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.