Professor Akira Tsuchiyama of the Research Organization of Science and Technology has won the Japan Geoscience Union Scientific Award (Miyake Prize). This prize is awarded to individuals who have achieved outstanding research outcomes derived from new ideas in the field of materials science related to earth and planetary science, and who have attained high international recognition.
Professor Tsuchiyama made innovative achievements in laboratory experiments on the phase transformation, crystallization, melting, evaporation, condensation, and diffusion of natural materials and in the development of the synchrotron radiation X-ray CT method. Major examples of his outcomes include the quantification of the heating and cooling conditions of chondrules in meteorites using reproducible experiments and the quantification of kinetic effects on nucleation, microstructure formation, and solid-liquid element partitioning during pyroclastic processes.
Also, working at the Spring-8 synchrotron radiation facility, he developed an X-ray CT system with submicron spatial resolution to observe non-destructive tertiary structures, and by observing the microstructure of small rock samples from the Wild2 comet and the Itokawa near-Earth object, he elucidated large-scale mass transport in the solar system and the geological processes on the surfaces of these near-Earth objects. He was also able to identify the formation sites of meteorite parent bodies by analyzing the pore structure and microscopic fluid inclusions of primitive meteorite matrices.
He won the prize in recognition of these outstanding achievements, which were highly regarded as new contributions in the field of materials science, distinct from research in planetary science and astronomy that is based on observation, theory, and exploration.
The award ceremony was held on Sunday, May 22, 2022, and Prof. Tsuchiyama participated online.
About the Japan Geoscience Union Scientific Award (Miyake Prize)
The Japan Geoscience Union is an academic organization consisting of researchers, engineers, educators, science communicators, individual members, group members, and supporting members covering all fields that comprise the fields of earth and planetary science and related fields. (There are more than 10,000 individual members and 51 academic society members as of the end of November 2020.)
The name of the Miyake Prize is derived from a prize of the same name that was previously awarded by the Geochemical Society of Japan by way of the Geochemical Research Fund, whose establishment was proposed by and funded with a donation from Dr. Yasuo Miyake.
Comment from Professor Akira Tsuchiyama
I believe that this award recognizes the contribution that my research based on mineral science, which is part of materials science, has made to planetary science and astronomy. In addition, research using X-ray CT has been increasing in recent years, and thanks to everyone at SPring-8, I have been able to conduct world-leading research. I would like to thank my mentors, seniors, colleagues, students, and the many others who have helped me along the way, as well as my family.