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Welcome

It is my great pleasure to welcome you to the 9th International Workshop on Piezoelectric Materials and Applications in Actuators (IWPMA 2012). In the past Korea, Germany, Turkey, China, and USA have hosted annual conferences, but this is the first time for the annual IWPMA conference to be held in Japan. IWPMA 2012 is organized as a joint symposium with JTTAS Smart Actuator/Sensor Study Committee and ICAT International Actuator Symposium. Hence, in addition to piezoelectric materials and piezoelectric actuators, the event topics have been expanded to include solid-state actuators, energy harvesting, multifunctional materials, and other important issues. Many researchers are expected to join IWPMA 2012 and participate in stimulating and productive discussions.

At present, the Japanese people are struggling to recover from disaster brought about by an unusually large earthquake and subsequent tsunami attack, in addition to the nuclear power plant crisis in Fukushima. This crisis has reminded everyone that nature is unpredictable and that nuclear energy has its limits. In the short term, the Japanese must show their determination to recover from this unprecedented earthquake crisis. In the longer term, the peoples of the world must unite to establish a secure and safe society for the future. For such a society, innovative devices such as energy harvesting devices and high efficiency actuator and smart sensor networks are indispensable. Of course, fundamental knowledge and material development are essential to make these practical devices a reality.

The conference will be held in Hirosaki, Aomori Prefecture in the northern part of Japan. An additional goal of this meeting is to promote the visits of many foreigners to the Northern Japan so that people from around the world can witness first-hand the resilience of the Japanese people and experience part of our wonderful culture. The fastest Tohoku Shinkansen bullet train will begin service to Hirosaki this September. There are various sightseeing spots. The timing of the conference was specially designed to coincide with the Cherry Blossom season: namely hanami, or cherry blossom viewing party. This is a Japanese culture event where people drink sake while singing and enjoying conversation under cherry trees in full blossom. The organizing committee has prepared a hanami excursion in addition to enjoying traditional Japanese tea ceremony. The one-day excursion will also include visiting the newest UNESCO World Heritage, Hiraizumi Chusonji Temple.

Enjoy gorgeous cherry blossoms, hot spring spa, Tsugaru Fuji Mountain, and beautiful Hirosaki Castle all together at once! I hope you enjoy this part of Japanese culture with us.

We appreciate financial support from ONRG, ONR HQ and ITC-PAC. We want to express our gratitude to Hirosaki Mayer and Hirosaki City for special kind support of the Conference venue usage, excursion, and Pre-Conference Forum.


Prof. Minoru K. Kurosawa
Chairman, IWPMA