Itherm
Achievement Award


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Wataru Nakayama has developed his professional career as a heat transfer expert and educator through his over-thirty-years-long associations with the industry and the universities. Wataru received his Doctor of Engineering degree from the Tokyo Institute of Technology in 1966. After a three-year tenure in Canada, he returned to Japan in 1970 to begin a twenty-year strong career with Hitachi's Mechanical Engineering Research Laboratory. In 1989, he became the Hitachi Chair Professor at the Tokyo Institute of Technology (TIT), a position he held until his retirement in 1996.

While at Hitachi, Wataru helped found a thermal management group, conducted and supervised heat transfer research for a wide range of electronic products. His research encompasses cooling of electrical generators , transformers, electronic power devices, computers, development of high-performance heat transfer tubes and heat exchangers, and simulation of crystal growth. Throughout the 1970s and 1980s the main focus of his research was on cooling mainframe computers. The work on air-cooling of package arrays conducted by his research group established Hitachi's air-cooling design methodology. He also participated in and supervised the work on cooling multi-chip modules by means of the cold-plate technology and the immersion cooling. He devised porous studs to enhance nucleate boiling from chips to dielectric coolant; the idea is now revived for possible applications to thermal management of server computers. He was granted four U.S. patents and several Japanese patents with co-inventors during his years with Hitachi. Towards the end of his career at Hitachi, he was promoted to the rank of Honorary Engineer. In the 1990s onward, his research interests have also been extended to thermal management of laptop computers and other small systems.

While working on research topics Wataru developed certain generic views on the course of thermal management technologies. He disseminated his views through not only the courses taught at the Tokyo Institute of Technology but a number of seminars offered at universities and conferences worldwide. He also published the review articles on thermal management that have found wide readership among university researchers and practicing engineers. After his retirement from the TIT he has continued to play his roles as a research adviser and an industry-academia liaison at the CALCE Electronic Packaging Research Center, the University of Maryland, the Microelectronics and Emerging Technologies Thermal Laboratory, the University of Maryland, the University of New South Wales, Australia, and the industry/academia consortium in the Japan Society of Mechanical Engineers.

Wataru has been active in international professional societies. He served as Chairman of the Heat Transfer Society of Japan in 1994, Chairman of the ASME Japan in 1990/92, and Chairman of the JSME Thermal Engineering Division in 1990, on the Executive Boards of the International Centre for Heat and Mass Transfer (ICHMT) and the Japan Institute of Electronics Packaging (JIEP). He co-organized the Japan-U.S. Heat Transfer Seminar (1991), the International Intersociety Electronic Packaging Conference (InterPack) (1995), and others. He has served as a Japan liaison for the Intersociety Conference on Thermal Phenomena in Electronic Systems (ITHERM) since its foundation in 1988. He was invited to deliver keynote speeches and seminars at a number of conferences and universities. The list of his speech engagements includes the keynote lecture at the International Heat Transfer Conference (1982), the Hawkins Memorial Lecture at Purdue University (1988), the speech at the U.S. National Science Foundation (1996), and the keynote speech at the United Engineering Foundation Conference "Boiling 2000" (2000).

Wataru has authored and co-authored over 200 technical and scientific papers presented at international conferences and published in archival journals. He authored a book on heat exchange technologies (1981), co-authored a book on electronic packaging (1998), edited a handbook on electronics cooling (1996), and contributed some twenty chapters to books and handbooks. Recently, he extended his writing to subjects of industry-wide interest with the publication of the following books: A Methodology for Technology Development Prediction (1998) and The Japanese Electronics Industry (1999).

Wataru received prominent awards, including the ASME Heat Transfer Memorial Award (1992), the ICHMT Fellowship Award (1996), the ASME Electrical and Electronic Packaging Division Award (1996), the JSME Award for Longstanding Contributions to Mechanical Engineering (1997). He has received best paper awards from ASME, JSME, and other professional societies. Wataru is a Fellow of ASME, a Senior Member of IEEE, Member of the JSME, Member of the JIEP, and an Honorary Member of the Heat Transfer Society of Japan.

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