Nexight Group

Nexight Group is happy to welcome Changwon Suh to the team as our new Technical Program Manager. Changwon comes to us with more than 15 years of experience applying materials data analytics in positions at universities, national labs, and a manufacturing company. We sat down with Changwon to ask him a few questions about himself, his views, and his new role at Nexight.

Q: Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Prior to joining Nexight Group, I worked at Harvard University, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Iowa State University, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and Samsung Corning Co. Ltd. I have applied materials genomics and materials data analytics to a wide range of applications, including discovering materials for solar energy harvesting and grid-scale energy storage (e.g., aqueous flow batteries), and improving functional ceramic materials. Over the past 15 years at various positions, I introduced and developed various data-intensive methodologies for materials data analytics, enabling integrated computational materials engineering approaches dedicated to materials by design and advanced manufacturing.

I met my wife Jieun when I attended Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, NY. We have one daughter Dhanbee. We run every day and enjoy hiking and camping with our dog Brownie.

Q: Why did you decide to join Nexight Group?
I wanted to have an opportunity to directly confront the various technology issues our society faces today in the areas of research, development, and dissemination. However, it is quite a challenge to get insight into these three components simultaneously. While I have been able to contribute to materials research and development as an accomplished materials scientist, I was previously unable to build sufficient expertise in the dissemination of technology.

I noticed Nexight Group as a leading technical and management consultancy—especially in materials genomics, materials data analytics, and integrated computational materials engineering—through their work on several technical reports that describe successful strategies for stakeholders. Nexight is the kind of place where I can fit in, excel, and share my knowledge and experience with people in government, materials/manufacturing industries, and other organizations that need help advancing their technical knowledge and strategically directing technology research, development, and dissemination.

Q: Given your expertise, how do you envision materials discovery and development changing through the application of materials genomics and materials data analytics?
Materials science and engineering is an area where the demands are extremely high, but the speed of current materials development—from discoveries in laboratories to market deployment—is quite slow. I believe materials data and information, under the umbrella of materials genomics and materials data analytics with high-performance computing (HPC), have become more pervasive components for the accelerated discovery of materials, enhanced process/materials design, and advanced additive manufacturing. The recent announcement of the National Strategic Computing Initiative (NSCI) by the White House and a new Department of Energy initiative—HPC for manufacturing (HPC4Mfg)—are two good examples. In the near future, I think society will also encounter various new or modified theories established from materials data-driven approaches, which will corroborate and complement existing physics-based ones. For example, applying approaches from the world of quantum physics to data physics.

Q: Materials data analytics carries broad relevance beyond material science. Where else do you see data analytics making a big impact in society?
The role of materials data analytics is to not only uncover hidden relationships in materials data, but also to integrate different scales of materials’ behaviors or physical phenomena for better control of devices or systems collectively. There are no single theories to cover all scales from atomic- to system-levels. Likewise, we have already started to see data analytics making a big impact in society by identifying and connecting unprecedented relations between social phenomena. We already live with data analytics as a rational decision maker to better our life in this very connected world.

Q: What are you most looking forward to about your new position?
The key issue that we face today is that the boundaries between science and engineering are disappearing quickly. For this reason, there is a critical need to develop effective strategies involving “interdisciplinary subject matter” activities for each organization in a timely manner. I would like to leverage my experiences in varied cross-disciplinary areas to help clients solve difficult problems that Nexight is tackling. Nexight Group is a hub in the business network connecting government, industry, and R&D institutions, I would like to be a key link between them as an interdisciplinary subject matter expert.

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