On September 29, Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao presented KAIST Professor In Lee with the Friendship Award at an official ceremony in Beijing for his actions to help students from the earthquake stricken province of Sichuan and his continued efforts as the head of an East Asian student exchange program.
After the 2008 earthquake in China's Sichuan province, which measured at a magnitude of 8.0 and claimed 68,000 lives, Professor Lee provided scholarships to students at the Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics (NUAA) whose hometowns were in Sichuan. These students were given the opportunity to study at KAIST for one or two semesters.
The Friendship Award is the most prestigious of its kind issued by China and is given to esteemed foreign experts and professionals who contribute to the economic and social development of the People's Republic. Prominent past awardees include the Nobel laureate Alan MacDiarmid and the Japanese architect Kisho Kurokawa.
Professor Lee is a renowned expert in composite materials and smart structures and teaches at KAIST's Department of Aerospace Engineering. He worked at NASA Ames before coming to KAIST in 1987 and is a director and fellow at the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. Professor Lee was granted an honorary professorship at NUAA in 2008. He received his doctorate at Stanford University.
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