Young-Wook earned a B.S. in Ceramic Engineering from Yonsei University and M.S. and Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering from the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST). Before joining the University of Seoul in 1996, he worked as a senior research scientist at the Korea Institute of Science and Technology (1990-1996). He was a visiting researcher at the National Institute for Research in Inorganic Materials (Japan, 1993-1994) and a visiting professor (2002-2003) and a visiting scholar (2009-2010) at the University of Toronto.
Young-Wook became a Fellow of the American Ceramic Society (ACerS) (2016), an Academician from the World Academy of Ceramics (2018), and an Honorary Fellow of the European Ceramic Society (2022). He received Global Star Award from the Engineering Ceramics Division (ECD) of ACerS (2017), Global Ambassador (2020) and Samuel Geijsbeek PACRIM International Award (2021) from ACerS. He also received Academic Award from the Korean Ceramic Society (2015) and Richard Brook Award from the European Ceramic Society (2019).
Young-Wook has authored or co-authored over 300 peer-reviewed journal articles (46 in the Journal of the American Ceramic Society) on processing-microstructure-property relationships in bulk and porous SiC ceramics and holds about 60 issued patents in engineering and functional ceramics such as semiconductor processing parts, electrically conductive SiC ceramics, and porous SiC ceramics. His research interests include the mechanical, electrical and thermal properties of dense and porous SiC ceramics and the processing of fully ceramic microencapsulated nuclear fuels. He is the Editor-in-Chief of International Journal of Applied Ceramic Technology and currently Vice Chair of the ECD of ACerS.