Distinguished Alumni Award

The Distinguished Alumni Award is granted to outstanding SHRS alumni who have distinguished themselves through their academic, professional and humanitarian accomplishments. Their commitment to professional excellence and dedication to serving their communities through scholarship, education and advocacy exemplify the core values of SHRS.
Dr. Jongbae Kim (Rehabilitation Science, PhD '05)

BS – Yonsei University, Applied Statistics, 1983
MS – Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, Industrial Engineering, 1985
PhD – University of Pittsburgh, Rehabilitation Science, 2005

Dr. Jongbae Kim first came to the University of Pittsburgh as a post doctoral fellow and assistant professor in the Department of Rehabilitation Science and Technology while pursuing his doctor of philosophy degree. He is currently a professor for the Department of Occupational Therapy, director of Yonsei Enabling Science and Technology Research Center (YESTEC ) and chief instructor of the Graduate Program of Enabling Technology at Yonsei University in Seoul, Korea. He is also an adjunct professor in SHRS’ Department of Rehabilitation Science and Technology. Previously, he was the director of the Department of Rehabilitation and Assistive Technology at the Korea National Rehabilitation Center and served as the director of the Rehabilitation Robot Translational Research Center. While pursuing his master’s degree, Kim experienced a fall that caused a spinal cord injury (SCI) resulting in tetraplegia. He has used his personal experiences living with an SCI for 35 years to help develop solutions for improving educational, vocational and quality of life aids and services for future generations of people with SCI and other disabilities.

Within rehabilitation science, he specializes in seating and mobility, telerehabilitation, virtual reality applications, adaptive sports devices and rehabilitation robotics. Kim has directed 10 government-funded research and service projects.

He recently established MLP, a company based on more than 10 patented technologies developed for life care for people with disabilities. The company's name, MLP, was inspired by the following verse:

"Make Level Paths for your feet," so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather enabled. (Hebrews 12:13)