Announcing the recipients of the 2017 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 100,000 yen for the high-impact publication category.

Below, we proudly present the recipients of the 2017 Waseda Research Award.

Recipients of the 2017 Waseda Research Award

Large-Scale Research Project Category
*in alphabetical order

  • Yoshimichi OHKI
    Assessment of Electrical Equipment Ageing for Nuclear Power Plants
  • 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

High-Impact Publication Category
*in alphabetical order

Noriyuki AOKI

Professor Noriyuki Aoki’s research is related to mortgages and secured transactions in the United States. In Japan, where civil law research has traditionally focused on continental law, the study of legal systems in the common law field is indispensable today, and detailed and thorough research by Professor Aoki responds to such new societal demands. Taking a new perspective, his research develops detailed analyses of materials and the literature on themes that have never before been introduced into this field in Japan. Such comprehensive analysis is also performed from the broader perspective of related fields, and these aspects of his work have garnered high praise. In addition to receiving such academic acclaim, Professor Aoki has been very active in promoting international academic exchanges with academics in the United States after having studied there. He has also presented and published the results of research on Japanese law pertaining to mortgages and secured transactions through research exchanges with Chinese and Korean academics. His achievements can be seen from the considerable number of international symposiums to which he has made academic contributions. These research activities by Professor Aoki serve as a basis for continued international dissemination of Japanese civil law in English, and further development and dissemination of his research are eagerly awaited in the future.


Professor Akie Iriyama focuses on management strategy theory and international management theory, which are recently core fields in business administration research. He has made outstanding contributions to research in this field, which is marked by fierce competition among talented researchers worldwide. He is among the most respected young researchers in Japan in terms of his capability to disseminate research internationally. Professor Iriyama has published seven peer-reviewed papers in international journals over the past few years, three in world-class journals (Strategic Management Journal, Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal, and Journal of International Business Studies). The Academy of Management, one of the most prestigious academic societies worldwide in the area of business administration, nominated one of his studies for its Best Paper award. Professor Iriyama has thus greatly contributed to the internationalization of Japanese research, and he is a researcher from whom both advanced research and international dissemination can be expected in the future.

Masamitsu SATO

Professor Masamitsu Sato has been actively studying the exact distribution of chromosomes in the first meiotic division. In studying the cell cycle in meiosis, he has focused on Cdk1, which plays a central role in the eukaryotic cell cycle. Also noteworthy is his discovery of the role of the microtubule cytoskeleton in chromosome organization. Professor Sato has received international acclaim in these areas of research, and was appointed by the Royal Society as an organizer of an international conference in London, England. He was also appointed as a member of the Japanese–French Frontiers of Science Symposium. In addition, he has made presentations at international conferences and published in international journals, and his research results have been covered in newspapers and other media. His research on the mechanism of chromosome distribution during meiosis, which may be related to causes of infertility, is expected to provide great social benefits through spillover effects. He is among the most promising faculty members in Waseda University’s Department of Life Science, and we expect much from him in the future.


Professor Atsushi Shimojima has achieved the synthesis of various organosilica-based nanostructures through the self-organization of precursors in which silyl groups and siloxane groups are bonded to organic compounds. He demonstrated that by appropriately designing precursors, various nanostructures can be formed without the addition of structure-directing agents such as surfactants, and that nanostructures can be stabilized by forming siloxane frameworks via condensation reactions. These are both academically and practically important findings, and he has published numerous results in high-impact international journals. He has also been invited to give lectures at many international conferences, where he has been globally disseminating information at an extremely high level. His organosilica-based materials are composed of elements abundantly present on Earth and are expected to exhibit unique functions through nanostructure control, making them an important part of Japan’s “Element Strategy.” Professor Shimojima’s pioneering approach is expected to lead to further advances in the future.


Professor Yuka Fukunaga has a deep understanding of WTO dispute settlement, which is an important system in international economic law, and she also conducts excellent research on important issues related to the WTO Agreements that stipulate trade-related rules on domestic regulations. She is also expanding the scope of her research to investment arbitration, building upon her research on WTO dispute settlement. Professor Fukunaga’s recent academic papers present persuasive arguments that are thoroughly substantiated with reference to numerous studies in the literature as well as to WTO and investment arbitration cases. Many of her recent papers deal with cutting-edge topics, and have been presented at international academic conferences and published in prominent international publications. Her work is thus highly regarded as leading research in this field, both in Japan and overseas. Professor Fukunaga’s achievements are not only academic. As an intern at the WTO Appellate Body Secretariat and as an Assistant Legal Counsel at the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague, she has also gained practical experience in handling disputes. Such extensive experience suggests that she will deepen her research and continue to be successful internationally.

Christopher Hobson

Professor Christopher Hobson has an outstanding ability to communicate his research internationally in the fields of political science and international relations theory, particularly regarding conceptual research on the international development of democracy and democratization. His papers and other publications are frequently cited, with his very high h-index providing an objective measure. He has authored or co-authored many publications focusing on the interaction between political changes within countries and wider international processes that contribute to the expansion of democracy, for example, in his 2015 book The Rise of Democracy: Revolution, War and Transformations in International Politics since 1776 (Edinburgh University Press). At this moment when the qualities of democracy are being questioned, this book deserves praise as academic research that reflects across the history of democracy to discuss its expansion from a global perspective. This book received not only academic acclaim in Democratization, but also positive reviews in Foreign Affairs, showing that Hobson’s research has had a ripple effect felt throughout society. In addition to the research mentioned above, Hobson is involved in editing and publishing special editions of academic journals and books across a wide range of international relations theory, and he also works to communicate his findings with policymakers and the general public.


Professor Jun Matsumoto’s previous research involved the development of spectroscopic methods for ultra-high-sensitivity measurement of NOx components in the atmosphere with the use of lasers. In his current work, he has newly established a method for highly accurate measurement of very small amounts of ozone consumed in the atmosphere, and succeeded in measuring reactive compounds in the atmosphere and those released from plants. The idea for this measurement technology is extremely creative, and Professor Matsumoto’s measurement device is an internationally pioneering achievement. This technology furthermore introduces a truly novel viewpoint to atmospheric environmental chemistry research, and has the possibility to greatly promote future research in this field. Expected applications include measurements of photochemical oxidants (photochemical ozone) and fine particles (PM2.5). Through his discoveries and hardware development, Professor Matsumoto has presented his advanced and inventive technologies around the world, including as an invited lecturer at numerous international conferences, and his achievements are highly regarded for supporting Japan as an environmentally advanced country in the field of atmospheric environmental monitoring technology.


Professor Hironori Washizaki has made remarkable achievements in the field of software engineering, particularly his numerous pioneering results related to software pattern extraction, software analysis, reverse engineering, security modeling, and quality assurance. When methods for program representation (metamodeling) were in a turbulent state, his research on reverse engineering led to a new classification method that he proposed at ICSME, the premier conference for software maintenance engineering. In addition to ICSME, Washizaki has presented numerous papers at top international conferences such as ICSE, ASE, and CAiSE, and published in major international journals such as IEEE publications, making him stand out among Japanese researchers. He has served as an officer and committee member at international conferences, and also served as a convener in International Standardization Organization (ISO) activities. Washizaki is deeply involved in software engineering and programming education, and he is active in a wide range of fields, including presenting research on education at international conferences such as CSEE&T and SIGCSE. Professor Washizaki also promotes joint research with numerous companies and aggressively pursues collaboration between industry and academia. He is a researcher who is expected to produce international academic and social waves in the future.


Professor Takanobu Watanabe is a high-profile researcher in the field of semiconductor devices. In particular, he is a rising star in the field of MOSFETs (metal–oxide–semiconductor field-effect transistors). His representative research results have clarified elemental physical processes in fine transistors through application of his molecular dynamics simulation methods, solidifying his position as a world-leading expert who presents analyses full of creativity and originality. Watanabe has steadily accumulated research achievements, publishing papers in prestigious international journals such as Physical Review B and Applied Physics Letters, and making presentations at important international conferences. The International Electron Devices Meeting (IEDM) is a major international conference, also known as the Olympics of semiconductor devices, and it is known as a place where semiconductor manufacturers, research institutes, and universities from around the world gather to present their latest results. Only a limited number of researchers from Japanese universities are able to present articles at this conference, but Professor Watanabe has made two presentations there in the past five years (in 2012 and 2014), greatly enhancing his reputation, as seen from the response afterward. Professor Watanabe has furthermore demonstrated leadership as a representative researcher in the JST-CREST research project, and in addition to his past achievements, he is a researcher who shows high promise for the future.

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