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Title 10/1/2009 - Hankook Tire Chief Technology and Production Officer Receives 2009 Outstanding Alumni Award from The University of Akron
Date 10/01/2009 Count 9475

Hankook Tire Chief Technology and Production Officer Receives 2009 Outstanding Alumni Award from The University of Akron

AKRON, Ohio, Oct. 1, 2009 - Dr. Hwi Joong Kim, Hankook Tire Co. Ltd.’s Chief Technology Officer and Chief Production Officer, has been named the recipient of The University of Akron’s Department of Polymer Science 2009 Outstanding Alumni Award.

Dr. Kim oversees all global engineering, technical, and manufacturing activities at Hankook, which is the fastest growing global tire company in the world and a major supplier to North American, European and Asian vehicle manufacturers.

Each year The University of Akron’s Department of Polymer Science chooses to recognize an accredited alumnus and honor that person at a symposium during the fall semester. The symposium will feature a lecture presentation by Dr. Kim and other alumni of the program.

The Outstanding Alumnus Award is given to graduates who show remarkable achievement in academics or technology. The UOA announced that Dr. Kim was selected as the 2009 Outstanding Alumnus for his contribution toward making Hankook Tire the world’s seventh largest tire manufacturer through continuous R&D and technological innovation.

“We are honored that Hankook’s global chief technology officer has been recognized by one of the leading institutes in Polymer Science,” said Greg Pae, president, Hankook Tire America Corp. “Dr. Kim has been essential to the development of Hankook’s highly-engineered products and leading-edge technologies.”

Dr. Kim first majored in applied chemistry in 1971 at Seoul National University in South Korea. He then proceeded to earn his master’s and Ph.D. degrees in polymer science from The University of Akron, the latter under Dr. Alan Gent in 1990.

During the past 39 years, Dr. Kim has held various positions in manufacturing, research development and engineering at Hankook. He has organized and expanded the research and development teams and guided the formation of technical branches in the United States, Germany, Japan and China. These branches currently employ over 800 people. The Akron Technical Center in North America is an integral part of Hankook’s research and development arm, supporting both global initiatives and projects specific to the U.S., adapting Hankook’s cutting edge technology to its local markets.

Dr. Kim also has successfully led many innovative projects to improve tire quality, design, productivity and environmental quality. Some of these projects include the Hankook Runflat System (HRS), the Hankook Hybrid System (HHS) and the development and enhancement of Ultra High Performance Tires (UHPTs). Dr. Kim was named to the board of directors as CTO/CPO in March 2007.

Dr. Kim is actively involved in the operations of manufacturing plants in Korea, China and Hungary. He also allocates time for teaching engineering and polymer science to engineers, chemists and technicians. Within his teachings he has also arranged financial support for nine polymer scientists and mechanical engineers to earn their M.S. or Ph.D. degrees at the University of Akron. Six of them are now working for Hankook and another is returning to the company this fall. Hankook plans to cultivate more outstanding research team members by strengthening its ties with UOA.

Dr. Kim’s influence at Hankook can even be measured in tire production. When he first joined the company they were producing a little more than 1,000 tires per day. Today, Hankook produces 225,000 high quality radial tires per day.

In recognition and support of University of Akron’s continued advancements into Polymer technology, Hankook will be making a donation to the University of Akron Foundation to help fund future research.

About Hankook Tire
Wayne, N.J., Hankook Tire America Corp. is a technology-focused, market-driven company that markets and distributes a complete line of high performance and ultra-high performance passenger tires, light truck, SUV tires, as well as medium truck and bus tires to more than 400 independent dealers through 3000+ retail sales locations in the United States and Canada.

For more information, please visit the Hankook website at www.hankooktireusa.com.

Media Contacts:
Bill Bainbridge Cindy Kamerad Jeff Wandell
Director of Brand Communication Account Director Assistant Account Executive
Hankook Tire America Corp Weber Shandwick Weber Shandwick
Phone: 973-633-9000 x 531 Phone: 248-203-8112 Phone: 248-203-8096
wbainbridge@hankooktireusa.com ckamerad@webershandwick.com jwandell@webershandwick.com

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