Tokyo Institute of Technology: 2021 Suematsu Award “Fundamentals and Developments of Digital Technology” Winners Announced

Three Tokyo Tech researchers were awarded the 2021 Suematsu Award “Fundamentals and Developments of Digital Technology.” An award ceremony was held on September 2.

This award was established by the Suematsu Fund in 2018 to support young researchers interested in studying digital technology as future fundamental technology, as well as to promote applied research in computing, robotics, and network technology.

Attending the ceremony were: the three award winners, President Kazuya Masu, Executive Vice President for Research Osamu Watanabe, Honorary Professor Yasuharu Suematsu, Chairman and Director of Gurunavi Inc. Hisao Taki, President of National Agriculture and Food Research Organization Kazuo Kyuma, NEC Corp. Chairman of the Board Nobuhiro Endo, Professor Emeritus Katsuhisa Furuta, Fumio Honbo of the Tokyo Tech Alumni Association (Kuramae Kougyoukai), and the Executive Assistant to the President.

2021 Suematsu Award “Fundamentals and Developments of Digital Technology” Recipients
Assistant Professor Kenichi Kawabeouter
Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineeringouter, School of Engineering
Research Topic: Excitation Control of Synchronous Generators for Improving Power System Stability -Application of Wide Area Measurement, High-Speed Communication, and High-Speed Computation Technologies–

Research Outline:
The excitation control systems of synchronous generators have played an important role in maintaining the stability of the generators in power systems. However, the conventional excitation systems may fail to maintain the stability because of unexpected electric power flow condition with large amount of renewable energy sources, which can lead to a large-scale blackout. In this study, the researcher works on the development of a novel excitation control method using advanced digital technologies such as a wide-area measurement system consisting of GPS-based measurement units and high-speed communication technologies. It is expected that the proposed excitation control system enables us to integrate large amount of renewable energy sources while maintaining stable power supply.

Assistant Professor Takayuki Mikiouter
Department of Life Science and Technologyouter, School of Life Science and Technology
Research Topic: Development of computationally-guided phage display for accelerating peptide drug discovery

Research Outline:
In the field of drug discovery, peptide drugs with high target specificity and low side effects have been attracting attention. In the initial stage of the peptide-based drug discovery, there is a screening step for lead peptides, which will be the core structures for drug development. The phage display is one of the methods used for this screening. In this method, peptides that bind to the target molecule are selected from a peptide library consisting of randomized amino acid sequences. However, this method has a critical issue: it is difficult to apply to membrane proteins. Since membrane proteins are hard to be isolated and purified, peptide selection must be performed against membrane proteins present on the cell surface. In addition, the crude context containing various molecules on the cell surface makes the selection extremely difficult. Therefore, the author developed a method that combines next-generation sequencing and statistical analysis to establish a strategy for searching for lead peptides targeting membrane proteins on the cell membrane.

Specially Appointed Associate Professor Jun Yonedaouter
Tokyo Tech Academy for Super Smart Societyouter
Research Topic: Space monitoring of semiconductor charge noise leveraging quantum technologies

Research Outline:
Quantum dots in silicon are a nanostructure that can confine an electron spin in a quantum-mechanical superposition state for a relatively long time and are highly compatible with silicon technology. This makes the system a promising platform to realize a quantum computer – a computer that may initiate a new era of information society. It has recently been found that the performance of silicon quantum dots as quantum devices is limited by charge noise. In this research proposal, we will introduce the spatial aspect in the problem of charge noise in silicon devices by monitoring the spatial distribution of electrical fluctuations. Our goal is to establish the characterization method of noise correlations between quantum bits that influence the efficiency of quantum correcting codes crucial for digital quantum computation, offering a way to obtain one of the key metrics in the design of a large-scale quantum computer based on silicon quantum devices.

At the award ceremony, the researchers gave presentations on their respective research topics. This was followed by a Q&A and words of encouragement from Honorary Professor Suematsu and other attendees.

About the Suematsu Award “Fundamentals and Developments of Digital Technology”
Former Tokyo Tech President and Honorary Professor Yasuharu Suematsu was awarded the Japan Prize in 2014 for his contributions to the development of high-capacity, long-distance optical fiber communications, particularly his groundbreaking research related to dynamic single-mode lasers. He donated a portion of the prize money to Tokyo Tech in hopes of encouraging young scientists and engineers to pursue research in diverse fields, develop new technology systems, and delve into the unexplored domains of science. Suematsu hopes to create a rising tide of activities that will reveal the now-hidden shape of the future. The Tokyo Institute of Technology Fund created the Suematsu Fund to promote research in line with Suematsu’s wishes. President and Representative Director Hisao Taki of Gurunavi Inc., a Tokyo Tech alumnus and supporter of the Tokyo Institute of Technology Fund since its inception, also donated a significant additional sum, making the creation of this award possible.

Suematsu Award “Fundamentals and Developments of Digital Technology” | Office of Research and Innovation
Four Tokyo Tech researchers receive 2019 Suematsu Digital Technology Award | Tokyo Tech News
Young faculty receive new Suematsu Digital Technology Award | Tokyo Tech News
Areas of Support | Tokyo Institute of Technology Fund

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