Ayami Tanabe (Okada Lab.)
I graduated from the Department of Advanced Interdisciplinary Studies, at the Graduate School of Engineering (AIS) in March 2012, and now work at the Smart Energy Research Center at Nippon Electric Company (NEC). At RCAST, I did research concerning semiconductor crystals for optical communication. Moreover, I not only obtained the basic ability for research, but also had opportunities to meet with many people and broaden my horizons. Through this experience, I came to think that I wanted to make something that could be of use in society and so now I do research to develop a better functioning power storage.
What it means to work towards your goal
I was studying at Tsukuba University, but because my supervisor, Professor Yoshitaka Okada, moved to RCAST, I also decided to enter AIS. There, I researched semiconductor crystals called quantum dots, which are about ten nanometers in size. To make high density and high quality quantum dots, I investigated the mechanism for InAs (indium and arsenic) related quantum dots and developed a technology to control that process under Mr. Okada's supervision.
At the research center, I repeated the process of making semiconductor crystals and analyzing them. Looking at the data and tackling each obstacle to realize my goal was a slow process, but I believe this experience taught me how to conduct research and have patience.
The privilege of meeting many people thanks to RCAST
RCAST provided me with bountiful equipment and concentration time. However, I also learned a lot from and was supported by the people who surrounded me there. There are people from numerous specialties and different positions at RCAST. The cooperation research center where I was had an open lab, and scholars from all over the world gathered. I was able to exchange opinions
with both engineers and biologists, which allowed me to expand my research and point it towards solutions to the obstacles that I faced. Through these experiences, I learned that it was important to talk with people from various interests. I appreciate the support I received from the many people I met.
I want to make something that will be useful in society
At RCAST, I did research on materials used in technology but at NEC I do research from a technological perspective. I did this because I wanted to change my views on research. When I was job hunting, I was told, "Don't just think of what you can do. Rather, utilize your method of research you have nurtured." These words left a strong impression in me.
Having changed my research field, there are many things that I don't know, such as electric systems or circuits. However, by learning from other people, I keep on working to reach my goal to make something that would be useful in society. Koji Kajitani, the chief researcher who is also my boss tells me, "Research at corporations tends to be short and you need to cope with
the constant change. Having many experiences will help you to do this so I want you not only to do work that contributes to the company, but also do work that you enjoy and realize your dream with a healthy balance." I want to utilize my experience at RCAST and continue my research.
Making RCAST a chance to broaden your world
At AIS, there was a course to learn the basics in research called proposal and presentation. Presentation is where we do a presentation about our research in English, and proposal is where you make a research proposal.
I didn't take the proposal course at that time because I thought it would be too hard, but now I painfully realize how the ability to write a proposal is vital for a researcher and regret that I didn't take the course. I recommend to those of you who will be studying at RCAST to take these courses. There are many other opportunities at RCAST to increase your chances. I hope you grab these wonderful opportunities there and broaden your world.