Bulletin of Keio University Faculty of Science and Technology
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2 Becoming an MIT researcher

photoAfter completing the doctor’s course, you found employment with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), didn’t you?
      Yes, I did. While I was imbued with the idea of going abroad to study after completing my doctor’s course, an MIT professor in charge of the “MIT micro engine project,” in which I was interested, just happened to visit our lab. I asked him if there was a vacancy for a researcher post there. I was told to send the required documents and called to come over for an interview. Then I was happily employed as a member of the project.

You seem to have followed a smooth, favorable path so far.
      To begin with, I find myself a type who doesn’t worry too much even when encountering a setback. I hate the idea that you have become stronger because you experienced a failure. Even if you suffer a setback, you shouldn’t be broken – this is my philosophy of life.
      I really enjoyed my life at MIT. In the micro engine project, I was making a small, silicon-based gas turbine the size of a button to be used in cellular phone power sources and micro rocket batteries. It was a big project and complete with the best possible equipment and environment.
      Boston is home not only to MIT but also Harvard and Boston universities, among others. Many Japanese researchers from diverse fields study there. Once or twice a month exchange meetings were held, where I could meet and talk with many people. This helped greatly broaden my intellectual horizon.
photo      Also worthy of note was the formation of an ice hockey team among Japanese researchers, taking place in the second year of my stay in Boston. Ice hockey was a sport totally new to me. I had never even experienced skating itself before. But it appeared so cool, which lured me to experience hands-on. What encouraged me was a typical reaction of Americans, who never fail to say “Good job!” only if I do my best no matter how poor the performance is. Motivated by this environment, I made up my mind to create a team with myself playing the central role if I were to meet the challenge. Like Japanese, we named our team “Sushis.” The team’s basic rule was “No preliminary inspection.” “Just join and try your hand at it if you are interested” – this was the team policy.

 

 

1 Engaging in robotics research at University of Tokyo
2 Becoming an MIT researcher
3 Devoted to MEMS-based research, exerting unrestricted creativity
Profile Norihisa Miki Based on MEMS (Microelectromechanical Systems) technology, Dr. Miki is developing diverse research activities in fields ranging from ICT and medical care to environmental conservation. Born in 1974 in Tatsuno City, Hyogo Prefecture. Completed the Doctor’s Course, School of Engineering, The University of Tokyo in 2001. From 2001 to 2004, he served as a postdoctoral fellow and research engineer at MIT’s Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics. From 2004 on, he works for Keio University as Assistant Professor. As for pastime, he was keen on heavy metal rock music as a high school boy, mahjong and fishing as a college student, and golfing thereafter.
 
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