1928 - 2018

Tokyo Institute of Technology
Emeritus Professor of Tokyo University of Science and Technology


Prof. Shigeyuki Somiya was famous in the studies of Hydrothermal reactions for ceramics. He grew up surrounded by very powerful intellectuals, professors and professionals tightly connected to Tokyo Institute of Technology. During his graduate course at the Pennsylvania State University, he studied the phase equilibria in mostly Fe2O3-Cr2O3-MgO systems, under Professors E.F. Osborn and Arnulf Muan.

After returning to TIT in 1959, as a Research Associate of the Research Laboratory of Engineering Materials, his research area expanded over other refractories including Si3N4, ZrO2, ZrSiO4, MgO-B2O3 and high oxygen pressure works in Cr-O2 system. He was promoted to Assistant/Associate Professor in 1966, then started his study on Hydrothermal Reactions. His hydrothermal reaction studies developed extensively with Dr. Shin-ichi Hirano from Nagoya University as a research associate. Prof. Somiya was promoted to full professor in 1974. He had a world-wide network of professionals, including Prof. Guenter Petzow of Max Planck Institute in Stuttgart, Germany.

Based upon these great results, "Research Laboratory of Hydrothermal Synthesis" built in 1976 which was one of world largest laboratories for Hydrothermal Reactions. In the 1980s it was decided to develop Hydrothermal Ceramics". Professor Somiya and ProfessorYoshimura had some joint publications: a) peer-reviewed articles 193, b) other papers:34, c) Reviews: 25,and d) books : 21. They include several highly cited papers. According to those great success, a new Lab named Research Laboratory for New Ceramics Materials" was established in 1984 under Prof. Somiya’s direction. He was an Emeritus Professor of Tokyo Institute of Technology and an Emeritus Professor of Tokyo University of Science and Technology.

Prof. Somiya was a cofounder of MRS-Japan (1990) and IUMRS (1991) with Prof. Masao Doyama. The prestigious Somiya Award is named after him. He organized 20 International Meetings related on Ceramics & Hydro-Thermals. He got so many awards, they include 1) Iron Cross Award of Germany, 2) Purple Ribon Japan (1995),3) Distinguish Life Membership from the American Ceramics Society (1996), 4) Japan National Academy Award (1999), 5) MRS 2011 Medal, USA., etc. Prof. Somiya passed away on August 8, 2018.