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.
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.
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)
Professor Nobuyuki Nishiyama worked for a private company before he studied material processing at the Graduate School of Engineering, Tohoku University, where he completed his doctoral degree program in March 1997. He is a materials scientist, who is experienced in studying and researching subjects such as solidification engineering and non-equilibrium materials. After participating in projects run by JST-ERATO (Japan Science and Technology Agency, The Exploratory Research for Advanced Technology program) and NEDO (New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization), he has been in charge of developing new products through industry-academia collaboration, at the Institute for Materials Research, Tohoku University (Research and Development Center for Nano-crystalline Soft Magnetic Material) since 2013. In 2017 he joined AIMR, Tohoku University, and has been mainly in charge of research support, public relations and outreach.
Utilizing his rich expertise in studying basic to applied materials science, Professor Nishiyama has been enthusiastic in making AIMR’s identity, “creating a new and predictable materials science through collaboration between materials science and mathematics” understood by the public. He also provides support to the director through reinforcing the research support system of the organization, in order to make AIMR one of the top research institutes in the world to promote the application of research results into the society.
Deputy Director, Research Support Division
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.
As the person in charge of general affairs, Mr. Yasushi Wagatsuma, Deputy Director of the Research Support Division, is responsible for managing the administration of general affairs, human resources, research cooperation, accounting, and international affairs at AIMR. For AIMR to remain a true world-class international research center in the materials science field, it is above all essential to provide an environment where researchers have the peace of mind to concentrate on their research. Naturally, the supporting administrative operations must also be world-class.
Since taking up employment with the university in 1992, Mr. Wagatsuma, Deputy Director of the Research Support Division, has worked in administrative posts at the departments of Finance, Education and Student Support, and International Relations at the University Administration Bureau and at the university’s graduate schools, research institutes and centers. When the Advanced Institute for Materials Research started up in October 2007, Mr. Wagatsuma made significant contributions to the launch of the organization in his capacity as administrative staff. Making the most of his accumulated experience, Mr. Wagatsuma will make every effort to create a world-class research environment and support system.