Takeshi Akasaka: the “Partial” Professor in His 60s

December 22, 2015

From Monday to Sunday, as long as at school, Professor Takeshi Akasaka will wake up on time at 7 so as to arrive in his office before 8; Everyday, he ensures a working hour of 10-11. On his office desk neatly spread the scientific research materials just as he lives a regular life and work whole-heartedly.

Takeshi Akasaka, a Japanese professor in University of Tsukuba is a scientist enjoying great prestige in the circle of international carbon material research.

In April, 2013, without the company of his family, as a selected foreign expert in Thousand Talents Program, Takeshi Akasaka boarded the plane to China and came to HUST by himself, where he was recruited as a full-time professor in School of Materials Science and Engineering and started his work for the following three years.

“ As a chemist, I travelled across the ocean to China not for sightseeing but for coming to HUST with the purpose of teaching and educating.”  In his neat shirt, he looked straight at others’ eyes while taking with them. He thinks that in China, many excellent universities like HUST still have room for further improvement. “I hope to help the young people here, which is the most important driving force for me to come here.”

The first thing Takeshi Akasaka did after arriving in HUST was to wear the school badge before his chest. He said: “By doing that for one reason, I tell myself that I’m now a HUST professor so I have to learn to adapt to this university; For another, I hope to get the recognition of my colleagues.”

Professor Lu Xing in the school, a selected scholar of  Thousand Youth Talents Program chooses to live as Takeshi Akasaka’s neighbor, whom he has known for 9 years. In 2006, Lu Xing went to the University of Tsukuba to conduct research by following Takeshi Akasaka. They are both colleagues and good friends. Lu like to call Takeshi Akasaka “ old chap” He said: “ In fact many top universities in Japan and US have sent invitations to the old chap but he finally decided to come to HUST because he has known a lot of HUST teachers and students and it’s also related to HUST leaders’ discussion with him in a visit to University of Tsukuba. So he is partial to HUST.”

Before coming to HUST, Takeshi Akasaka donated some experiment facilities with a total worth of 4,000,000 yuan to HUST, many of which are brand new. One professor who once went to Japan said “it’s unimaginable for the Japanese to give things to others easily.”

At the the beginning of 2013, Takeshi Akasaka was going to retire, and his lab was also going to be closed.  “At that time, I said to him that it costs you a lot if you litter in Japan, so you might as well send the facilities to me.” said Lu Xing with a smile while recalling the situation at that time, “ the old chap just gave me a glance and said” OK!”

From February to March, Takeshi Akasaka began to check and package the facilities. It’s unthinkable that he treated the joke between the two as a promise. A year later, these facilities finally came to Wuhan in China. Takeshi Akasaka was very happy, “ In HUST, China, these facilities can be well utilized so their value get extended.”

In the past two years spent in HUST, although he was not familiar with the language, culture, rules and had difficulties in research and teaching, he succeeded in fulfilling his duty as a full-time professor in HUST and a selected foreign expert in Thousand Talents Program.

Takeshi Akasaka continued devoting himself to conducting research on new carbon materials and brought the advanced international academic research ideas and academic development frontier to his colleagues and students. In the past two years, as the corresponding author and in the name of HUST, he has published 13 papers in the internationally authoritative periodicals such as Journal of the American Chemical Society and Angewandte Chemie International Edition, 8 of which  are papers with an impact factor of over 10.

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