and policy issues in telecommunications and the Internet, and recognizes significant individual achievements through the Marconi Prize.