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Announcing the recipients of the 2018 Waseda Research Award

Waseda University established the Waseda Research Award in 2014 to promote innovative research at the university and disseminate its results around the world. The award honors scholars spearheading large-scale research projects, as well as emerging researchers whose work has had significant impact abroad. The award has two categories: Large-Scale Research Project and High-Impact Publication. Recipients of the award receive a certificate and a prize of 500,000 yen for the large-scale research project catgory, and 300,000 yen for the high-impact publication category.
Below, we proudly present the recipients of the 2018 Waseda Research Award.

Recipients of the 2018 Waseda Research Award

Large-Scale Research Project Category
*in alphabetical order

  • Yoshimichi OHKI
    Assessment of Electrical Equipment Ageing for Nuclear Power Plants
  • Atsuo TAKANISHI
    Developmet of Four-Limbed Disaster-Response Robots having High Mobility Capabilities in Extreme Environments
  • Kohei TATSUMI
    Research and development of high temperature resistant SiC module technologies for hybrid electrical vehicle applications
  • Yasuhiro HAYASHI
    Development of Distributed Cooperative EMS Methodologies for Multiple Scenarios by Using Versatile Demonstration Platform
  • Kei YURA
    Research Support with Data Science for Promotion of Drug Development Related Life Science

High-Impact Publication Category
*in alphabetical order

Takao AOKI

Takao Aoki specializes in quantum optics and conducts experimental research that is paving the way to freely controlling interactions between photons and atoms, including artificial atoms, through precise fabrication and evaluation of optical elements at the micrometer or nanometer level. He has established fundamental technologies for future quantum repeaters and quantum computing platforms by using advanced techniques to combine nanofibers with atoms such as cesium or nitrogen-vacancy centers in diamond. His research results are advanced, creative, and unique, resulting in worldwide acclaim. His studies are conducted via an international research network with Caltech and other universities, and the number of papers he has published and number of talks he is invited to give at international conferences demonstrate his international reach.

Hiroyuki ISHII

The research conducted by Hiroyuki Ishii on the interactions between rats and mobile robots is both unique and groundbreaking, and has gained wide international recognition. For example, one of his paper on this topic is one of the most-read papers in an international robotics journal, demonstrating the large social impact of his research. He has also shown his outstanding capacity for international reach by having his work introduced in major scientific journals, participating in InterACT (an international research framework for interactive robots with participation by the U.S., Germany, and Japan), cooperating in research with the Beijing Institute of Technology, receiving three invitations to international conferences, and hosting workshops at the Waseda University Brussels Office. As a result, many international students hope to study under him, and he has brought on many as research interns and fellows. For this internationally recognized young researcher who has also served on program committees of international conferences organized and co-hosted by the IEEE, further developments in his research and his continued international success are eagerly awaited.

Kazutaka INAMURA

Kazutaka Inamura’s research at the University of Cambridge focused on the political philosophy of Aristotle, and resulted in his doctoral thesis being published as a book called Justice and Reciprocity in Aristotle’s Political Philosophy (Cambridge University Press, 2015). The Cambridge Classical Studies series, in which this book is included, is a well-established publication that broadly disseminates the work of promising young researchers at the University of Cambridge, and in fact his book has already been recognized in reviews published by several international journals. While bringing to light the contemporary significance of Aristotle’s political theory, the book’s originality has been recognized for deriving various possible interpretations of Aristotle’s political philosophy regarding retribution and reciprocity. The book is thus highly valued for its contribution to the development of research in the field of political philosophy. He participates in a broad network with overseas researchers, and there are high expectations for his future success at the global level.

Michiko UEDA

Michiko Ueda’s research uncovers socioeconomic factors related to suicide through the application of economics-based mathematical approaches to big data. Her ingenious research uses a unique cross-disciplinary approach that draws on data analysis methods from the natural sciences and integrates them with insights from the humanities and social-scientific fields such as economics and political science, raising her research results to the level of policy advocacy. Most of her papers are written in English, allowing for a high degree of international dissemination, with a particularly noteworthy study being published in the International Journal of Epidemiology (impact factor 10.17). Her book Economic Analysis of Suicide Prevention: Towards Evidence-Based Policy-Making (Springer, 2017) presents the results of many years of research, systematically developing general principles into specific theories. Her research has not only reached a wide international audience but has had major academic and social impacts; after papers she co-authored were cited in a 2014 WHO report on suicide prevention, researchers from other countries began to investigate the socioeconomic factors related to suicide, opening up promising new avenues in the struggle to address this global public health issue.

Yutaka KOSAKI

Yutaka Kosaki, while employing standard methods of behavioral science such as behavioral analysis and the lesion method, is developing a unique field of research through the excellent design and interpretation of behavioral tasks. His work is opening up new and unexplored areas in animal behavior research. He vigorously pursues his research and presents his results in many top international peer-reviewed journals, and he is highly acclaimed for his innovation and originality.
In addition to having published numerous works in international journals, he participates in research networks at his alma mater, the University of Cambridge, as well as Cardiff University, where he was a research associate. From that base, he is advancing his research together with a network of overseas researchers, further extending his international profile, which in part led to a KAKENHI Grant-in-Aid for International Collaboration. His research on basic animal behavior could easily be connected to our behavior in daily life, and could potentially have a great academic and social impact.

Hisashi SUGIME

Hisashi Sugime researches carbon nanotubes (CNTs) and has produced world-famous achievements related to technologies for synthesizing particularly high-density CNTs. Specifically, he has succeeded in synthesizing vertically aligned CNTs, called “CNT forests”, packed in the highest ever density on metal substrates by precisely selecting the catalyst conditions for CNT growth based on findings from physicochemical research. He has also “verified the growth mechanism of the CNT forests” . His approach can also be applied to the synthesis of materials other than CNT, and consequently has a high development potential. Indeed, he has also applied the CNT forest approach to graphene research, and has proposed a breakthrough method for the synthesis of monolayer graphene. Utilizing a network of overseas researchers cultivated during his time at the University of Cambridge, he has published numerous international collaborative papers. CNT forests and graphene do not currently have broad industrial applications, but they have a high potential for a future social impact. Empirical research based on examinations of physical chemistry are also expected to have an academic impact.

Peter BACKHAUS

Peter Backhaus does research in the field of sociolinguistics, where he publishes on a wide range of topics related to language and culture. His writings on the linguistic landscape, published in both English and Japanese, have presented sociolinguistics with a new area for research. They are cited by a wide range of researchers in fields as diverse as Japanese language education and tourism. His outstanding research on interactions between caregivers and patients is related to topics such as formal language and politeness theory, language and the workplace, and communication with older adults, which should be a great contribution to our increasingly aging society. His textual analysis of junk emails can be applied not only to the development of tools for eliminating spam, but also to theoretical research on female language and “role language”. In addition, he is a regular contributor to the Japan Times, for which he writes easily understandable articles on Japanese language and society, allowing him to disseminate his research findings to the general public. This makes him well qualified for the present award.

Masashige HAMANO

We expect Masashige Hamano to become a leading researcher in the fields of international macroeconomics and international finance theory. Through detailed models for economic simulations, his highly original and creative research has clarified how the entry and exit of firms into and out of markets can have important effects not only on international trade, but also on the physical and financial aspects of the global economy. His research shows the extent to which economic models can be applied to the field of international trade and is expected to have a growing academic impact in the future. He routinely publishes one to two papers each year in the top journals in his field as well as other highly respected journals, making him an outstanding and high-output young researcher with a capacity for reaching a wide international audience. For these reasons, he will no doubt continue to contribute to his field by producing high-quality research results that will have an international impact.

Toshinori FUJIE

Toshinori Fujie develops polymer nanosheets, biomaterials, and devices, and has produced ingenious, advanced, and acclaimed research results related to measuring and controlling biological information. He primarily conducts his research and development at Waseda University, but he is seen as a rising star in his field in Japan because of his leadership at many academic conferences and seminars. He has overseas research experience, having spent around two years as a postdoctoral researcher at the Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia and as a researcher at the European Biomedical Green Science Institute. His participation in academic conferences is well regarded both in Japan and abroad, as is his active promotion of his research. He has received awards from the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (Young Scientist s’ Prize), as well as academic awards and prizes from The Society of Polymer Science, Japan, The Chemical Society of Japan, and the Japanese Society for Biomaterials, demonstrating his status as a preeminent young researcher in the field of biomaterials and bolstering expectations for his future success. He has received numerous competitive research grants enabling him to develop new research topics. His continued innovations in the fields of medicine and diagnostics through the use of biomaterials and other devices are eagerly awaited, along with their future application in clinical research.

William BREHM

Working within the framework of comparative and international education with a focus on Southeast Asia generally and Cambodia specifically, Dr. Brehm has been studying the complex dynamics between universalism and cultural relativism through issues such as global education governance, historical memory, civil society, and educational privatization. He has been actively engaged in research addressing practical issues related to educational reform as a whole, at the same time ensuring theoretical depth in his work.
Given the scarcity of research on these topics in Southeast Asia, and since this research is setting out to explore areas as yet unexamined, Dr. Brehm’s research profile is original and unique. Many of his research results have been published in high-profile international journals. He also participates in a network of researchers from various countries, centered around the Comparative and International Education Society, and has obtained research grants for joint research projects. His work is widely disseminated and recognized internationally.
Dr. Brehm impacts the field of education beyond his research. Since 2015, he has hosted a weekly podcast called FreshEd. In these open-access shows, he discusses cutting edge research with education scholars around the world. The podcast has been downloaded over 200,000 times. In addition, he collaborates with organizations such as the World Bank, UNESCO, and the Asian Productivity Organization. These activities have substantial scientific impact and create a social ripple effect.

Reto HOFMANN

Reto Hofmann’s main research theme is the influence of Italian fascism on Japan. There have been many academic achievements related to the study of Nazism in Germany and fascism in Imperial Japan, but research on the impact of Mussolini and Italian fascism on Japanese thought, while scarce, has been attracting increased attention. One difficulty for him in pursuing such a theme is the necessity for proficiency in reading Japanese and Italian literature, but Hofmann’s book The Fascist Effect: Japan and Italy 1915–1952 (2015, Cornell University Press) shows that he has completely cleared this language obstacle. This book is the result of a thorough investigation and research into primary historical documents in Japan and Italy, and focuses on individuals who remain relatively unknown in Japan, such as Harukichi Shimoi. It takes a close look at the influence of Italian fascism on Japanese criticism in the days of Nyozekan Hasegawa, giving the book high academic value. In the three years since the book was published, it has been well reviewed by such academic journals as English Historical Review and Historian. Before and since publication of this book, he has published papers in international peer-reviewed journals such as the Journal of Global History, and has further demonstrated his capacity to reach a global audience through presentations at numerous international conferences, which has led to positive social and academic evaluations of his work.

Masashi MIYASHITA

Masashi Miyashita studies sports science from a wide range of health functionality perspectives, including energy metabolism related to physical activity, the human body and physiology, body shape and physical strength, nutrition, digestion and absorption, mentality, memory, and cognition. He promotes unique cutting-edge research that links physical activity (exercise) with physiology, nutrition, and public health. His work in developing the field of sports science are also highly valued. His international success has already been well demonstrated. He is also actively engaged in international academic exchanges and is considered a future leader as Waseda University aims to become an international base for research and education. He has a history of awards and research with international academic societies, and he enjoys high name recognition both domestically and abroad. He is expected to contribute to the construction of a social platform for advancing research in sports science domains both in Japan and overseas.

Masahito MOCHIZUKI

Masahito Mochizuki conducts theoretical research on materials called multiferroics, which exhibit both magnetism and ferroelectricity, and skyrmions, which are quasiparticles with a topological magnetic structure. His theoretical research always closely follows the results of experiments, for example, clarifying how the skyrmion can be described as the effect of a gauge field, and using numerical simulations to clarify changes in dielectric polarization caused by the magnetic field in multiferroics. He conducts most of his research through international collaborations with experimental researchers, and between 2013 and 2017 he wrote four highly cited papers (top 1%). He is one of two authors to have a book on skyrmions published by Springer (in English), demonstrating his outstanding ability for international dissemination of his research results. He is also one of the few theoretical physicists who is constantly pursuing the possibilities for technological applications of these new types of materials, and, in his papers, he is developing new arguments with an awareness of potential social spillover effects.

Koji YOKOTE

Koji Yokote is one of the most notable young researchers in the field of “cooperative game theory,” and he has already produced extremely remarkable achievements. In A New Basis and the Shapley Value (2016, Mathematical Social Sciences) and related studies, he applied original ideas to show various results related to the properties that distribution rules must satisfy in cooperative games. Furthermore, between 2015 and 2017 he published 10 papers in top game theory and mathematical economics journals, including the Journal of Economic Theory and the Journal of Mathematical Economics, demonstrating his high ability to reach a wide international audience. In addition, his series of studies concerning Shapley values, which can be applied in economics as well as in planning problems in science and engineering, has been impactful. From the advanced nature of his research, his international reach, and the impact that may result from his research, Yokote is a researcher from whom great things can be expected in the future.

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