YSU expands research role with S. Korean institute

Staff report


The growth of the Mahoning Valley as a center for global research took another step forward as Youngstown State University has signed a memorandum of understanding for research collaboration and student/faculty engagement with the Ulsan National Institute for Science and Technology in Ulsan, South Korea.

UNIST is one of Asia’s leading technology schools, and many consider it to be the MIT of South Korea. The core focus of the YSU-UNIST relationship will center on research involving electric-vehicle technologies.

“This agreement represents the expanding reputation of YSU as a center for great research and development capabilities,” YSU President Cynthia E. Anderson said in a news release. “Furthermore, it will enable our students to expand their horizons with more opportunities to study and work with firms in the growing Asian market.”

UNIST was introduced to YSU by Power Plaza Korea, a high-end power conversion technologies company that also is forming a growing relationship with YSU, with support from the Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber.

This summer, Power Plaza will host two interns from YSU’s College of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, as well as one engineering intern from the University of Akron. The agreement between YSU and UNIST complements the growing relationship between YSU and Power Plaza.

“With YSU students having greater international work and research experience, the ability to attract companies with significant research assets to the Mahoning Valley only increases,” said Eric Planey, vice president of International Business Attraction for the Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber. “This MOU is another win-win for the Valley and the university, and the TechBelt.”

Martin Abraham, dean of the YSU College of STEM, said the memo of understanding and the subsequent work with Korean academic and industry partners will help attract more talented students to YSU’s STEM programs.

“We are also looking forward to working with our partners in this research relationship, to grow another sustainable energy technology on the YSU campus,” Abraham said.

As with the agreement signed between YSU and Power Plaza last fall, specific details about the implementation of the research relationship will be worked out over the coming months.

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