D.H. Yoon

Open innovation manager
Cheonan-si, Republic of Korea
Working for umicore since 2020
"Having a front-row seat to discover new technologies is very exciting."

Can you describe your role/position at Umicore?

Umicore is a progressive organization, always looking for new technologies to improve current processes and operations. In my role as Open Innovation Manager, I maintain and increase the R&D network in Asia and I look out for new innovative opportunities that we might add to the business. My latest project involved the collaboration with an R&D laboratory from a university who is investigating the advanced precursor and cathode material.

What do you like about your job?

I am very keen on discovering new possibilities in science. In my role, I am touching a lot of those new technologies, I have so to say a “seat in the front row” which I enjoy very much!

What do you like about working at Umicore?

Coming from the university and being able to convert theory into reality of the business is very satisfying. I am lucky to work in an international environment, which enlarges my geographical scope even more. I am able to work in a collaborative, open and respectful way with my colleagues all over the world.

Why did you want to work at Umicore?

Through my studies in battery materials, I came across Umicore, being both supplier and developer of cathode materials, thus working for such a global company would expand my area of expertise. When I discovered Umicore’s values such as openness, innovation, respect, teamwork and commitment I wanted to become part of this company.     

What do you look forward to when you set off to work in the morning?

Working for an international organization, means exploring a great amount of different possibilities. I learn a lot and I discover many new things on a daily basis. 

What has been the highlight of your time at Umicore so far?

I was leading a meeting with several internal colleagues who are sitting in Korea and Belgium. I spent a day to prepare an agenda, key issues to discuss, and some open questions. From time to time we had to jump back and forth to different topics but in the end we were able to reach a clear goal, which makes me feel good. The collaborative spirit within Umicore is very strong, which makes my job easier.

Any advice for newcomers?

As a newcomer, you enter environments which are new for you but not for the colleagues that have been working in that same area for many years. They do not always see new opportunities but you do! Use your fresh insights and share them with your colleagues; together you create new possibilities.