Laser Fusion Pioneer Chiyoe Yamanaka Passes, Age 93

February 23, 2017

Chiyoe Yamanaka, a pioneer in the fields of lasers and laser fusion, passed away on February 15 at the age of 93. Prof. Yamanaka is recognized as a pioneer and visionary leader in the development of Inertial Fusion Energy (IFE). The Institute of Laser Engineering (ILE) at Osaka University, founded in 1972 under his dynamic leadership, has grown into a major international center for IFE. This notable institute has generated pre-eminent programs in all aspects of fusion energy development, including key proof-of-principle experiments, high energy laser systems and conceptual fusion energy systems - for eventual use in electric power generation.

He received his doctorate in engineering in 1953 from Osaka University, became a professor there in 1963 and founded the ILE in 1972. He was director of the ILE until 1987, when he became director of the Institute of Laser Technology. His research interest were broad, including plasma physics, laser fusion, laser technology, laser isotope separation, X-ray lasers, laser radar, and environmental research.

He was the recipient of Fusion Power Associates Leadership Award in 1986 and received numerous other awards, including Distinguished Career Award of the Laser Society of Japan in 1987, Gold Medal of the IAEA fusion energy conference in 1988, Edward Teller Award in1991 and Order of the Sacred Treasure, presented by the Emperor in 2000.

Remembrances and Condolences may be sent to his family and friends via the present director of the ILE, Hiroshi Azechi: azechi@ile.osaka-u.ac.jp