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The Department of Energy Systems Research(DESR) is the government-funded graduate program recently established at Ajou University. This new program is one of the two energy BK21(Brain Korea 21) programs selected based on excellence in education and research through the nation-wide competition. The DESR has its root in the Department of Energy Studies(DES), the first regular graduate program founded in 1988 to produce energy specialists, which has granted more than 83 Masters and 20 Doctoral degrees. The DES has gone through a dramatic change this year as it has expanded from 4 to 20 faculty members and gas decided to put more emphasis on renewable energies. The 16 new faculty members have their background in Phisics, Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, and Material Science, and have carried out active research in their respective fields. In particular, the Physics and Chemistry faculty members who were the core of the first phase BK21 program at Ajou University have brought their BK program experience and expertise in Nano Science and Technology to the DESR.

‘Application of Nano Science and Technology to Renewable Energy’ is the motto of the DSER; our emphasis on renewable-energy distinguishes us from the other BK21 program for conventional energies. The main focuses of our program are synthesis of new functional materials, development of efficient and clean energy-conversion processes, energy-system diagnoses and analyses, and energy-policy making. Considering the diversity in energy sources, demands, conversion processes, and relevant industries, multi- and interdisciplinary education and research are essential in the DSER. As a matter of fact, developing a multidisciplinary curriculum covering nanotechnology, traditional engineering, and energy economics and policies is only the first step. We need a new trans-disciplinary and systematic paradigm to train specialists with a balanced perspective for the whole energy system, which encompasses scientific, technological, and socio-economical processes for energy conversion to meet various energy demands.

We, the faculty members of the DSER, are looking forward to developing very competitive research programs and educating young talents who would become the topnotch scientist and engineers in the area of renewable energy.

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