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Hwang Chang-gyu Wins U.S. Technology Leadership Award

Posted April. 27, 2005 23:20,   


Hwang Chang-gyu, the president of the memory division of Samsung Electronics, became the first non-American winner of the Electronics Industry Association (EIA) Leadership in Technology and Innovation Award on Tuesday.

The EIA said it decided to give Dr. Hwang the award for leading one of the world’s best electronics industries, creating new technology in the face of difficult tasks in the industrial technology sector and generating new information equipment markets with cutting-edge semiconductor technology.

The EIA has given this annual award to one American who contributed to the U.S. electronics industry since 1952. This year, it expanded its award candidates to include non-Americans for the first time ever.

Past winners include Carly Fiorina, the former CEO of Hewlett-Packard, and Thomas J. Watson, the former chairman of IBM.

Samsung’s lead in DRAM technology innovation and standardization, and the changes that Samsung’s technology has made in the way other companies do business won Hwang the award.

Hwang was also highly regarded for publishing numerous outstanding papers in distinguished journals and for spreading the “semi-conductor vision” through lectures and IEEE activities.

In his acceptance speech at a ceremony this afternoon at the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington D.C., Hwang said, “Semiconductors make the digital revolution that brings dramatic changes to the economic, cultural, and social sectors possible. The rapid development of semiconductors is advancing the shift to a mobile and digital society. The future is created, not predicted.”

In a press conference with Korean correspondents, Hwang said with confidence, “Koreans have a strong spirit of adventure and are readily motivated. They also have perseverance and patience, the requirements of the information technology industry. Korea can continue to lead the IT industry in the world.”

EIA president Dave McCurdy said, “Samsung Electronics’ innovative products have contributed to the U.S. IT industry. I hope Dr. Hwang’s winning the award will serve as an opportunity to open a new chapter in the history of Korea-US IT cooperation.”

Sarah Chang’s Performance-

Sarah Chang, the ingenious violinist, gave a celebration performance before some 150 business and political leaders from Korea and the U.S. who attended the ceremony, including Hong Suk-hyun, Korea’s ambassador to the U.S., Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Tex.), and Rep. Charles Gonzalez (D-Tex.).

Hwang, an admirer of classical music, said, “I met Ms. Chang on a plane I transferred to in Frankfurt, Germany four years ago. Since then, we have been in touch via e-mail occasionally.”

Hwang learned that Chang, who frequently flies overseas, carried three cell phones to use in the U.S., Europe, and Japan each. Hwang said, “Just one Anycall is enough,” and gave Chang a Samsung cell phone as a gift that could be used anywhere around the world without roaming services.

When Chang finished performing Maurice Ravel’s Tzigane, the guests gave her a standing ovation.

Soon-Taek Kwon maypole@donga.com