Hyundai Motor Group Appoints Ben Diachun as Chief Technology Officer for Urban Air Mobility Division

Feb. 23, 2021

On Feb. 23, Hyundai Motor Group (the Group) announced the appointment of Ben Diachun as the chief technology officer of its Urban Air Mobility Division (the Division), effective immediately.

Diachun will report to Jaiwon Shin, president at Hyundai Motor Group and Head of Urban Air Mobility Division and will develop the Division's technology strategy and vision with the goal of bringing Hyundai's urban air mobility (UAM) to market by 2028.

"We are excited to welcome Ben to Hyundai Motor Group as chief technology officer of our Urban Air Mobility Division," Shin said. "His track record of building groundbreaking aircrafts as well as agile, collaborative and diverse teams is critical to our mission to develop the best and most innovative design for our UAM vehicle."

Diachun will work closely with other members of the Division leadership team to ensure the UAM industry — from the technology to the surrounding policy, infrastructure and operations — is inclusive, accessible and seamlessly integrated in existing mobility infrastructure and across a broad range of communities.

"I have been fascinated by technology and air travel since I was a child and am thrilled to put my experience to work at the Urban Air Mobility Division," Diachun said. "With an incredibly talented team and the manufacturing expertise of Hyundai Motor Group, we are well positioned to transform the human travel experience. I am honored to join this group and am excited for what we will accomplish together."

Diachun brings 20 years of engineering and executive leadership experience to the Division. Most recently, he served as CEO and president at Opener, an aerospace startup in Palo Alto, California. He was also the president at Scaled Composites, LLC, an aerospace manufacturing company known for creating revolutionary new aircraft and spacecraft, in Mojave, California. At Scaled Composites, Diachun also held senior-level technology roles prior to becoming president.

Over the course of his career, Diachun helped develop 16 groundbreaking aerospace vehicles, including SpaceShipOne, the first commercial manned spaceship, and BlackFly, an electric personal air vehicle.

Diachun earned a master's degree in aeronautics and astronautics from Stanford University and a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from Purdue University. He serves on the Board of Directors for the Experimental Aircraft Association and is an industry advisor to Purdue University's School of Aeronautics and Astronautics.