Woojin Lee

School of Engineering and Digital Sciences, National Laboratory Astana, Energy, Ecology & Climate Laboratory, Civil and Environmental Engineering
Rm. 3524 Block 3, 53 Kabanbay Batyr Ave., Astana 010000
+7(7172) 70 6540


  • Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Chemistry (Advisor: Dr. Ronald A. Hites)  
    Specialization: Environmental Organic Chemistry
    Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana; January 2002 – August 2003
  • Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Civil and Environmental Engineering (Advisor: Dr. Bill Batchelor)  
    Specialization: Environmental Chemical Engineering 
    Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas; September 2001 – December 2001 
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Civil and Environmental Engineering (Advisor: Dr. Bill Batchelor)  
    Specialization: Environmental Chemical Engineering
    Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas; August 2001
  • Master of Science in Civil and Environmental Engineering  
    Specialization: Environmental Engineering
    Yonsei University, Seoul, Korea; February 1994
  • Bachelor of Science in Civil and Environmental Engineering
    Yonsei University, Seoul, Korea; February 1992



  • National Science Council Member (2021 – Present): Ministry of Education and Science, Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan
  • Asian University Alliance (AUA) Professor (2019 – 2020): Department of Chemical System Engineering, University of Tokyo, Tokyo 113-8654, Japan
  • Professor (Oct. 2017 – Present): Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Nazarbayev University, Astana 010000, Kazakhstan
  • Head (March 2018 – Present): Green Energy & Environmental Lab., National Laboratory Astana, Astana 010000, Kazakhstan
  • Visiting Professor (Sept. 2016 – Oct. 2017):  School of Environmental Science and Engineering, Pohang University of Science and Technology (POSTECH), Pohang 37673, Korea    
  • Associate  Professor (March 2009 – Aug. 2016):  Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), Daejeon 34141, Korea
  • Visiting Professor (Sept. 2012 – Aug. 2013):  Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544, USA
  • Assistant Professor (Sept. 2005 – Feb. 2009):  Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, KAIST, Daejeon 34141, Korea
  • Assistant Professor (April 2005 – Aug. 2005):  Department of Civil Engineering, Chungnam National University, Daejeon 305-764, Korea
  • Senior Researcher (Sept. 2003 – March 2005):  Environment & Process Technology Division, Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST), Seoul 130-650, Korea
  • Postdoctoral Fellow

    Jan. 2002 – Aug. 2003:  Department of Chemistry and School of Public and Environmental Affairs, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405 
    Sept. 2001 – Dec. 2001:  Department of Civil Engineering, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843

  • Researcher (Dec. 1994 – July 1995):  Environmental Engineering Division, Korea Institute of Construction Technology (KICT), Seoul, Korea


3. Teaching & Research Statistics

  • Trained 5 Postdoctoral Fellows (5 KAIST) and Graduated 6 Ph.D. (6 KAIST) & 22 M.S. (18 KAIST & 4 NU)
  • Training 4 M.S. Students, 11 B.S. Students (NU), & 4 Researcher (NU & NLA)
  • 122 peer-reviewed papers were published, 5 papers have been submitted, & 9 papers are in preparation.
  • Most (97%) of the papers are 1st or corresponding authored papers.
  • The average of SCI impact factors of the published papers is ~6.1.
  • 6 book chapters and 1 book was published.
  • 196 significant international conference (ACS, AGU, etc) abstracts and proceedings and 153 Korean conferences (KCS, KSEE, etc) proceedings were published.
  • 17 International patents were registered.



  • Editorial Board Member, Journal of Chemistry (2013 – present)
  • Editorial Board Member, Journal of Hazardous Materials (2012 – 2019)
  • Chief Editor, Advances in Environmental Research (2012 – 2017)
  • Associate Editor, Membrane Water Treatment (2009 – 2015)
  • Chief Editor, Journal of Korean Society for Environmental Analysis (2004 – 2005)
  • Editorial Board Member, Asian Journal of Atmospheric Environment (2012 – Present)
  • Editorial Board Member, Journal of Nuclear Fuel Cycle and Waste Technology (2013 – present)
  • American Chemical Society (ACS): Member
  • American Geophysical Union (AGU): Member
  • European Geosciences Union (EGU): Member
  • Geochemical Society (GS): Member
  • Materials Research Society (MRS): Member
  • Korean Academy of Science & Technology (KAST): Associate Member (2013-2018)
  • Korean Chemical Society (KCS): Member (Div. Head of Environmental & Energy Chemistry (2012 – 2014))
  • Korean Society of Environmental Engineers (KSEE): Member (Director (2012 – 2016))
  • Korean Society of Water & Wastewater (KSWW): Member (Director (2013 – 2017))



  • 27. 2019 BI Marathon (May 26, 2019); 2hr 22min 26sec (Half Marathon) with Lab. Captain Galym Tokazhanov
  • 26. 2019 Almaty Marathon (April 21, 2019); 5hr 03min 31sec
  • 25. 2018 Astana BI Marathon (May 27, 2018): 4hr 30min 00sec
  • 24. 2018 Almaty Marathon: Most Challenging Hilly Marathon (April 22, 2018): Hopefully, Sub 5
  • 23. 2017 Seoul (Dong-A) International Marathon (March 19, 2017): 5hr 01min 15sec ^^
  • 22. 2016 Chuncheon (Chosun) International Marathon (October 23, 2016): 5hr 22min 28sec with Prof. Cliff Davidson from Syracuse Univ.
  • 21. 2016 Seoul (Dong-A) International Marathon (March 20, 2016) : 4hr 44min 50sec
  • 20. 2015 Seoul (JoongAng) International Marathon (November 1, 2015) : 4hr 44min 33sec
  • 19. 2015 Seoul (Dong-A) International Marathon (March 15, 2015) : 4hr 33min 45sec
  • 18. 2014 Seoul (Dong-A) International Marathon (March 16, 2014): 4hr 07min 29sec
  • 17. 2013 Chuncheon (Chosun) International Marathon (October 27, 2013): 4hr 56sec
  • 16. 2013 Tongyeong ITC World Cup Triathlon (October 13, 2013): 3hr 09min 48sec
  • 15. 2013 Ocean Drive Marathon (March 24, 2013): 3hr 57min 38sec
  • 14. 2012 Bank of America Chicago Marathon (October 7, 2012): 3hr 52min 53sec
  • 13. 2012 Seoul (Dong-A) Marathon (March 18, 2012): 4hr 02min 08sec
  • 12. 2011 Ironman Louisville, USA (August 28, 2011): 13hr 37min 18sec
  • 11. 2011 Ironman Korea, Jeju (July 1-3): 15hr 54min 15sec
  • 10. 2011 Seoul (Dong-A) Marathon (March 20, 2011): 3hr 52min 02sec
  • 9. 2010 Baekje (Dong-A) Marathon (October 3, 2010): 3hr 55min 01sec
  • 8. 2010  Jeju International Triathlon Competition & Asia Ironman Competition  (July. 9 – 11): 11hr 56min 18sec            
  • 7. 2010 Seoul (Dong-A) International Marathon (March 21, 2010): 3hr 47min 31sec
  • 6. 2009 Taean Great Man (Swim 3.8 km / Bike 180.2 km / Run 42.195 km) Triathlon Championship (Oct. 24 – 25): 13hr 07min 18sec
  • 5. 2009 Korea Iron-triangle Triathlon Championship (July 25 – 26, 2009): 5hr 50min 15sec
  • 4. 2009 Daegu International Marathon (April 12, 2009): 4hr 03min 07sec
  • 3. 2008 Baekje (Dong-A) Marathon (October 5, 2008): 4hr 16min 09sec
  • 2. 2008 Seoul (Dong-A) International Marathon (March 16, 2008): 4hr 09min 40sec
  • 1. 2007 Chuncheon (Chosun) International Marathon (October 28, 2007): 3hr 56min 27sec



6. Research

6.1 IWT (Integrated Water Technology)

Development of integrated SMART groundwater management system using spectroscopy and molecular dynamics

Although rapid industrial development and economic growth have improved the quality of human life, various environmental problems have also arisen today. Especially, contamination of groundwater by organic, inorganic, and radioactive contaminants and heavy metals and their remediation have been considered as serious issues in the world due to the severe water scarcity. A variety of biological, physical, and chemical remediation technologies have been developed to treat the contaminated groundwater. However, typical remedial actions showed serious drawbacks such as the generation of toxic transformation products, second impacts on natural environments, and low economics and efficiency. Therefore, the integrated water technology should be developed for eco-friendly and high efficient water treatment processes. The ultimate goal of this research is the development of an integrated SMART groundwater management system to selectively remove target contaminants and monitor their fate and transport using molecular dynamics (MD) simulation and synchrotron-advanced-spectroscopy. Most frequently detected contaminants such as chlorinated compounds (PCE and TCE), heavy-metals, and uranium are focused on this research.



6.2 Natural Catalyst

Reduction of nitrate using natural (bimetallic) catalyst

The contamination of surface water and groundwater by nitrate has gradually increased due to the excessive consumption of fertilizer in the world. Nitrate should be removed from our natural and engineered water systems because it can be converted into nitrite which may cause serious diseases to human beings such as blue baby syndrome, cancer, and hypertension. The catalytic reduction has been developed as a promising method for nitrate removal without the drawbacks of conventional methods. The catalyst is composed of a noble metal such as Pd and Pt, a promoter metal such as Cu and Sn, and support such as titania and silicate. Nitrite can be generated as an intermediate product in the catalytic nitrate reduction processes and then it can be converted to both ideal product (nitrogen gas) and to undesirable product (ammonia). Our goals are to develop the economical and eco-friendly natural catalyst and to investigate the nitrate reduction mechanism. Topics of interest are following:


6.3 Uranium

Nano to Macro-scale study on the uranium chemistry in the subsurface

In many cases, past practices relating to the handling and storage of radioactive waste materials have resulted in extensive contamination of the subsurface by these elements, especially uranium (U). The mobility of U in groundwater is largely determined by its speciation and interaction with other aquatic constituents, including microorganisms, natural organic matter, inorganic ions, and mineral surfaces. Such interactions may result in U adsorption, redox transformation, and precipitation, all of which influence the mobility, transport, and fate of U. Therefore, the identification of those processes is crucial for the understanding of U fate and developing the knowledge base needed to solve critical environmental problems. Topics of interest are following:


6.4 Gas Hydrate

6-4-1 Development of smart carbon sequestration and energy recovery system in marine gas hydrate deposit environment

This research investigates the geo-physicochemical factors in marine gas hydrate deposits and examines their micro-macro interaction on CH4 hydrate formation, CH4-CO2 hydrate replacement mechanism, and diffusion pattern change of fluids in the gas hydrate-bearing sediments using computational methods and advanced analytical-monitoring system. Based on this information, this research aims to provide core knowledge for implementing smart CO2 storage and CH4 recovery system which can safely store CO2 as a form of hydrate and efficiently recover CH4 energy simultaneously in marine gas hydrate deposit.


6-4-2 Development of smart carbon sequestration and energy recovery system in marine gas hydrate deposit environment

This research investigates the geo-physiochemical factors in marine gas hydrate deposits and examines the complex interaction of the factors on the stability and formation kinetics of CO2 hydrate. This study aims to provide fundamental knowledge for implementing CO2 storage technology using CO2 hydrate.



6.5 Energy Circulation

Global warming caused by the rising concentration of atmospheric Greenhouse-gas (GHG) is the greatest challenge over the world. Vigorous efforts to cut down the GHG emissions are being implemented everywhere. Water infrastructures including water treatment plant (WTP), wastewater treatment plant (WWTP), sewer pipeline, and rainwater management system are one of the most significant infrastructures emitting a considerable amount of GHG emissions by consuming gigantic amounts of electricity for operation and raw materials for construction. Also, a huge amount of GHG emissions are caused by chemical or biological reactions during treatment and conveyance processes. Therefore, mapping system relationship between unit processes and estimating the amount of GHG emissions should be essentially conducted to improve energy and resource efficiency of systems. To achieve sustainable energy and resource circulation for water infrastructures, we have developed an advanced life cycle assessment (LCA) model and analyzed the system to suggest a potential alternative. Firstly, GHG emissions are quantitatively calculated to understand the accurate situation and identify a key emission source by applying LCA. This is a systematic methodology to evaluate environmental impacts between alternatives by considering from raw material acquisition to disposal stage. The advanced LCA model developed by our research can estimate more accurate GHG emissions by considering the effect of biochemical reactions and detail operation conditions of unit processes than previous models do. Secondly, feasible strategies for mitigating GHG emissions can be suggested by considering a mathematical way such as sensitivity analysis or optimization theory. Sensitivity analysis can determine the most influential operation variable on electricity consumption in unit processes and suggest the tactics to bring less GHG emitting system. Also, by applying optimization theory, we can compare the mitigation effects among optimal and current life cycle scenarios and propose the direction to reduce environmental loads.