After earning his doctorate at the University of Kansas, Kim returned to academia as an associate professor of mechanical engineering at the Korea University of Technology and Education. In 1996, he became dean of Planning Affairs and developed a “Unique Education College System for Creative Practical Engineers,” through which he helped build exchange programs with universities around the world, including KU.
Kim has been a professor of mechatronics at KUT since 2001, and he has twice served as dean of the graduate school at KUT. While dean, he supervised the graduate school, the graduate school for industry and the graduate school for human resource management. He is co-director of the joint graduate degree program with KU, and he is developing a joint degree program in biomechatronics engineering between KU and KUT.
In 2004, he received the Medal of Honor of Recognition for Public Service from the president of the Republic of Korea. He also has received more than $10 million in grants.
Through the years, he has been a mentor for students in South Korea and the United States and a major force of support for KU. He has taken a leadership role for the Korean chapter of the KU Alumni Association. He was instrumental in raising funds for the Korean War Memorial on the KU campus and is raising money so more Korean faculty can visit KU.
Kim lives in South Korea with his wife, Kyung-Jin Kim.