The 2nd Nagamori Awards Ceremony, hosted by the Nagamori Foundation (Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto City; President: Shigenobu Nagamori), was held on Sunday, September 04, 2016 at Kyoto Hotel Okura. The event consisted of the Commendation ceremony for the 2nd Nagamori Awards and the Presentation ceremony for Research Grant 2016.
The ceremony was attended by approximately 220 people, including the winners of Nagamori Awards, recipients of the research grant, scientists and scholars, Nagamori Foundation executives, members of the Review Committee and other people associated with the foundation.
Seventy-one candidates, nominated by either an academic institution or self-nominated, submitted their applications from all over the world for this year’s Nagamori Awards, and six of them were selected as the winners by the Review Committee. Then, on the day of the ceremony, all the six winners gave lectures, exhibited panels on their research and Dr. Hiroshi Fujimoto, Associate Professor of the Department of Advanced Energy, University of Tokyo’s Graduate School of Frontier Sciences, was selected as the winner of the Grand Nagamori Award by the Review Committee.
The awards ceremony began with Dr. Hori, the Review Committee’s Chairman, explaining how the winners were selected, and the winners of the Grand Nagamori Award, as well as the Special Award, which went to Dr. Masato Sagawa, President of NDFEB Corporation, were announced. All the winners were presented with certificates of commendation and trophies by Mr. Nagamori, the president of the foundation. This was followed by joyful speeches by Dr. Fujimoto and Dr. Sagawa on behalf of all the winners. Dr. Fujimoto, the winner of the Grand Nagamori Award, was presented with an extra prize of 5 million yen, the winners of Nagamori Awards, 1 million yen, and Dr. Sagawa, the winner of the Special Award, 500,000 yen.
The awards ceremony was followed by “Research Grant 2016,” a new grant project started this fiscal year to celebrate the research of six people, including university professors. Upon the presentation of the grant, Dr. Yuki Matsutani, Assistant Professor of the Department of Mechanical and Intelligent Systems Engineering of Kumamoto College’s National Institute of Technology, made a speech on behalf of all the grant recipients.
The ceremony also hosted two special interviews: (1) Dr. Hitoshi Kuninaka, Director of the Space Exploration Innovation Hub Center, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and Dr. Tomoaki Yano, Integrator for Next-Generation Actuator; and (2) Dr. Takeo Kanade, U.A. and Helen Whitaker University Professor of Computer Science and Robotics, Carnegie Mellon University and Dr. Yasuhisa Hasegawa, Professor, Nagoya University and a winner of the 1st Nagamori Award, which were followed by special lectures by (1) Dr. Hiroyuki Matsunami, Professor Emeritus, Kyoto University, and (2) Dr. Kan Akatsu, Professor, Shibaura Institute of Technology and the winner of the 1st Grand Nagamori Award.
A celebratory party was held after the commendation and presentation ceremonies and other scheduled events; the entire awards ceremony ended on a high note.
Dr. Hiroshi Fujimoto
(Associate Professor, Department of Advanced Energy, Graduate School of Frontier Sciences, the University of Tokyo)
It is great honor for me to receive the Grand Nagamori Award. I would like to appreciate Mr. Nagamori, President of Nagamori Foundation, and the member of the Review Committee for having selected me.
15 years have passed since I started my research on the motion control of electric vehicles based on high response of motors.
A significant progress has been made for the commercialization of electric vehicles during these 15 years, paying off all the hard work dedicated by many researchers and engineers. I, for one, have been able to expand the area of my research from the safety control technology to the control technology to improve comfort and cruising distance to the wireless in-wheel motor, working day and night with people in industries to commercialize these technologies. Further research and development is required for our country to continue its lead over others in related technologies. It is to that end that I consider training talented individuals as part of the mission bestowed onto universities, and enjoy working with graduate students.
Last but not the least, I would like to thank my students and graduates who spent much time in my laboratory and shared all the challenges and fun with me, joint researchers in and outside the laboratory, staff members of the universities and research foundations who supported me, and my family. Thank you very much.