Soyeon Yi

Panelist: Aerospace Technologies

Dr. Soyeon Yi is South Korea’s first and only astronaut. She was selected as an astronaut in December 2006, out of 36,000 contestants vying for the title of South Korea’s First Astronaut. On April 8, 2008, she launched into space on-board Soyuz TMA-12. During her 11-day mission at the International Space Station (ISS), Dr. Yi completed an aggressive number of experiments contributing to South Korea’s science textbooks and science channel television lectures. During her historical return to earth on April 19, 2008, she survived a force of nearly 16-G (versus 4-G average) upon the ballistic re-entry. Due to re-entry complications, the first to welcome her return to earth were nomads in the plains of Kazakhstan.

Dr. Yi received her Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering, Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering and her Ph.D. in Bio and Brain Engineering from KAIST (Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology). Her Ph.D. thesis is “DNA Separation Chips Using Temporal Asymmetric Ratchet Effect in NonUniform E-Fields”. In May 2014, Dr. Yi received her MBA with emphasis on Technology and Global Leadership at the Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley.

Currently, Dr. Yi is working with Biotechnology startup, Noul Co., Ltd. as the Managing Director, Business Development and Partnership. Dr. Yi is passionate about nurturing the next generation of leaders in STEM; she is not only volunteering for various non-profits as an inspiring speaker but also lecturing at the University of Washington and local community colleges. When she can find spare time, she enjoys singing, hot yoga, gardening, crafts, camping, and hiking.