Choi Soon-dal, a pioneer in South Korea’s satellite-building program who contributed greatly to technological development in this field, died of old age late Saturday. He was 83.
The scientist, who was an honorary professor at Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, received his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Seoul National University and went to the United States to get his master’s at the University of California, Berkeley and his doctorate in electrical engineering from Stanford University.
He worked at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory from 1969 through
1976 before returning home to become the first head of Korea Electrotechnology Research Institute. He was tapped as the country’s minister of information and communication and from 1996 onwards honorary faculty at KAIST.
He was instrumental in the building of the country’s first satellite, the Korean Institute of Technology Satellite 1, in 1992. He also built and launched the KITSAT 2 in the following year.
The scientist, moreover, contributed to the development of South Korea’s first Digital Electronic Switching System in 1981.
Choi is survived by his wife and four children. (Yonhap)