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Prof. Jinwon Lee

Prof. Lee has received BS and MS degree at Department of Chemical Engineering, Seoul National University in 1987 and 1989, respectively. After moving to the United States, he continued to study biochemical processes at Department of Chemical Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University in the United States and got PhD degree in 1993.


After short period of post-doctoral study at University of Virginia, he became a professor at Department of Chemical Engineering, Kwangwoon University in Korea in 1994. Since 2005, he has moved to Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at Sogang University in Korea.


Prof. Lee’s main research area is metabolic engineering and he has performed many studies for developing new biological catalysts by applying genetic techniques and modeling tools applicable to industrial fields. First concern was environment application of genetically adapted microbes to treat industrial pollutant, so called “bioremediation.” 


Then he moved to industrial biotechnology (white biotechnology) to explore the possibility of substituting petroleum products by biological chemicals. Industrial biotechnology is environment-friendly and possible to prepare sustainable development for petroleum post era. By persuading Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy with colleagues, it was decided to invest US $70 million (included US $40 million by private companies) on constructing demo plant (300 ton per year) for producing biochemical products and is on-going by GS-Caltex company since 2015.


At the beginning of 2012, Prof. Lee was requested to design a new project for innovative technologies necessary for further economic growth from Ministry of Science and ICT, Korea. After successful planning of “C1 gas conversion agenda”, it was decided that US $125 million will be invested for developing essential catalysts and processes by establishing national-wide research center, named CGRC. Since 2015, Prof. Lee is the director of CGRC and successfully manages tens of research groups and 50 projects.