Sung-Hee “Sonny” Kim, Ph.D., P.E., F.ASCE, a construction engineer who has directly advanced the art and practice of sustainable pavement design, has been named a Fellow by the ASCE Board of Direction.
Kim has excelled in the practice of pavement engineering, and his research has resulted in highly successful contributions to pavement design and maintenance. He began his engineering practice with Roy D. McQueen & Associates Ltd., in Sterling, VA, a position that led to his licensure and responsible charge of the design, construction, and repair of major international and important domestic airports throughout the United States.
His practice has continued alongside an equally impressive academic career. As an engineering faculty hired at the new Southern Polytechnic State University (now merged with Kennesaw State University), Kim soon became the director of the new undergraduate civil engineering program. During his time at SPSU and Kennesaw State, he led the development of student-centered and experience-based civil engineering courses, and soon developed a respected faculty known in Georgia and the Southeast U.S. for educating some of the most practice-ready civil and construction engineers available.
Kim is noted for his leadership with two ASCE student chapters, at SPSU and the University of Georgia. Under his inspiration the 2014 SPSU geotechnical competition team placed fourth regionally, reinvigorating the Chapter, and the UGA geotechnical competition team was spurred by him to place third in 2016 and second in 2017 at the ASCE regional competitions, out of more than 20 universities. At both schools, Kim quickly became renowned for applied research that was shortly translated into innovative practices in pavement design and maintenance.
Directing and supporting two new SPSU research centers, and being a noted principle investigator at UGA, Kim was competitively awarded S2M grants during the past seven years from the Georgia Department of Transportation. He has also developed manuals of practice and testing methods for GDOT. Undergraduate and graduate students involved in his research and under his tutelage obtain rare skills in sustainable pavement design, giving them an early edge in their professional careers.
More recently, Kim is collaborating with industry to educate students already well trained in the fundamentals of material science to be able to safely, economically, and sustainably innovate and design pavements.