Fostered junior researchers in Korean geology and led the establishment of the academic community
Contributed to the industrialization of Korea via research on underground resources
(Late) Park Dong-gil
Professor of Seoul National University (1897~1983)
- Academic background
Graduated from the Dept. of Applied Chemistry, Osaka Industrial High School, Japan
Graduated from the Dept. of Geological Mineralogy of the Dohoku Imperial College, Japan
Honorary Ph.D. in Engineering at Hanyang University
- Professional career
1939 ~ 1945
Professor of Gyeong Seong Mineralogy School
1945 ~ 1951
President of the Geological Survey Agency and Fuel Concentration Institute
1947 ~ 1955
1st President of the Korea Geology Society
1952 ~ 1962
Professor of the Dept. of College of Engineering of Seoul National University
1974 ~ 1978
Vice President of the Korean Academy of Sciences
Korean Academy of Sciences Award
Order of Service Merit, Blue Stripes
Order of Civil Merit, Rose of Sharon Medal
Sudang Science Award
Fostered junior researchers as the pioneer of Korean geology and mineralogy
Professor Dong-gil Park is the pioneer of Korean geology and mineralogy. He fostered junior researchers and led the establishment of the research community as well as contributed to the industrialization of Korea through the research and developments of various underground resources.
Born in Yeongi, Chungcheongnam-do in 1897, he graduated from primary school and moved to Japan. He worked as a factory employee and completed middle school, supported by himself. He majored in applied chemistry at Osaka Industrial High School and graduated in 1925. Working for a pharmaceutical company, he entered the Science Dept. of the Dohoku Imperial College in Sendai, North-eastern Japan. He graduated from the Dept. of Geological Mineralogy in 1930.
After returning to Korea, he became a professor at Gyeong Seong Industrial High School and in 1939, when the Gyeong Seong Mining School was open, he moved to the school. Though he was mainly in charge of education there, he made achievements in research as well, as he represented the poor Korean geology area at the time. In 1938, he developed a method of examining cobalt minerals via a chemical method (Japanese Patent No. 169534) and in 1940 he found an alkali feldspar deposit in the area of Hwanghae-do to enhance his fame. He also found a diamond gemstone for the first time in East Asia. Other than these, he has a lot of accomplishments such as the invention of sulfonated oil and a fat manufacturing method (Japanese Patent No. 70930), the discovery of Antesin in the area of Hamgyeongbuk-do, the discovery of Alkali hornblende, the development of a method of examining old cobalt minerals and the projection of distributed ingredients via a chemical method, the discovery of a nepheline deposit in Gangwon-do area, etc.
After Liberation, he took up the core role of reinstating Korean geology. The US Army Commercial Dept. took up the management of the Geological Survey Agency and Fuel Concentration Institute and decided to integrate the two and appointed him as the president of both. The two institutions were integrated into the Geology and Mining Institute in April 1946. After repeatedly changing names including into the Central Geology and Mining Institute, it became the current Korea Institute of Geoscience and Mineral Resources. He had served as the first president of the Geological Survey Agency and Fuel Concentration Institute until 1951, and made efforts to establish the foundation of the institutes under hardship during the separation of the two Koreas and the Korean War.
Contributed to industrialization through the research and development of various underground resources
In the 1950s, when there was not any industry to speak of, the importance of mining was high for the national economy. Especially coal was one of the most important industrial resources in the country. As such, geology, which enables the effective utilization of various minerals including coal, made a direct contribution to Korea’s national rehabilitation. He wrote research books of “Korean Mineral Resources” (1963) and “Prospecting of Radiation Minerals” (1963) and provided the academic basis for the development of mineral resources. He contributed to the establishment of industrialization by discovering useful resources such as the iron ore deposit in Yangyang, Gangwon-do via geological prospecting. Other than these, he also made pragmatic achievements such as the invention of a concentration method for fluorite ore (Korean Patent No. 36), invention of a handling method for zinc ore (Patent No. 1254), and the invention of a smelting method for zinc ore (Patent No. 1437).
Led the establishment of the academic community as the first president of the Korea Geology Society
He also led the establishment of the Korea Geology Society. As the representative person of Korean geology, he became the founding president of the society in 1947. Staying as the president until 1955, he established the foundation of the geology area. The Korea Geology Society, which established its system under his leadership, published “Underground Resources Survey Report in the Area of Taebaek-san” (1962) later and provided the academic basis for the national economic development.
Professor Park joined the College of Engineering of Seoul National University as a professor in 1958. After retiring from the university, he focused on fostering junior researchers as an honorary professor of Inha College of Engineering (currently Inha University). He received the Order of Service Merit, Blue Stripes, Order of Civil Merit, Rose of Sharon Medal, Sudang Science Award, and May 16th National Culture Award and took the position of Vice President of the Korean Academy of Sciences. The Korea Geology Society established the “Unam Geology Award” in 1974 in commemoration of his merits and grants the award to persons with contributions to geology every year.