Student Success Story

Development of automatic switchgear in emergency exit

Namhoon KIM

According to the Article 10 of the <Law on fire prevention, installation/maintenance of fire protection system>, any door that is relevant to emergency evacuation must never be locked. In reality, most of the owners and tenants in the buildings lock the emergency exit to prevent crime and accidents. This leads to massive loss and casualties when there is a fire. To solve this problem, a student came up with an automatic switchgear for emergency exits. He is Namhoon KIM from the Graduate School of Global Entrepreneurship. Let’s take a look at his story.

There is a curriculum in the SKKU Graduate School of Global Entrepreneurship that teach practical skills and theories of start-up at the same time. It is a specialized graduate school established for the education of practical start-up experts with a spirit of challenge. Students in the graduate school are either in the process of starting a company or potential founders. 

There are many buildings that lock the emergency doors to prevent crimes. This not only goes against the law but also risks lives of people. The “automatic switchgear for emergency exit” is a device that keeps the door locked in normal state and automatically opens the door in case of an emergency. With this device, one can ensure the protection from crime and fire. 

When someone starts a business, people normally think that, “they started for money”. Money is absolutely one of important motives of business. Gaining wealth is the dream of many people. The main motive of Namhoon KIM was his father. KIM’s father is working as a firefighter and he experienced difficulty in rescue missions due to locked doors. His father’s experience gave him the idea to invent a device that automatically opens the door. KIM submitted this device in the University Invention Contest and received an award. 

“When I first received the award and applied for a patent, I expected to make a lot of money. People think that they can make a fortune simply by having a good idea for business. However, that’s not true in most cases. Most people are motivated by money but I would like to say that one must start a business with a clear goal.”

“Money is important but my ultimate goal is to enhance the welfare system of the firefighters. Growing up as a son of a firefighter, I became interested in the welfare of firefighters. I found that it needs to be improved. My goal is to become successful as much that I can give scholarships to the children of firefighting families.”

He encouraged other students, “be ambitious!”. He advised that students should first draw the big picture and plan out the specific details gradually. 

“Most of the great achievements started from a trivial idea. Don’t miss the opportunities and run toward your dream.”