Kagami Memorial Research Institute for Materials Science and Technology早稲田大学 各務記念材料技術研究所

About the Institute


Message from the Director






第25代所長 勝藤 拓郎

Message from the Director

Kagami Memorial Research Institute for Materials Science and Technology (often called ZAIKEN based on the abbreviation of its Japanese name) was established in 1938, when there was almost no research institute at any private universities in Japan. The name of the institute was “Casting Research Laboratory”, and was the research center for casting, important technology at that time in Japan for the development of heavy industries such as shipbuilding. Since then, this research institute has been the hub of metallurgy research. In 1988, 50 years after the institute had been established, it was renamed to “Kagami Memorial Research Institute for Materials Science and Technology”, and expanded the research area to wide variety of materials including those for electronics.

In 2018 (80 years after the establishment), ZAIKEN was approved as a joint usage/research center by MEXT, with the name of “Joint Research Center for Environmentally Conscious Technologies in Materials Science”. This is the first (and at 2020 the only) joint usage/research center for materials science at private universities approved by MEXT. As the name suggests, this center focuses on the environmentally conscious technologies and materials, which also fit the theme of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The joint research and usage in this center are based on the proposals from universities and research institutes not only in Japan but also from outside of Japan, and they are evaluated and selected by the committee with more than half members from outside Waseda. This may sound different from the conventional “joint research” conducted at ZAIKEN so far. We think that this is a new scheme in the science and technology policy of Japan and we need to be accustomed to such a new culture if we want to be a leading research institute in Japan.

Another issue that might affect ZAIKEN is COVID-19. Because of this, our culture has changed in such a way that working online is much more appreciated. On the other hand, working face-to-face is sometimes critically important for materials research because material is a real object but does not exist online. Nevertheless, we believe that it is necessary to change the way of research slightly to fit the new era if we want to be a leading research institute. Even though it sounds a difficult task, we think that ZAIKEN, which has a long history and tradition, and has experienced drastic reforms several times, will be able to overcome such a difficulty and modify ourselves so that it remains as a leading research institute in the new era. Your cooperation and support are highly welcome in this respect.

Takuro Katsufuji

25th Director of the Kagami Memorial Research Institute for Materials Science and Technology, Waseda University

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