It is fair to say that almost everyone has dreamed of having their own car, and some have even dreamed of having a one of a kind vehicle, tailored to our own ideas. Amazingly, there are Dankookians (students of Dankook University) that have carried out such dreams: Dankook University’s (DKU) extraordinary auto club, RUN2X (Run to Extreme). Even though the interview was conducted during the winter break, their club room was full of people studying automobiles, thick academic books, and fully loaded laptops. There is a reason this club has actually succeeded in many professional competitions and is one of Naver magazine’s most popular portals in Korea. The Dankook Herald (DKH) has met the president of the RUN2X to learn more about them.
Q: Could you briefly introduce yourself and your club?
Park: I am Park Seong-Jeong, an intake student of year 2014. My major is Mechanical Engineering and I am currently the president of the car-making club called RUN2X. Our club makes our own cars with Dankookians from the Mechanical Engineering department or anyone else who is enthusiastic about cars. As you know, many people come to study Mechanical Engineering because they love cars. So our club is the best place to round up all the people who want to do something in an area that they like. We are a formal club. Since August 2002, we entered domestic tournaments and we made models based on our own formulas. However in 2012, while making our BAJA off-road vehicle, we decided to work towards a new direction. Thus, we changed our models to a new and developing formula. Now, we are currently working on our submission for The Korean Society of Automotive Engineers (KSAE) domestic tournament.
Q: Among all your club activities, what do you think is the best thing and the hardest thing you have had to go through?
Park: The best thing about our club activities is that we can get to make our own car by putting our own characteristics and personalities into them, which is makes this a very unique and unforgettable experience at university. It is a very worthwhile experience doing something like that while we are studying. Also, there is no automotive major in our university. Since people who really have an interest in making cars can join us, I think it’s such a great experience to be with people who have similar interests and a passion for making the only car that exists like ours in the world. However, we receive almost no financial support from the university to run our club, so each member of our team has to pay a hundred thousand won for their membership fee. I remember last year we spent about 16 million making a car and up to 20 million including all the expenses. That’s why we have to look for sponsors. So the expense part is the hardest experience that we have to go through.
|▲ Park Seong-jeong, a president of the RUN2X.|
Q: Which project was the most memorable for you?
Park: I think the first tournament I participated in was the most memorable one. That was in August 2014, the KSAE tournament. That time I felt that making a car, that actually runs, was really difficult and I met a lot of people who were enthusiastic about cars. It was a really unforgettable experience that also made us study and learn more about this field.
Q: Currently, what kind of project are you working on?
Park: This year we are working on a car with 250cc engine and another with 650cc engine. This is our goal of the year, to finish making both of them. Next year, we are planning to challenge ourselves by building an autonomously driven car.
Q: Being an active club, is there any experience you would like to share with Dankookians?
Park: Well, since we are always busy with car development, there isn’t any personal time during our vacation. Every day we would work until late at night, sweating hard to complete our yearly goal of a single unit of vehicle. Every week when the semester starts, we study and based on what we learned, we design and plan our purchases of equipment to commence production. We make our cars like existing car companies and that experience is a very rewarding one. Throughout the production, like making engines, we stay up all day and night to finish the work. So, I’d say to Dankookians that all those hard working experiences seem tough, but they remain precious memories that will never be forgotten.
Q: As a last thing, do you have any words to share with the freshmen who are about to start taking part in various activities and events?
Park: I think people who have come here all the way to this point of life have gotten good results. Although it is hard when others see it, it seems to be enjoyable and rewarding when we are doing something we like. If you want to do it, you will get what’s best out of it. Definitely, you might not have much time to go out. Yet when else could you have a chance to say you made your own car? Surprisingly, there aren’t many people with a collection of their own personally designed vehicles.
After the interview, the DKH realized that RUN2X is a more professional team, than just normal campus club. What’s more is that members of the club get to be a part of projects that some people only dream about, but never get a chance to do. Therefore, this interview taught us that all freshmen have the opportunity to start working on achieving their dreams. There will be failures and success, but at least they can take pride in trying.
Edward Ng, 심형석 firstname.lastname@example.org