Top Management

AIMR runs a top-down organizational management in which the Director has the authority for decision making without involving any faculty council. Such a simple system contributes to the creation of an environment where researchers can dedicate themselves to their research and serves as the management foundation of AIMR, one of the world’s top institute for materials science research.

In order to facilitate such a management system, it is indispensable that the Director and Principal Investigators (PI) share the same understanding on the management policies of the institute, in addition to the Director’s strong leadership demonstration. Information is shared at PI Meetings to promote active discussions if deemed necessary by the Director. All meetings are managed under international standards and held in English in order to include international researchers in the discussions.


Shin-ichi ORIMO
Principal Investigator and Leader of the Device/System Group

Majored in materials engineering and materials chemistry, Professor Shin-ichi Orimo has outstanding skill in energy materials research and won many awards in and outside Japan, including the Commendation for Science and Technology (Research Category) by the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (2012) and the Science of Hydrogen & Energy Award (2015). Since 2018, he has been acting as a Principal Investigator of “Hydrogenomics,” an academic domain related to front-line hydrogen science, which was a Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research on Innovative Areas (Research in a proposed research area) sponsored by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology.

In addition, Professor Orimo is an international researcher and has conducted research at the Max Planck Society in Germany as a fellow of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. He also possesses adequate experiences in university operations. From 2012 to 2014, he served as a special advisor to the president and is a member of the Provost Office, Tohoku University since 2018. He has also been contributing to the development of science and technology in Japan as chairman of “The 190th Committee on Hydrogen Function Analyses in Materials,” one of the university-industry cooperative research committees of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (2015–present), and as chairman of the first sub-committee (2015–2017) and board member of the Japan Institute of Metals and Materials (2017–2019).

At AIMR, Professor Orimo was appointed Principal Investigator in 2013, Leader of the Device/System Group in April 2017, Deputy Director in November 2018 and took office as Director of AIMR in October 2019.

Deputy Director

Hiroshi SUITO
Principal Investigator and Leader of the Mathematical Science Group

Professor Hiroshi Suito specializes in applied mathematics, employing his extensive experiences to cooperate with other scholars in a broad range of fields including clinical medicine, environmental science, and materials science. He has produced various research outcomes in mathematical modeling and numerical simulations. Since joining the AIMR at Tohoku University in 2017, he has won awards such as a Commendation for Science and Technology (Research Category) by the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (2019), and a MIMS Mimura Award from the Meiji Institute for Advanced Study of Mathematical Sciences (2018).

Professor Suito’s achievements are outstanding: in addition to serving two terms as a project leader for the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST)’s Core Research for Evolutional Science and Technology (CREST) program, he also appeared as an invited speaker at the 2019 International Congress on Industrial and Applied Mathematics, which is held every four years and is one of the most important international conferences in the applied mathematics field. As a deputy director, Professor Suito leads the Mathematical Science Group of AIMR, which comprises mathematicians working in a broad range of fields from pure to applied mathematics. At the same time, he is cooperating with the Director in order to further develop the framework for mathematics–materials science collaboration that AIMR has created so far and to proceed to the next stage.

Director, Research Support Division

Specially Appointed Professor (Management)

Specially Appointed Professor Maki Suemitsu, from the time of completing the doctoral program (Department of Electronic Engineering) in the School of Engineering, Tohoku University in March 1980, up until his retirement as Professor in the Research Institute of Electrical Communication in March 2018, has devoted his studies to semiconductor thin-film engineering in the University. Developing a Group–IV gas-source molecular beam epitaxy (GSMBE) method, he was first in the world to achieve epitaxial growth of graphene on a silicon substrate. For such accomplishments, he was chosen as a Japan Society of Applied Physics (JSAP) Fellow in 2017 and as an Emeritus Member in 2022. After retiring, he carried on industry-academia collaboration and outreach activities as Specially Appointed Professor in the University. For three years starting from the 2020 academic year, he served as President of Miyagi Gakuin Women's University, as he has continued to be deeply involved in university administration.

Specially Appointed Professor Suemitsu, drawing on this wealth of experience in both research and administration, is helping to accelerate “the creation of new materials through collaboration between mathematics and materials science” at AIMR, while working to strengthen the research support programs and providing support for the Director to promote AIMR’s further advancement as a world premier international research center.

Deputy Director, Research Support Division

Kazuto AKAGI
Associate Professor
Mathematical Science Group

Associate Professor Kazuto Akagi is a specialist in computational materials science. Since joining AIMR, he has focused in particular on pursuing the potential of topological data analysis (TDA), a field pioneered by fellow mathematicians under the WPI (World Premier International Research Center Initiative) Program.

Associate Professor Akagi is participating as a representative of the TDA Group in the Material Research by Information Integration Initiative (MI2I) launched by the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST), a pioneering R&D project on data-driven materials development in Japan, and the Cabinet Office Cross-ministerial Strategic Innovation Promotion Program (SIP) . Since 2021 he has also hosted a community with its secretariat in AIMR, carrying on public awareness initiatives aimed at companies in the materials industry with an interest in introducing TDA.

Associate Professor Akagi has worked with mathematicians and materials scientists on a wide range of subjects from functional materials to structural materials. Drawing on this experience, he is intent on devoting his ingenuity and efforts to further the cause of collaboration between mathematics and materials science in AIMR.

Toshiyuki HACHIYA

Mr. Toshiyuki Hachiya, Deputy Director of the Research Support Division, is responsible for the management of a wide range of administrative functions at AIMR, including general affairs, human resources, accounting, research promotion, and international collaborations.

He joined the staff at Tohoku University in 1994, gaining experience at the Tohoku University Administration Bureau in general affairs-related operations that govern the management of the university as a whole. Moreover, he was also involved in support functions that were closely related to researchers, such as the promotion of research and industry-academia collaborations. Through these experiences, he has further deepened his understanding of the important role played by AIMR, which facilitates even further advances in materials science, a field where Tohoku University traditionally has strengths.

Going forward, in order for AIMR to be a driving force not only behind the research capabilities of Tohoku University overall, but also in the field of materials science around the world, Mr. Hachiya is devoting his efforts under the top-down management of the Director and Deputy Director of the Research Support Division to build an environment where researchers can feel assured of being able to concentrate on their research.