A native of Seoul, South Korea, Hi-Dong Chai was educated in the United States with a Ph.D. in electrical engineering. After working nineteen years for IBM, he accepted a professor of electrical engineering position at San Jose State University and taught there for fifteen years. He was recognized as a leading authority of magnetic actuator design. He is the author/coauthor of 40 technical papers. He is the inventor/co-inventor 52 inventions that were either published in the IBM Invention Disclosure bulletin or filed for U.S. patents. He is also the author of a book, Electromechanical Motion Devices, Prentice Hall, 1998.
With all his professional accomplishments, he did not forget his life’s journey through Korea as the last son of a Christian minister. He did not forget his father in prison under Japan’s rule. He did not forget his fifteen-year-old brother, volunteering to join the Japanese military during WWII in the hope of having his father released from prison, coming home and dying from his injury. He did not forget his father taken away the communists during the Korean War, never to return. He did not forget his mother, whose life had been shattered by the wars but led her last son with love and wisdom.
After retiring in 2002, he decided to spend his remaining years sharing his life stories with the world. My Truest Hope was published in the 2012 August issue of the Guideposts magazine; it won the award for Writerstalk Challenge for Memoir by South Bay Branch of California Writers Club in February 2013. Also Blossoms and Bayonets coauthored with Jana McBurney-Lin was published in 2013; Jana has turned the life of his family under Japan during World War II into a historical novel. Shattered by the Wars, the story of his family during WWII under Japan and during the Korean War, was published in 2013, and its second edition with a new title, Sustained by Love thru Wars, in 2016.