by Sun Kun OH. Published: 17 May 2013

Konkuk University is located in Seoul. It is surrounded by one of the liveliest districts of the megacity. In 2012, it embraced about 17,000 undergraduate students and 4,000 graduate students while the number of faculty members is about 3,000.

Over the last few years a number of systems for evaluating universities have been introduced into Korea for stimulating competition among them. Before 2000, Konkuk University was considered a medium-class university. Now, it is one of the fastest growing universities in Korea. It has been included in the best 100 universities in Asia, and ranked as the 13th within Korea, in The Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2012-2013 powered by Thomson Reuters.

A small group within the School of Physics in the College of Sciences is participating in the ALICE experiment. Since 2005 that I was introduced to the ALICE experiment by a Korean colleague in Gangneung-Wonju National University (GWNU) I am leading this group. At the first stage of participation, I was affiliated to GWNU and my students have been affiliated either to GWNU or to Pusan National University (PNU). They have primarily been involved in the TOF and MTR.  

My group has a growing number of students. One of them, Sang Un Ahn, obtained his Ph.D. degree last year, under the scheme of co-tutorship between Konkuk University and UBP of Clermont-Ferrand. The title of his Ph.D. thesis is “Analysis of Upsilon production in pp collisions at 7 TeV with the ALICE muon spectrometer.” Dr. Ahn is now working in KISTI – a member of the ALICE collaboration- which is a national institute dedicated to computing and information, and he is responsible for the administration of one of the LCG Tier-1 centres for ALICE in Korea since 2012.

Jeewon Seo, another student in the group is currently finishing her Ph.D. course. Ms. Seo is studying the decay of an exotic meson into 4 pion states. Her subject has been supervised by Suh Urk Chung, a BNL veteran and a visiting scholar to both TUM and PNU, who also works in COMPASS. Thus, some important bits of information have been provided for her from German colleagues in Heidelberg University and TUM via Dr. Chung.

The campus of Konkuk University accommodates a small lake.

A new graduate student, Byungyun Kong, joined the group this year. He is involved in the MTR upgrade project, with Université Blaise Pascal (UBP) colleagues in Clermont-Ferrand. In particular, Pascal Dupieux helps Mr. Kong to get started . UBP will invite Mr. Kong for training the electronics in the near future.

The members of the Konkuk group are really indebted to many colleagues and friends within the collaboration who helped them to be fully merged into the ALICE experiment.

Last year (2012) students from Kunkun University visited Hiroshima University to meet the students of Toru Sugitate. They have taken a picture together. Professor Sugitate of Hiroshima University, an ALICE institution, operates Tier-2 center for ALICE

On 22 March this year, at the ALICE Collaboration Board meeting, Professor Dupieux kindly delivered a supporting address for Konkuk University for its admission. Presided by our spokesperson, Paolo Giubellino, the Board has unanimously decided to endow Konkuk University for full membership in association with GWNU, together with two other institutions. Attending the meeting and watching the final decision has been a delightful experience.

We are  looking forward to contributing to the ALICE Collaboration more actively. My group is currently engaged in the MTR upgrade work along with our colleagues in UBP of Clermont-Ferrand.

Finally, I would like to take this opportunity and express my vision to build strong ties with the ALICE experiment and my hope for a long-lasting participation that could be mutually beneficial.

Since 2008, Konkuk Univeristy has been hosting a workshop on LHC physics for Korean physicists. The major sponsor of the workshop is APCTP, Asia Pacific Centre for Theoretical Physics. Many Asian colleagues have participated the workshop. Some key persons from CERN have also attended. This year, again, we will be organizing the “APCTP 2013 LHC Physics Workshop @ Korea” from 6 to 8 August.