Samsung’s Ho-Am Foundation has announced that Professor Kyoung-Shin Choi of the University of Wisconsin–Madison’s Department of Chemistry has been named the 2023 Samsung Ho-Am Prize Laureate in the category of Chemistry and Life Sciences. Professor Choi will be awarded 300 million Korean Won (KRW) (approximately $228,400), a diploma, and a Ho-Am Prize medal at a ceremony to be held on June 1, 2023. The ceremony will be streamed live on Ho-Am Foundation’s YouTube channel. Professor Choi is being recognized for her work as “a world-renowned chemist in the field of energy science who has achieved remarkable progress in eco-friendly hydrogen production through research aimed at developing and understanding photoelectrodes and catalysts for the photoelectrochemical reaction of solar water splitting,” according to an announcement from the foundation. Furthermore, Professor Choi has developed numerous electrochemical processes and electrodes that can be used to convert lignocellulosic biomass to biofuels and commodity chemicals and to treat seawater and wastewater for the protection of freshwater resources while recovering contaminants as valuable chemicals. Her work has a direct impact on creating a sustainable future.
Professor Choi is being recognized for her work as “a world-renowned chemist in the field of energy science who has achieved remarkable progress in eco-friendly hydrogen production through research aimed at developing and understanding photoelectrodes and catalysts for the photoelectrochemical reaction of solar water splitting,” according to an announcement from the foundation.
Professor Choi joined the UW–Madison Department of Chemistry in 2012. She earned a B.S. in Food and Nutrition/Chemistry and an M.S. in Chemistry from Seoul National University; and a Ph.D. in Chemistry from Michigan State University. She served as a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and a Professor of Chemistry at Purdue University.
The Samsung Ho-Am Prize was established in 1990 by Kun-Hee Lee, the late Chairman of Samsung, with a vision to create a new corporate culture that carries on the “noble spirit of public service upheld by Byung-chull Lee, the founder of Samsung.” The prize is awarded to individuals who have made significant contributions to academics, the arts, and social development, and who have furthered the welfare of humanity through distinguished accomplishments in their respective professional fields. Candidate nomination specifics require the candidate has earned “accomplishments and accumulated expertise which have contributed to society in their respective fields, and accumulated expertise that has been highly evaluated socially.” The candidate must also have “distinguished contributions to the nation and humanity through a clearly creative mentality and spirit of service.”
This year’s laureates were selected through an evaluation process that spanned four months, with the participation of 46 judges composed of renowned scholars and experts from both domestic and international settings, as well as 45 overseas academic advisors.
In addition to Professor Choi’s award in the category of chemistry and life science, this year the Ho-Am Foundation named laureates in the categories of physics and mathematics; engineering, medicine, arts, and community service. To date, a total of 170 recipients have received KRW 32.5 billion in prize money.
Notably, UW-Madison Department of Chemistry faculty member, Professor Emeritus Hyuk Yu earned the Ho-Am Award in 1997 for his work in the field of polymer dynamics on confined geometries in monolayers and thin films. Professor Yu’s group extended techniques to oil/water interfaces, which was the first application of the method to liquid/liquid interfaces.