Dr. Hyun-Soon Lee

Lee Hyun Soon

Dr. Hyun-Soon Lee is the author of Buckle Down: How I Invented South Korea’s First Automobile Engine. He is currently the vice chairman and chief technology officer of the Doosan Group. Lee received his MA and Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from the State University of New York at Stony Brook. He began his professional career at the General Motors Research Institute, before leaving to join Hyundai in 1984.

During his career with Hyundai, Dr. Lee was instrumental in developing the first engine produced by Hyundai, also known as the α-Engine, and the development of the β-Engine. He has received numerous awards for his contributions to the automotive industry, including the IR52 Jang Young Shil Prize from the South Korean Ministry of Science and Technology, and the Gold Medal for Anti-Pollution Technology Development from South Korean newspaper Chosun Ilbo. For his leadership, he was awarded the Best CTO award from Korea Industrial Technology Association.

Dr. Lee is a member of the Presidential Advisory Council on Science and Technology and the National Academy of Engineering in South Korea.

“A legend in South Korea’s automobile industry, Dr Hyun-Soon Lee has had countless success stories as a result of a pioneering spirit that spearheads change without being afraid of failing. If we always have dreams and think positive, like Dr Lee did, we’ll definitely succeed.”

Byeong-Wan Park, former president of the Korean Society of Automotive Engineers

“South Korea joined the automobile industry a hundred years later than other countries. One of the reasons that Hyundai Motors could thrive and become one of the world’s five largest automobile companies was because Dr Hyun-Soon Lee took up the challenge to develop engines – the heart of the automobile.”

Woong-Cheol Yang, vice chairman of research and development at Hyundai Motor Group

“One of the reasons people avoid science and engineering is because there are few role models in this industry. I believe that Buckle Down – a story about how a first-generation engineer revivified South Korea – will serve as a signpost to engineers who have lost their goal and direction in life.”

Joon-Yang Chung, chairman of the National Academy of Engineering of Korea