Competitive cyclists develop stamina, discipline and determination—all strengths that will assist ITER Chief Engineer Joo-Shik Bak as he takes on new and additional responsibilities as head of the Project Control & Assembly Directorate.
„ITER is changing phases,” said the newly named Director, „and we need to change too. After years of focusing on completing the design, we are now transitioning to manufacturing and very soon to assembly and installation. The work we do now to prepare for assembly is of extreme importance.”
The Project Control & Assembly Directorate was created by the ITER Director-General earlier this year to direct resources to preparing for this critical phase of ITER construction, for which the ITER Organization has full responsibility. „We are determining now how to treat assembly in the most efficient manner. As a first-of-a-kind project it’s not easy to capture industry experience. We need to think now about how best to select the most capable contractors for assembly works.”
Joo-Shik, who has been acting director for the Directorate since March, already has the experience of building four large-scale projects in Korea. „Based on my previous experience, I know that our success in this endeavour will be based on two principles: working together and keeping our promises.”
„Together,” he explains, „we can achieve what no one person could achieve alone. In a project, the 'we' must supersede the 'I’—that is to say that the team is more important than any one person, including myself.”
And for him, the notion of „promise” is best expressed by the Chinese character for the word, which is made up of two faces—confidence and binding. „It means that we make promises that we can keep and we keep the promises we make. We have many important decisions to make together as a team.”
Before coming to France for ITER, Joo-Shik was a ranked cyclist in his age category and it’s an activity that he enjoyed in Provence … before a serious accident slowed him down last June. „It used to help me release work-related stress and wind down on weekends.” Now, recuperating from a broken shoulder and a broken collar bone—and with his additional responsibilities—Joo-Shik will be sticking a little closer to the office.