Seungho “Sunny” Kang is a 17-year-old inventor who has worked hard in recent years to bring his visions to life. Now he owns US patents for four of his inventions.
“I’ve always loved doing things and building things. I think it’s interesting to troubleshoot along the way when I do this. So I think making things up is a lot of fun, ”said the junior who attends St. John’s School.
Each of Kang’s inventions was aimed at making life easier and helping others in the community.
Kang has spent years on projects, designing, researching, testing and building prototypes to get to this point. He invented a shelving unit with the avid reader in mind, a rescue system for ships, a blind system for conserving energy in homes, and a sewer / storm drain system.
The ideas for his inventions came from trying to solve problems he saw at home and in the community.
Kang came up with the idea for the sewer / storm drainage system, after seeing local roads flooded with water and debris preventing water from entering the drain.
“When I usually go to school. we pass this section of road at our school and sometimes when it rains that part of the road gets flooded. I thought, “What if there was a better system to effectively stop flooding?” Kang said.
He has been working on the invention of storm sewers since 2019. Part of the job was to study Guam’s drainage problem.
“I feel like I became an expert on Guam drains doing this research. I’m doing research on my own, but I hope a lot of people in Guam will be interested in Guam Drains. And I’m sure the solution to this problem will be the driving force against the destruction of the Guam ecosystem, ”Kang said.
Kang’s sewer / storm sewer system features a spring and filter that keep debris from settling on the drain and allow water to pass through.
Ship rescue system
The idea for the ship’s rescue system came from the Sewol ferry crash off South Korea’s Jindo Island, which left 304 people dead, almost all of them children.
“The ship capsized and people couldn’t get out because of the pressure differences between the inside of the ship and the outside, so people couldn’t break the glass doors to escape, it was a big deal, ”Kang said.
Kang has built an emergency window hatch that stays locked until water filling the ship triggers a mechanism built into the hatch to sense pressure differences.
“With the buoyancy it would unlock so people could just pop it out,” Kang said. “I thought about how to overcome this problem of pressure differences. I thought we could use this idea so that people could easily escape.
It took Kang a year to get some of the patents while others took two years and now he hopes to start working on implementing the solutions in real settings.
“And try to help our community, as well as the whole world,” Kang said.
In fact, Kang has already started to share his inventions with the world. He has participated in invention competitions in Canada, Europe and Taiwan.
“I was able to participate in many invention competitions. I was also able to show my inventions to other countries and share my solutions to some problems with other countries, ”said Kang.
He also shared his storm sewer invention with the Guam Legislature.
The feedback he received helped Kang improve his inventions and he seized many opportunities to grow as an inventor.
Kang is also a physics enthusiast who has attended Harvard University and Oxford University summer camps.
“For Harvard summer camp, I was able to get more physics information and learn more about physics than I was able to get in school at my grade level. In the Oxford camp I was able to learn engineering and I was able to meet other people and present different engineering topics. “
Kang said participating in camps and competitions helped fuel his passion for problem-solving with his inventions.