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Dr. Sungmee Park is a Principal Research Scientist in the School of Materials Science and Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Her academic and corporate research activities have led to fundamental technological contributions to the field and new products in the marketplace, respectively. Her experience in the research and development continuum began with Professor Jayaraman at Georgia Tech with the development of an innovative fabric for the dancers in the Atlanta Ballet that blended form and function in a unique and effective manner. As a co-inventor of the world’s first Wearable Motherboard or Smart Shirt in 1996, Dr. Park laid the foundation for today’s wearables revolution, i.e., integrating electronics and textiles. The Smart Shirt enables the unobtrusive monitoring of athletes, patients, soldiers, public safety officials, senior citizens, and infants prone to SIDS, among others (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5-px4MAKREs).
In 2006, Dr. Park was invited by Kolon Glotech (a member company of the Kolon Group) in South Korea to establish a laboratory for Smart Textiles. At Kolon Glotech, she developed the technology of “Printronix” – printing electronics on textiles – and created the world’s first heating textiles (HeaTex). This enabling technology was integrated into sports clothing for outdoor activities (civilian), Korean military ensemble, and automobiles, among others. She was also Vice President and Head of Future Strategy TF at Kolon Corporation. She was engaged in identifying new growth engines and strategic opportunities for the Kolon Group of companies. Her activities included identifying cutting edge technologies, nurturing research partnerships with leading universities around the world, and exploring new business and joint venture opportunities. Furthermore, she led the Kolon team on the development of the Inspiring Journey Exhibit, which also reflects her own interests and accomplishments at the intersection of arts, science and technology for the betterment of humankind.
Dr. Park’s publications include articles in refereed journals and book chapters. She has over 30 patents based on her research. In her ongoing collaboration with Professor Jayaraman, Dr. Park is exploring the role of “wearables” such as the Smart Shirt, in serving as a data acquisition platform for Big Data analysis with the human as an “information node.” She is a co-inventor on a next generation respiratory protection device and has developed a low cost reusable form-fitting fabric mask for community use.
BS 1987 Clothing & Textiles Catholic University, Korea
MFA 1993 Textile Design (CAD-CAM) Georgia State University
MS 1995 Textile Engineering Georgia Institute of Technology
PhD 2019 Materials Science & Engineering Georgia Institute of Technology
2018 Research Publication Award, The Textile Institute, Manchester, UK
2016 Inaugural Georgia Tech Leadership Excellence Award, Georgia Tech, Atlanta, Georgia.
2014 4Habitats (the main feature of this innovative art exhibition, Inspiring Journey) won the prestigious Red Dot Grand Prix in the Communication Design category.
2014 Spunbond (the media art film about spunbond manufacturing process) was awarded Red Dot Best of Best Prize in the Film & Animation category.
2011 Academy of Distinguished Engineering Alumni, CoE, Georgia Tech, Atlanta, Georgia
2010 IT Convergence Award, Government of Korea, Seoul, South Korea
2010 Korean Prime Minister’s New Growth Business Award, Seoul, South Korea
2009 IR52 Jang Yeong-Sil Award, “Heatex® Smart Electronic Heating Textiles using Conductive Materials”, Korean Ministry of Science & Technology, Seoul, South Korea
2005 Invited Lecturer, NATO Advanced Study Institute on Intelligent Textiles for Personal Protection and Safety, September 7-10, 2005, Zadar, Croatia.
2003 The Smart Shirt was named as one of the 10 Inventions That Will Change the World by NEWSWEEK Magazine, June/July 2003.
2002 The first Smart Shirt (Wearable Motherboard) is now in the 20th Century Textile Collection at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History in Washington, DC, July 2002; it was on display in a public Exhibit entitled “Inventing Ourselves” at the Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation of the Smithsonian Museum, Washington, DC, February 2004 – 2006.
2001 The Smart Shirt was featured as one of the Best Inventions of the Year 2001 by TIME Magazine, November 19, 2001.
1998 The Smart Shirt was featured in the Special Issue of LIFE Magazine entitled Medical Miracles for the Next Millennium as one of the "21 Breakthroughs that Could Change Your Life in the 21st Century", Fall 1998.
Form and Function, Health and Human Welfare, Security, Electronics and Communication
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