An honor fit for a dream come true

Posted on 19. Apr, 2012 by in Academic Departments, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Environment and Sustainability, Issues, Magazine, People, Research

Jae (Jim) Park

Jae (Jim) Park

In January 2012, Civil and Environmental Engineering Professor Jae (Jim) Parkreceived the Order of Service Merit (red stripes medal) from the president of South Korea for his contributions to the Four Major Rivers Restoration Project, a multibillion-dollar river restoration project in that country. The Order of Service Merit is among the highest and most coveted Korean honors and is comparable to the U.S. Congressional Gold Medal.

Park is an expert in biological processes for removing toxic compounds in waste-treatment processes and from the environment. As the principal academic contributor to the Four Major Rivers Restoration Project, he served as a project advisor and contributed theoretical river-restoration knowledge to the effort. The $18 billion project focused on achieving national water security and flood control and revitalizing the ecosystem in an area of South Korea that includes 63 percent of the country’s population.

That effort holds special significance for Park, a native of South Korea. After he saw severe pollution and ecological damage in the Han River due to industrialization and overpopulation, he traveled to the United Kingdom in 1982 to earn his PhD in river restoration. “This restoration project is part of my dream that came true after almost 30 years,” he says.

Read a longer version of this story here.Bucky Badger head

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