Note: This page will be expanded to include other deceased Physics faculty and staff.
Professor Ik-Ju Kang was born on November 13, 1928 at Jungju, Korea, a son of the late Suk Jin Kang and Suk Ryong Roh Kang. He married Hee Yong Chang Kang on August 19, 1955. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in 1955, and his Master of Science degree in 1957, from Yonsei University, Korea with a concentration in Physics. He was awarded his Ph.D. in Physics from Northwestern Illinois University in 1962.
Prior to coming to SIUE, Ik-Ju Kang taught physics at several high schools in Korea, served with the 8th U.S. Army from August 1950 to April 1953, and taught at Yonsei University in Seoul, Korea from 1955 to 1959. He was also a graduate assistant at Northwestern University from 1959 to 1962. After receiving his Ph.D. he was Research Associate at Brandeis University (1962-1963), Assistant Professor at University of Massachusetts, Amherst (1963-1967), and Associate Professor at Southern Illinois University Carbondale (1967-1969).
Dr. Kang joined SIUE in the summer of 1969 as Associate Professor and later became Professor. He served in many capacities during his time at SIUE including Chair of the Physics Department from 1979 to 1982. He founded the notion of the departmental Executive Committee, founded the College Credit High-School Physics Program, initiated programs with sports and athletic programs at SIUE, initiated the faculty evaluation program, and established the Ik-Ju Kang Award in Physics. He was a visiting professor at Yonsei University, Seoul, Korea, Chonbuk National University; and Chonju, Chonbuk, Korea.
Dr. Kang was noted for his personal warmth and helpful interactions with students and colleagues. Throughout his career he was well published in the area of electron-hydrogen atom scattering. Building upon his early training and continued interest in meteorology, he devised an algorithm to predict hurricane paths and obtained a U.S. patent for it.
Among the honors Dr. Kang received were: Northwestern University - University Fellow (1961-1962), Sigma Xi member (1962), NSF College Teachers Research Participation (1965-1966 and 1968), NSF Undergraduate Research Participation Program Grant (1971-1972), Phi Kappa Phi Membership, American Men of Science, and Who’s Who in the Midwest. His membership in professional organizations included the American Physical Society, the Korean Physical Society, the American Association of Physics Teachers and its Illinois Section, Gateway Consortium for Physics, Association of Korean Physicists in America, Korean Scientists and Engineers in America, Sigma Xi, Phi Kappa Phi, and the American Association of University Professors.
Dr. Kang retired from SIUE on January 31, 1998, becoming Professor Emeritus. However, he never truly retired from teaching or helping students. A resident of Glen Carbon, IL, he continued teaching courses for the SIUE Physics Department and also for the School of Engineering.
Dr. Kang passed away on February 24, 2006 at Anderson Hospital in Maryville, Illinois at the age of 77. Funeral services were held on February 27, 2006 at Sunset Hills Funeral Home in Glen Carbon, IL. He is buried in Sunset Hills Cemetery, Glen Carbon, IL. He was survived by his wife Hee Yong, then living in Glen Carbon, IL; son Grant (wife Lisa) of Washington, MO; daughter Yonsook (husband Jack) Enloe of Charlotte, NC; daughter Hyonsook (husband Bill) McKnight of Houston, TX; brother Ik Ho (wife Grace) of Laguna Niguel, CA; and eight grandchildren.
Memorials are suggested to the Ik-Ju Kang Student Scholarship Endowment, Attn. Marilyn Marsho, College of Arts and Sciences, Box 1608, Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville, IL 62026-1608.