Nobu Toge promoted to KEK trustee

| 5 April 2012

Nobu Toge of KEK's accelerator laboratory will support director general as a trustee. Image: Nobuko Kobayashi

On 30 March, KEK announced a management reshuffle for the new term, Japanese fiscal years 2012 to 2014. The ILC programme’s Nobu Toge was appointed as one of the four trustees.

Toge is now in charge of planning and evaluating the laboratory’s medium-term objectives, information technology systems and crisis management. He is also responsible for the management of public relations, intellectual property, library and lab archives, facility planning, and environment, safety and health issues.

Toge lived on the US west coast from 1981 until 1992. During that time, he first worked at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory as a visiting scientist in the Japan-US collaboration program in high energy physics.  After receiving his PhD from the University of Tokyo, he went on as a post-doc at SLAC, and switching his career to accelerator physics he worked as a staff member there.

After eleven years of experience spent abroad, he returned to Japan and joined KEK as an associate professor at the accelerator laboratory.

Toge says that it was a major shock wave experience when he first went to the US. “Culturally and socially the environment in California was very different from that in Tokyo, both in and outside the labs.” He came across another major shock wave-like experience when he returned to Japan in 1992. “It was like, ‘How can things be so different at these two corners of the earth!’”

However, as the time went by, he slowly came to realise that “when a human being does all these systems-related things – how folks organise, manage and run laboratories – very good stuff and problematic stuff both come up in various ways. So I guess I can say that that was a good thing that I managed to learn through these different yet fundamentally similar aspects in working at different laboratories, but it is really an afterthought,” he said.

Atsuto Suzuki, director general of KEK, sought out the quality of internationality in the newly appointed trustees, determined to attain for KEK a solid position as an international institution. Toge is expected to play an active role in this regard.

RF gun for the Quantum Beam Project at KEK. The cathode substrate, made of molybdenum, is being heat-processed for cleaning its surface. Image: Nobu Toge

At KEK he first participated in the effort to build the KEKB accelerator, an asymmetric electron-positron collider for B-physics, as a coordinator of the design of the beam interaction region. Then he helped the leaders of KEKB accelerator team as a secretary to what was called the Parameter Committee, which was responsible for the overall KEKB design and its integrity.

His engagement with the linear collider began in 1986, when he worked on the SLAC Linear Collider. “Some members in and around the Global Design Effort have been at the linear colliders for years, and I am actually one of them,” he said. He moved on to the JLC (Japan Linear Collider, which was renamed to GLC later) effort in 1997 as a coordinator for the development of the X-band-based LC scheme. After the technology decision made by the International Technology Recommendation Panel in 2005, he joined the Global Design Effort (GDE).

Morning breaks over Mt. Tsukuba. Image: Nobu Toge

Toge will stay in the GDE directorate as a member of the editorial team for the Technical Design Report. He also participated in the editorial effort of the Conceptual Design Report for the CLIC Study. “Both the ILC and CLIC will have some sustained activities into the future, so I would like to maintain with them some linkage, although it might not be an extremely thick one,” he said.

In addition to Toge’s scientist side, many ILC NewsLine readers may know him as a great photographer – his name frequently appears in photo credits. Now a trustee of the laboratory, he may become too busy to take pictures. “My ambition is to continue taking pictures as much as time allows,” he said. “Since I am expected to look at the activities of the whole of KEK, I think there should be chances for me to capture scenes from design, construction and operation of Super-KEKB, J-PARC and efforts on materials and life sciences, too.”

However, his priority for the next three years will be to assist Suzuki to strengthen the laboratory’s various internal aspects.

“Nobu is a multi-talented scientist who has made numerous and varied contributions to the ILC,” said GDE Director Barry Barish. “He is a particularly good choice to assume the broad range of responsibilities this new position will involve.”

Recent Comments

Comments are closed.