Researcher Highlight – Takeshi Okada from Project B

This time in our Researcher Highlight Series we are introducing the second PhD student from our partner institute Nagoya Institute of Technology, Japan (NITech): Takeshi Okada. He is collaborating with Project B – Excitation-Conforming, Shape-Adaptive Mechano-Electrical Energy Conversion

 How and when did you become a part of the IRTG program?

Nowadays, electrification has been promoted internationally in the fields of transportation, industry, and so forth to reduce CO2 emissions. Therefore, electrical engineering is one of the academic research fields of increasing interest in the future. During my master’s thesis, I wanted to work on my own research field more deeply, so I entered a Ph.D. program. Also, I decided to participate in the IRTG program because I felt and was motivated that this IRTG program was the best way to acquire international and academic perspectives and scientific knowledge. I am confident now that if I could successfully complete Ph.D. course under the IRTG program, a good future as a researcher would be promised.

 Tell us a little about your current research for the IRTG. 

To make electric vehicles widespread, which contributes to realizing sustainable transportation society, I am working on the research concerning with electric motor design for their powertrains. One of the design issues, I am trying to reduce of vibration and noise generated from the electric motor using a dynamic vibration absorber (DVA) based on „Compliant mechanism“ together with my colleagues in Project B. It is aimed to realize the DVA, which can control and suppress the multiple modes of vibrations of the electric motor running various operating scenarios. The compliant mechanism has an integral structure and can achieve functions similar to an ordinary mechanism by giving flexibility to the appropriate part of its structure rather than joints. With its jointless structure, miniaturization, and cost reduction by reducing the number of parts and high reliability owing to lifetime prolongation can be expected. In addition, a variable stiffness mechanism can be realized by adding an actuator to the DVA based on the compliant mechanism. The success of this research would offer improved driving comfort of vehicles, ambient noise, etc.

 What are your plans/goals after graduation? Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Tentatively, I would like to work for the industry to be a researcher or an engineer with international standards in my research field after graduation. In five years, I may be a good hardware and software engineer in the industry, or I may be aiming for an academic position in my research field. In any case, I hope that I am able to become an international researcher or engineer capable of realizing sustainable global society.

 What is the best book you have ever read?

My best book I have ever read is „Flowers for Algernon.“ The main character of this book is Charlie who was born with an unusually low IQ, he has been chosen as the perfect subject for an experimental surgery that researchers hope will increase his intelligence. He could get a genius brain temporarily, but he couldn’t enjoy happiness. On the contrary, as he gets more intelligent and knows things, he realizes what’s going on around him and suffers. The book is very thought-provoking about what happiness is. By all means, please do try and read this book once for yourself too.