> Ulrich Award 2015

He has belonged to several institutes including Nagoya Institute of Technology (Prof. M. Nogami), Ecole Nationale Supérieure de Céramique Industrielle in France (Prof. R. Guinebretiere), and Duke University in the USA (Assist. Prof. B.J. Wiley), which suggests he has learned a variety of background and the cutting edge of sol-gel science and technology. Ha has also got 8 awards for his impresive research results and related presentations. Currently, he is working as an assistant professor at Toyohashi University of Technology in Japan (Prof. A. Matsuda). His future contribution to the sol-gel community is promising surmised from his publication list and continuous active works.

As last Ulrich awardee, we have addressed a few questions  to Dr. KAWAMURA.

– Your degrees from BS to PhD are in Materials Science and Engineering. How difficult (or easy) was for you to approach the Sol-Gel Chemistry. ?
I did my studies in Prof. Masayuki Nogami’s laboratory where the sol-gel chemistry was the central part of the studies. Therefore it was almost “spontaneous” for me to approach the sol-gel chemistry.

– When did you realize that you wanted to work in the field of research?
I was delighted after publishing my first research paper on the optical properties in sol-gel-derived rare earth ion-doped glasses. Recalling on that, that was when I realized that I would like to become a researcher in this field.

– What do you like more about your work?
That would be the possibility of studying any topics that I am interested in.

– As an assistant professor you are mentoring and guide many students. How does your research and especially the sol-gel chemistry influence your mentoring and your teaching?
The sol-gel chemistry is generally very sensitive to conditions such as temperature and humidity, which requires careful experiments. Thus I can teach and guide students on the importance of carefulness for everything related to sol-gel chemistry.

– How important is the Ulrich award for your activity?
After I received the Ulrich award, I was contacted by several researchers whom I did not know before. Judging from this, the recognition through this Ulrich award could make my work become more visible in the research world. This is very important for me as I could establish new collaborations as well as engaging sponsors in order to enhance my research activities.

– What are the perspectives and goals of your research activities and your career?
My research interest is to develop a new material synthesis technique using a combination of the sol-gel process as the main foundation with other processes such as anodization and vapor deposition. Fostering university students is also a motivation for me. Thus I would like to be a researcher in a university, where I could engage in both research and educational activities.

– Do you have any suggestions or advices for students who are approaching now for the first time the sol-gel chemistry?
Since many great books and papers have been published so far, the sol-gel chemistry appears to be well established already. However, I think there are still many things to discover even in the fundamentals of the sol-gel chemistry. Thus let us study the sol-gel chemistry and enjoy it!.

Thank you very much Dr. Kawamura, we wish you a bright future for your career!