MinJun Kim

MinJun Kim joins SMU-Lyle this fall as the Robert C. Womack Chair in Engineering and professor of mechanical engineering. Kim is a pioneering researcher in the areas of microbiorobotics and single molecule biophysics with multidisciplinary expertise in mechanical engineering, biomedical engineering, physics, and biomaterials engineering.

“Dr. Kim is recognized across the globe for his research in nanotechnology and its application to robotics and biomedical devices, “said Lyle Dean Marc P. Christensen. “He also has a track record as an outstanding teacher. I am delighted that we were able to recruit such a high-caliber individual to serve as the Robert C. Womack Chair in Engineering.”

Kim previously served as professor of mechanical engineering and mechanics at Drexel University.

He has been recognized as the first investigator to fully utilize flagellated bacteria – whose cells have a whiplike projection that allows them to move through fluids – as micro-actuators in engineered systems. Kim is an innovator in applying solid-state nanopore systems to investigate high-resolution protein folding/binding kinetics at the single molecule level.

His research group has been recognized as the first in the world to develop scanning transmission electron microscopy methods to fabricate solid-state single-digit nanometer pore arrays for analysis of nucleic acids and protein kinetics.

Dr. Kim’s research activities have been sponsored by a diverse group of agencies resulting in funding of more than $13 million. He has received coveted awards and fellowships including the National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER Award (2008), Human Frontier Science Program Young Investigator Award (2009), Army Research Office Young Investigator Award (2010), Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship (2012), Korean Federation of Science and Technology Societies (KOFST) Brain Pool Fellowship (2013), Bionic Engineering Outstanding Contribution Award (2013), Louis and Bessie Stein Family Fellowship (2014), the Netexplo Award (2016), and the Korean-American Scientists and Engineers Association (KSEA) and KOFST Engineer of the Year Award (2016). Dr. Kim was elected as International Society of Bionic Engineering (ISBE) Fellow (2014) and American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Fellow (2014).

“Professor Kim is a world-renowned engineering scientist in the field of microrobotics and single molecule biophysics, said Dr. Ali Beskok, chair of the Mechanical Engineering Department.. “His joining us adds another dimension to our vigorous research programs and increases the competitiveness of our department, the Lyle School, and SMU among leading national universities,”

Kim earned a B.S. in mechanical engineering in 1997 from Yonsei University in Korea, an M.S. in mechanical engineering from Texas A&M University in 2001, and a Ph.D. from Brown University in 2005. Following graduate studies, he served as a post-doctoral researcher in the Rowland Institute at Harvard University.


About SMU
SMU is a nationally ranked private university in Dallas founded 100 years ago. Today, SMU enrolls approximately 11,000 students who benefit from the academic opportunities and international reach of seven degree-granting schools.

About the Bobby B. Lyle School of Engineering
SMU’s Bobby B. Lyle School of Engineering, founded in 1925, is one of the oldest engineering schools in the Southwest. The school offers eight undergraduate and 29 graduate programs, including master’s and doctoral degrees, through the departments of Civil and Environmental Engineering; Computer Science and Engineering; Electrical Engineering; Engineering Management, Information, and Systems; and Mechanical Engineering. Lyle students participate in programs in the unique Deason Innovation Gym, providing the tools and space to work on immersion design projects and competitions to accelerate leadership development and the framework for innovation; the Hart Center for Engineering Leadership, helping students develop nontechnical skills to prepare them for leadership in diverse technical fields; the Caruth Institute for Engineering Education, developing new methodologies for incorporating engineering education into K-12 schools; and the Hunter and Stephanie Hunt Institute for Engineering and Humanity, combining technological innovation with business expertise to address global poverty.