Around 1962, another two young men visited TAE to discuss about the construction projects issued by the Corps of Engineer. Their name cards said Y. O. Park and Y. M. Park and they were also brothers representing Doosan Construction Co., Ltd. OB Brewery, and Kodak-Korea. They told me in an accented English that they had just finished their studies at New York University. Together with other engineers of TAE I asked “Can you speak for your father?” “Of course,” they said. The agenda was quality control over various construction projects Doosan had contracted with the FED. Many years have passed since then, and the two Park brothers now each hold Chairmanship positions with Doosan Group.
In 1963 a new architect from New York joined TAE. He called himself Kyu Lee, and we addressed him Prince Lee while Japanese called him Royal Highness. After graduating from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), architect Lee first joined I. M. Pei & Associates in New York where he met Julia Mullock, a Ukrainian-American born in Pennsylvania. They were married shortly afterwards.
With appropriately furnished drafting offices, well equipped material testing laboratory in the Building 1510, experienced American architects, engineers and many U.S. educated designers, Trans-Asia was ready to challenge the virgin land of architectural and engineering design and construction quality control in Korea. It went so well that TAE had later established associated ventures Trans-Asia/Hood Inc. for the Repair and Utilities services of U.S. Military Installations and Trans-Asia Korea, Ltd. (TAK) for civilian design and consultancy services in Korea. I was promoted to General Manager/Vice President of the Korea operations after serving TAE’s Saigon Offices for three years.
In the 40 years of TAE’s existence in Korea, the engineering firm hired over 300 Korean architects and engineers who have learned and experienced to design of various building and civil engineering projects for the U.S. Military facilities as well as Korean infrastructures and had acquired the knowledge of the U.S. Standards that had been applied on the quality controls for these construction projects. They have learned how to read technical specifications and write design analyses and draw the blueprints in English, and the differences between the International System of Units (meter-kilogram-second) and the customary U.S system of weights and measures (inch-feet-pound).
A large number of architectural/engineering services have been performed by TAE/TAK for the U.S. Military facilities in Korea, Japan, the Philippines, Guam, and South Vietnam. The engineering for the first suspension bridge built for Geojae Island over the South Sea of Korea was introduced by TAE in association with Amman Whitney, a U.S. structural engineering services firm that had designed the Golden Gate Bridge, Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, George Washington Bridge, etc. TAE also designed the initial Seoul-Gangneung highway, the sluice gate and the port facilities of Incheon Harbor, and the route and land measurement surveys and design of the Pohang-Seoul fuel pipeline in association with Bechtel Corporation of America. The water supply system for the Joint Security Area in the DMZ Korea was one of the minor civil engineering services rendered by TAE.
By Mr. Nam Sang-so firstname.lastname@example.org