The last excursion in Seoul was the visit to the Seoul National University (SNU) on Tuesday the 18th of October. After the lunch at the Gwanak Main Campus, we were welcomed by Professor Young-Oh Kim, Doctor Gi Joo Kim, two PhD-candidates and a master student of the Research Group for Climate Change Adaptation in Water Resources (CCCAWR) from the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. During the excursion, we learnt about the SNU in general and the ongoing research the research group is involved in.
First of all, Professor Young-Oh Kim gave a general introduction to the SNU. This first national university in South Korea, founded in 1946, consists of 16 colleges, 13 graduate schools and 121 research institutes. It is considered to be the most prestigious public university of South Korea, with approximately 28,000 students (57% undergraduate, 43% graduate) and 5410 staff-members. The SNU is ambitious, as it strives to be ‘A Community of Knowledge, Leading the Future’, which connects well to the findings in the macro studies ‘Technological’ and ‘Social’. The percentage of international students is rather low (8%), contrary to 33% at the University of Twente. Most courses are provided in Korean only, but the level of English is relatively high, as a lot of students and staff-members go to the United States during their studies, of which Professor Young-Oh Kim and Doctor Gi Joo Kim are an example.
Secondly, Professor Young-Oh Kim, Head of the department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, shortly introduced Civil Engineering at the SNU. The department covers a broad range of research areas, which is similar to the research areas at the University of Twente. The vision of the department is to establish human and environment-oriented infrastructures in the future. One of the research areas is ‘Hydro-Engineering’, which consists amongst others of the Research Group for CCAWR. This group is relatively small, consisting of Professor Young-Oh Kim, Doctor Gi Joo Kim and 8 students. The focus of the group is on novel methodologies for climate change assessments and adaptations in the field of water resources. The goal is to anticipate adverse effects of climate change on Korean water resources and propose strategies and actions to mitigate damage.
At the end of the presentation, different research projects were presented. The topics were either related to the effects of climate change on water systems or related to understanding water systems in order to prepare for climate change, which relates well to the micro study ‘Extreme Weather Circumstances’. The topics ranged from researching the uncertainty in measurements of discharge with IoT sensors, to analyzing the effects of the urbanized campus on the water cycle, to investigating the management of reservoirs under climate change.
After the presentation of the Research Group for CCAWR, a presentation from our side was given about the University of Twente and Department of Civil Engineering and Management in general and some current research projects in the Marine and Fluvial Systems Research Group.
In the last thirty minutes of the excursion, we visited two rooms of the Hydraulic & Coastal Engineering Laboratory. Two students explained the equipment present at the laboratories and we had time to walk around to view the laboratory and ask questions. Several flumes with different sizes were present which were used to study the near-bed motion of water. This could be used to study the sediment dynamics in rivers.
All in all, during this short excursion of 1.5 hours at the SNU, we have learnt more about the ongoing research of the Research Group for CCAWR and about the ambiance at the SNU in general. We want to thank all people involved for making it possible to visit the university!