Research ActivitiesWaseda University


Eleven researchers recognized for achievements in 2016 Waseda Research Award

Researchers advancing studies in Immanuel Kant, high energy physics, world financial crises and more

Waseda University established the Waseda Research Awards in 2014 to promote and spread creative research around the world. The awards honor researchers spearheading large-scale research projects as well as young researchers whose work has had significant impact abroad. The awards are separated into two categories: Large Research Project Awards and High-Impact Publication Awards. Each award includes a certificate and monetary prize (¥500,000 for a Large Research Project Award and ¥100,000 for a High-Impact Publication Award).

Waseda University is proud to present the recipients of the 2016 Waseda Research Awards.

Waseda Research Award (Large Research Project) Winners *in alphabetical order

Year Name Research project title
2016  Yoshimichi Ohki  Assessment of Electrical Equipment Ageing for Nuclear Power Plants
 Yasuhiro Daisho  A Study on Improving Thermal Efficiency by Adopting Hybrid Combustion with a Fuel Reforming System
 Atsuo Takanishi  Development of Disaster Response Robot for Extreme Environment
 Kohei Tatsumi  Research and development of high temperature resistant SiC module technologies for hybrid electrical vehicle applications
 Hiroyuki Nishide  Research and Development of Innovative Low-Cost Solar Cells
 Yasuhiro Hayashi  Development of Distributed Cooperative EMS Methodologies for Multiple Scenarios by Using Versatile Demonstration Platform

Waseda Research Award (High-Impact Publication) Winners *in alphabetical order

Year Name Reason for selection
2016 Takayuki Akimoto Dr. Akimoto is currently researching how mechanical stress regulates differentiation, tissue formation, and plasticity of skeletal muscle. He is a pioneer in the application of molecular and cellular biology to sports science, and is currently involved in highly original research on the roles of microRNA, which is a class of small non-coding RNA molecules in skeletal muscle. While molecular and cellular biology have been limited to the context of basic medical science, Dr. Akimoto’s research has created a wide range of spin-off effects. His research strategy and findings have found applications in sports science as well as in geriatric  health and lifestyle diseases, which are both current social issues in Japan. Dr. Akimoto’s academic papers have received worldwide acclaim following their publication in a wide range of international journals, covering topics from physiology and biochemistry to sports science, training science, molecular and cellular biology, biomedicine, and gerontology. His future work is anticipated to generate a high level of globally relevant research.
Mitsuyoshi Akiyama Dr. Akiyama is engaged in research on structural safety and reliability issue. In particular, his research on the development of methods for assessing the life-cycle reliability and risk of infrastructure under multiple hazards (e.g. earthquake, tsunami, and environmental action) has been recognized for its novelty and originality. He has been a keynote or guest speaker at numerous international conferences, has undertaken international joint research with Lehigh University and has published numerous papers in academic international journals. He has been honored by international societies for the above achievements. He has served as a chair of research committees and a board member of international societies such as American Society of Civil Engineers, and has established a global academic network through these activities. In 2014, Dr. Akiyama hosted an international conference on life-cycle civil engineering at Waseda University. In addition, he participated as the Asian representative in a conference to unify road standards in the European Union (EU), with the aim of spreading Japanese disaster prevention technologies. Further, he has dedicated efforts to inviting overseas researchers to Japan, and has published many co-authored papers with them. In terms of practical research applications, Dr. Akiyama possesses an uncanny ability to develop analytical methods grounded in meticulous logic. In addition to the logical analysis shown by Dr. Akiyama, the findings and international initiatives of his ongoing experiments have had a major impact in the fields of seismic engineering and structural reliability, earning Dr. Akiyama a reputation as a highly acclaimed researcher.
Kiyoshi Chiba Dr. Kiyoshi Chiba specializes in the philosophy of Immanuel Kant, and in 2012 he published Kants Ontologie der raumzeitlichen Wirklichkeit: Versuch einer anti-realistischen Interpretation der Kritik der reinen Vernunft [Kant’s Ontology of the Spatiotemporal Reality:Essay to an Anti-realistic Interpretation of the /Critique of Pure Reason/]. This book received the Immanuel Kant Preis award from the University of Bonn and has also received considerable critical acclaim as a literary work and piece of research both in Japan and around the world. Dr. Chiba’s research deals with the most difficult parts and core elements of Kant’s ideas, and its highly original content demonstrates a unique understanding of the German philosopher’s ideology, which has been well received as a step forward in the research of philosophy from the 18th century to the modern era, and for contributing to the advancement of international research on philosophy. Dr. Chiba also leverages his outstanding language skills to participate in exchanges with researchers based overseas. In doing so, he has earned praise for making a significant contribution to the globalization of research in Japan. Given the advanced nature of his research and his outstanding global communication skills, Dr. Chiba’s future research activities are highly anticipated.
Sylvain Matthieu Julien Detey Dr. Detey is a leading researcher in the PFC-EF (Phonologie du Français contemporain: Enseignement du Français) [On modern French phonology and French education] component of the PFC French phonological corpus project and the IPFC (Interphonologie du Français contemporain) [Modern French interphonology] corpus project. His diverse activities have provided a wealth of creative insights into the academic and educational aspects of this field. Through his empirical  research on a comprehensive body of corpus data, Dr. Detey has demonstrated the efficacy of corpus research and produced novel academic findings backed up by persuasive, well-crafted arguments. In  addition to his work on normative phonology, Dr. Detey is also engaged in corpus research on sociolinguistic variation that is noteworthy for its educational value. His research findings are expected to have a positive impact in the future by fostering a balanced view of language and teaching natural pronunciation to French language students, both in Japan and overseas.
Eiji Iwase Dr. Iwase is actively engaged in original, advanced research on the effective operation and physical phenomena of micromachines and microelectromechanical systems (MEMS). His work is highly acclaimed for providing insights into the future direction of functional core technologies in the field of electronics. Dr. Iwase has presented at numerous top-level global conferences and been involved in program committees, including the management of international conferences. His research is selected for a past recipient or finalist of best paper awards and is highly regarded around the world. He is also an accomplished global communicator, as evidenced by his selection as an honored speaker at the symposium co-organized by the Japanese and U.S. Engineering Academies. His research on “Self-Healing Metal Wire” and “Magnetic Self-Assembly of Three-Dimensional Microstructures” is the result of merging mathematics, physics, and engineering, and is expected to find a wide range of applications, including uses for electronic circuits in locations with vibration or where many folds are needed. Dr. Iwase has produced a diverse body of research, including collaborative proposals with Harvard University and MIT researchers, and is anticipated to continue global research activities that will affect both academia and society.
Isa Okajima Specializing in clinical psychology, psychiatry, and cognitive behavioral therapy, Dr. Okajima is currently researching insomnia from on a wide range of perspectives. He has earned a high level of international acclaim for his advanced research, which includes a large-scale cross-sectional study that demonstrates the role of insomnia as a risk factor for depression, a study demonstrating the efficacy of cognitive behavioral therapy for chronic insomnia patients who are refractory to treatment with hypnotic drugs, and a study investigating the mechanism of effect of cognitive behavioral therapy on insomnia. The academic importance of Dr. Okajima’s research is evidenced by the numerous publications of his papers in international journals and his extensive collaboration with overseas researchers. Dr. Okajima has also published a guidebook on insomnia remedies based on his research, resulting in his work begin recognized for its social influence, as well as its academic influence. In particular, although the symptoms of many insomnia sufferers typically improve with medication, intervention with cognitive behavioral therapy has garnered considerable hope for its ability to improve the symptoms of patients for whom medication does not address the issues underlying their insomnia. Dr. Okajima’s future research is therefore highly anticipated from both academic and social perspectives.
Hiraku Shimoda As a historian, Dr. Shimoda depicts the various issues and events that have shaped Japanese history from the 19th century up to the present day, adopting broad perspectives and research methods that push beyond a specific period. His paper, published in 2010 in The American Historical Review (the world’s leading historical journal) was a widely read and exceptional work that investigates language policy in the Meiji Period, and particularly how the Meiji government attempted to create a common national language while building the modern Japanese nation. Dr. Shimoda’s major monograph, Lost and Found: Recovering Regional Identity in Imperial Japan, examines the relationship between central and regional Japan through the history of the Aizu region, and describes how the region lost and later rediscovered its identity amidst the upheaval of the 19th century. With its focus on the internal aspects of Imperial Japan, this research has proven to be a notable addition to existing works on the history of central and regional relations. Dr. Shimoda is also an active member of research projects on Japan’s “lost decades,” and has attracted interest from various fields for his noteworthy analysis on various issues facing modern Japan. Few young researchers are currently working in the field of Japanese history covering the 19th century to the present day. Dr. Shimoda is a researcher who has established a strong reputation for his broad perspectives. Given that his research papers and literary works in English have been published by leading U.S. journals and university presses, and given his efforts to convey his latest research findings to the world, Dr. Shimoda is an exciting researcher and an apt recipient for this research award.
Kozo Ueda Dr. Ueda conducts research on macroeconomics and international finance with a focus on the implications of monetary policy on issues such as deflation,  inflationary expectations, business cycles, and asset-market bubbles. His outstanding research findings continue to be published in leading academic journals, such as Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control. His 2012 paper, which analyzes the recent global financial crisis, appeared in Journal of International Economics and represents an important piece of research that offers a coherent explanation for the existence of synchronized global recessions by highlighting the role that globalization of financial intermediaries has had in accelerating the global repercussions of external shocks. In addition to publishing works, Dr. Ueda has made notable strides in presenting his research findings to an international symposium of the U.S.-based National Bureau of Economic Research where speaking opportunities are highly sought after, and as a Banque de France Senior Research Fellow at the School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences (EHESS) in Paris. Through these tireless efforts, Dr. Ueda has established himself as one of the top macroeconomists of his generation and as a leading young researcher who epitomizes the qualities of Waseda University.
 Takahiko Yanagitani Dr. Yanagitani specializes in ultrasonics and acoustics, and has achieved outstanding research outcomes in the development of devices using various piezoelectric materials, from bulk materials to thin films. He has attracted global interest for his pioneering work on fabrication techniques for materials and devices that help to enhance the functioning of frequency filters, which are a key component of next-generation high-frequency communication. Dr. Yanagitani’s collaborative relationship with a leading semiconductor company in the USA is a product of this research. He is also involved in research to expand the potential of piezoelectric devices to realize practical applications not only in high-frequency devices but also sensors. Dr. Yanagitani’s innovative research has broad appeal, as demonstrated by the publication of numerous internationally acclaimed articles in journals specializing in the fields of electricity and physics, such as IEEE Transactions and Applied Physics Letters, and by his contributions to the management of international conferences. Dr. Yanagitani is also a globally active researcher, with roles that include being a member of the editorial board of Scientific Reports; a scientific journal with a high impact factor. His research on piezoelectric films has led to numerous collaborations with the private sector, where there has been considerable interest in the practical applications of his work including patent applications.
 Kohei Yorita Dr. Yorita has collaborated on large global projects including the Tevatron experiment at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in the U.S. and the Large Hadron Collider high-energy experiment at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), and has produced significant research results in the field of particle physics. His research validating the Yukawa interaction with fermions, which forms the essential mechanism for the origin of mass due to the Higgs boson particle, was a remarkable accomplishment that provided strong evidence for the Standard Model of particle physics. Dr. Yorita’s research has also had profound academic implications that lend considerable weight to the theory of spontaneous symmetry breaking and vacuum phase transition at the dawn of the universe. While this research is the culmination of a collaborative international experiment involving many researchers, Dr. Yorita was a part of the Japanese research group working on the ATLAS particle detector experiment, where he made a significant contribution to the development of the detector, construction of the trigger system, and physical analysis of the resulting data. Dr. Yorita developed an extensive network and conducted numerous joint research experiments with many researchers around the world during his 5-year stint at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory and Chicago University. He has also successfully communicated the results of his research during this period to a global audience, as evidenced by their frequent citation in many papers. Dr. Yorita is currently also conducting experimental research to clarify the phenomenon of dark matter, which has been touted as one of the great unsolved mysteries of the universe, and his future research activities are highly anticipated.
 Kei Yoshida As is evident from his foremost publication, Rationality and Cultural Interpretivism: A Critical Assessment of Failed Solutions, Dr. Yoshida critically examines relations between cultural interpretivism and positivism in the social sciences from the perspective of various academic fields including philosophy of science, cultural anthropology, and political philosophy. Dr. Yoshida’s research is as the forefront of discussion in the U.S. and Europe due to its highly original and innovative nature, thus helping to internationally advance the level of research in the field. His article “Re-politicising philosophy of science,” which appears in Social Epistemology, argues that philosophy of science needs to reclaim critical functions that were lost due to its de-politicization in the U.S. during the Cold War, resulting in its separation from social philosophy. The article is an important and highly significant contribution from Japan to the world. Given the originality of Dr. Yoshida’s previous research and its influence on global academic opinion, there are considerable expectations for his future endeavors.


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