ILC NewsLine
Seiya Yamaguchi: introducing the new head of the Linear Collider Office at KEK

April is the season of beginnings in Japan: beginning of spring, beginning of the school year, and beginning of the business fiscal year. Tokyo is not quite in the beginning of spring yet, as snow fell on Saturday, 17 April, matching a 41-year-old record for the season's latest snowfall. Regardless of the late arrival of spring, KEK's Linear Collider Project Office kicked off the new fiscal year with a new head of the Office: Seiya Yamaguchi.

Seiya Yamaguchi,
new Head of KEK's Linear Collider Project Office.

Yamaguchi took over the office form Kaoru Yokoya, who will dedicate his work as Asian Regional Director for the Global Design Effort. Yamaguchi joined the Linear Collider Office, or LC office, as deputy head in April last year. But he is not new to the linear collider community. “I was working on the X-band linear collider R&D,” said Yamaguchi. He specialised in X-band accelerating structures and some RF components. After having worked on several KEK projects such as KEKB Injector Linac and J-PARC, he was offered the deputy job. “I think that the LC Office is a ‘special’ place in KEK for many reasons,” he said. It is special because, for instance, the ILC project is fully managed by global collaboration. “Another reason is that it is not a project with a running accelerator.” The big projects like ILC will need an extensive amount of R&D, and it is not easy to keep executing the duty with a sense of tension as when you are in a running project. “I think that would be one of the challenges we are facing,” he said.

The main role of the LC Office is to determine and coordinate the linear collider programme at KEK. “Two major objectives are to gain technological confidence which will back up the project feasibility further, and to foster researchers who are capable of taking care of technical issues. Those are common objectives for any project, and I believe those are the most important.” As other places in the world, the Japanese science community is facing a shortfall of both budget and manpower. “Efficiency will be the key to deal with difficult situations like we have now. One of my biggest jobs is to prioritise our tasks list, and optimise budget and manpower,” said Yamaguchi. In addition to this, his tasks include monitoring of the LC-related R&D programmes at KEK, budget oversight, coordination of participation by KEK staff in GDE efforts including overseas trips, and reporting to the directorate and executive meetings at KEK.

“He is a person who makes people around him feel comfortable with his cute smile,” says Tomiko Shirakata, secretary of the LC Office. “He is kind, a good listener, and he is not a typical Japanese – he comes to the office very early and leaves early. I think it is because he makes his family a top priority,” said Shirakata. On his holidays, Yamaguchi often enjoys dining out with his two daughters. (And, that is not very typical for a Japanese father, either!)

“As everybody knows, realising the Linear Collider is not an easy task. What we need is just to keep making progress step by step. I will do what I have to do,” Yamaguchi is determined.

-- Rika Takahashi