SNU hires University of Tokyo professor
Seoul National University (SNU) has hired a professor from the University of Tokyo as a full-time faculty member.
The hiring is expected to strengthen the two top schools’ exchanges but, at a more fundamental level, serve as another small but necessary step to help overcome the two countries’ unhappy chapter of history.
The state university said Sunday that Takuji Oda, 34, a nuclear engineering research associate at the University of Tokyo, will serve as an associate professor from March 2013.
“We’ve had some faculty members from the University of Tokyo as visiting or part-time professors in the past, but never a full-time professor,” said Kim Gon-ho, the head of SNU’s department of nuclear engineering.
“We have high expectations that this young and bright researcher will serve as a core member to nurture an active relationship between our school and the international community of nuclear engineering studies,” he said.
SNU has so far employed six Japanese scholars as faculty members. Veterinarian Junpei Kimura became the first Japanese professor at SNU in 2008.
But it is the first time for Korea’s top national university to scout a faculty member of the University of Tokyo as a full-time professor.
The recruitment of Oda is likely to further promote scholastic exchanges between the two universities.
The University of Tokyo has also been adamant to promote exchanges with SNU under the so-called Campus Asia project.
SNU said it made the decision to hire Oda after recognizing his international contributions made through his extensive research.
He published 12 research papers in 2011 alone and actively participated in international academic conferences in the United States, China, the Netherlands and the Czech Republic, according to an SNU official.
He also received the Young Researcher Award last year from the Japanese Science and Technology Agency (JST), an organization for science and engineering academics.
Oda earned his Ph.D. from the University of Tokyo in 2007 and since then has served as a research associate at the school’s department of nuclear engineering and management.
His main research topics include material science and engineering of nuclear fuel and fusion reactor materials.