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Prof. Dr. Duk Yong Yoon

D uk Yong Yoon was born in 1940 and spent his early

childhood in Pyongyang, North Korea. When he was
8 years old, he came to South Korea with his family, cross-
In 1978, he went to the Max-Planck-Institut fuer Metall-
forschung in Stuttgart to work with Professor Petzow and
Dr. Huppmann as a Humboldt fellow. His work in Stuttgart
ing the closed border between the divided South and North showed that the migration of Ni liquid films between W
Koreas. During his final year at Kyunggy High School in particles was related to the composition change and was
Seoul, Korea, he went to the USA and entered M. I. T. in therefore similar to diffusion-induced grain boundary mi-
1958 to major in physics. He studied French literature as a gration (DIGM), which was drawing considerable interest.
minor in humanities. Upon graduating from M. I. T. in Various theories were proposed for the driving force of such
1962, he continued his graduate studies at Harvard Univer- interface migration, and Professor M. Hillert suggested that
sity in the Division of Applied Physics and Engineering. particularly for intergranular liquid film migration the co-
His doctoral thesis work was on the effect of high pressure herency strain energy produced by solute diffusion in front
on order-disorder transformation in b-CuZn and was super- of the migrating interface was the driving force. Yoon and
vised by Professor A. Bienenstock, who is now at Stanford his students at KAIST performed the critical test of this the-

University. He thoroughly enjoyed the academic atmo- ory by using several combinations of solute atom pairs to
sphere of Harvard and studying under professors like vary the coherency strain from negative to positive values
H. Brooks, D. Turnbull, and W. Paul. In 1967 he went to through 0. The solute atom concentrations were varied by
the University of Illinois as a post-doctoral research associ- using the equilibria between the solid and liquid phases in
ate to work with Professor D. Lazarus in the department of liquid phase sintered systems. Further experiments in cera-
physics. He worked on ionic conductivity in alkali-halides mics showed that the migration directions were also consis-
under high pressure, and the exposure to ionic crystals at tent with the coherency strain theory. Duk Yong Yoon al-
that time led him later to work on ceramic materials. In ways searched for simple experiments for critical tests of
© 2005 Carl Hanser Verlag, Munich, Germany

early 1970 he joined the faculty of the Wayne State Univer- theories and demonstration of new ideas, and these series
sity in Michigan. of experiments were the prime examples. He now believes
In 1971 the Korean government was establishing the Korea that the coherency strain theory has been fully verified ex-
Advanced Institute of Science (which later became the Korea perimentally for liquid film and grain boundary migration
Advanced Institute of Science and Technology) as a new as well as for discontinuous precipitation and that some re-
leading graduate school. Duk Yong Yoon proposed to estab- cent results against the theory are due to misunderstanding.
lish a department of materials science at this university and Since 1995, Yoon’s group has been mainly working on
returned to Korea in January, 1972 as the first faculty in the understanding the mechanism of abnormal grain growth.
department. He enjoyed the challenging task of establishing They showed that the grain shapes in liquid phase sintered
a new educational and research organization in Korea, which systems often changed from polyhedral to nearly spherical
was at an early stage of industrialization. Although his educa- shapes with either temperature or composition change as
tion and experience in the U. S. A. were mainly in solid state described for the surface roughening of pure materials, and
physics, he decided to start a program in powder metallurgy that the normal or abnormal grain growth was related to
because of the industrial demand in Korea. Although it was such a grain shape change. Extending the experiments to
necessary to pay attention to practical problems, he realized pure or single-phase polycrystalline materials, they showed
that there were many fundamental questions yet to be re- that the grain boundary roughening transition was also re-
solved. His students performed critical experiments to ob- lated to normal or abnormal grain growth. One important
serve the filling of artificially produced spherical pores dur- example of this experimental series was the observation that
ing liquid phase sintering and analyzed the capillary driving MgO addition to alumina doped with SiO2 and CaO caused
force for such a process. They also studied the coarsening of the grain boundary roughening transition and hence the
spherical grains during liquid phase sintering. change from abnormal to normal grain growth. Yoon be-

102  Carl Hanser Verlag, München Z. Metallkd. 96 (2005) 2


lieves that the puzzle of the MgO effect in alumina has now Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology for
been resolved and generally the grain boundary roughening three years from 1995, he sought to enhance its education
transition is important for understanding the grain boundary and research levels and contributed to establishing the
structure and properties. Korea Institute of Advanced Study for theoretical physics
Yoon also delved briefly into various other subjects such and mathematics and the Graduate School of Techno-Man-
as diamond deposition, y’ precipitation in Ni-base superal- agement. He also was the second president of the Korea
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loy, W heavy alloy, and oxide superconductors, but he Powder Metallurgy Institute. But even after administrative
found it difficult to do significant research in these areas. duties, he always returned to research and teaching. He
He often felt academically isolated in Korea and sought to shared the view of most scientists that research was enjoy-
maintain ties to the international community. He spent sab- able and worthwhile even when the outcome was not suc-
batical years at the National Institute of Standards and cessful. He received the Hoam Prize in 1995 and the Out-
Technology and the General Electric Corporate Research standing Scientist Award in 2004 in Korea. Forty-one
Center in the U. S. A. and the University of Tokyo in Japan, students received doctoral degrees under his supervision.
and maintained close working relationships with these insti- He likes classical music and literature. He did judo, rock
tutions as well as the Max-Planck-Institut für Metallfor- climbing, and ice hockey in his student days, and likes to
schung in Germany. play tennis, ski, and swim in his later years. He loves his
Duk Yong Yoon also played a significant role in the charming wife and three daughters, who are happily mar-
science administration in Korea. He served as the general ried and active professionally. Although he left North Korea
secretary of the Korea Science and Engineering Foundation when he was a child, he hopes to return there someday to
in its early days, establishing the research support and eva- help the people and in particular the scientists.
luation system and increasing the budget through a World
Bank loan program. While he was the president of the Suk-Joong L. Kang and Sung Bo Lee
© 2005 Carl Hanser Verlag, Munich, Germany

Z. Metallkd. 96 (2005) 2 103