Wednesday, November 25, 2020
University of Iowa Technology Institute

A longtime University of Iowa professor who is native of South Korea is being honored for his "outstanding contribution" as part of the United States-Korea Conference: Sustainable Development & The Future in December.

Portrait of David Lee
Hosin "David" Lee

Hosin "David" Lee, a professor of civil and environmental engineering in the UI College of Engineering, directs the Laboratory for Advanced Construction Technology (LACT) at the Iowa Technology Institute where he helps member institutes and companies develop and implement their innovative new construction technologies in practice by performing objective laboratory testing and field evaluation.

"Dr. Lee has a distinguished academic career and his contributions in the transportation engineering field are well recognized nationally and internationally," according to an official citation for the award. 

Minister Kiyoung Choi of the Ministry of Science and ICT (MSIT) of Korea and President Soolyeon Cho of Korean-American Scientists and Engineers Association (KSEA) will present the award at the conference, which is being held virtually. The award ceremony is scheduled between 6:30 and 6:45 p.m. CT on Dec. 14, 2020. People can get more information online at https://ukc.ksea.org/ukc2020/.

KSEA's seven-member honors and awards committee selected Lee. The award is considered the organization's highest honor and is given to one person per year with both an outstanding professional career and significant contributions to KSEA.

Lee called it a "humbling sign of recognition from my peers," and said he is "very honored by receiving this highest award from my peer Korean-American scientists and engineers." Lee's research areas include transportation engineering, sustainable civil infrastructure design, civil and construction materials, and sustainable pavement materials.

David Lee Hawkeye Bridge Interview
Lee is interviewed at the opening of the Hawkeye Bridge in Buchanan
County, Iowa. Lee's technology was used in the building of the bridge.

"Steve Jobs said you cannot connect the dots looking forward, but, I say, you can create the dots look forward," Lee said in remarks prepared in response to the honor. "My first dot was my birth, which I could not create. But, all other dots during the past 62 years, I created, including a big dot of coming to America 40 years ago to become a Korean-American."

Several of Lee's accomplishments were cited in announcing the award:

  • Lee provided an exemplary leadership role as president of KSEA, Korean Transportation Association in America (KOTAA), Korean-American Society of Civil and Environmental Engineers (KSCEE), and International Society for Maintenance and Rehabilitation of Transport Infrastructures (iSMARTi).
  • Lee is currently serving on the Board of Trustees of Seoul Institute of Technology (SIT).
  • During his tenure as the KSEA’s 40th president, he was extremely active in raising a significant amount of fund for KSEA. His record-setting fundraising paved way for the future financial security of KSEA.
  • He successfully organized UKC2011 in Park City, Utah by inviting many distinguished speakers with excellent technical and social programs. In Dec. 2012, he also organized the 40th anniversary event at HQ by inviting all KSEA former presidents, NMSC/scholarship winners with their parents and keynote speakers.

Here is more from the announcement:

He received Achievement Award from International Society for Maintenance and Rehabilitation of Transportation Infrastructures (iSMARTi), President’s Award from Korean Federation of Science and Technology Societies (KOFST), Excellence in Research and Special Awards from Korean Society of Road Engineers (KSRE), Professor of the Year Award from Utah Engineers Council (UEC) and Educator of the Year Award from ASCE-Utah Section.

Dr. Lee is professionally well recognized by serving as chairman for International Conference on Smart Cities (ICSC 2019), International Conference on Maintenance and Rehabilitation of Constructed Infrastructure Facilities (MAIREINFRA 2017), US-Korea Conference (UKC 2011) and Maintenance and Rehabilitation of Pavements (MAIREPAV 2007). He currently serves as Associate Editor of MDPI Infrastructures Journal and Editorial Board of ASCE Journal of Infrastructure System.