Kiyoshi Hirao is a principal research manager at the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science & Technology (AIST), Japan. He received a B.S. from Nagaoka University of Technology in 1982, and a Ph.D. from Osaka University in 1988. He joined the Sumitomo Metal Ceramics Co. Ltd., Japan from 1982 through1991, mainly engaging in R&D of ceramic substrates. In 1991 he moved to the National Industrial Research Institute of Nagoya, which was integrated into AIST in 2001.
Dr. Hirao’s main scientific interests are development of silicon nitrides with better mechanical and thermal properties, and novel processing for advanced ceramic materials. He has succeeded in fabricating textured silicon nitrides exhibiting the harmonic enhancement of mechanical properties by the combination of the seeding and shear generating forming methods. It was the world’s first success in producing Si3N4 ceramics with uni-directionally aligned rodlike grains.
To date, he has published over 200 articles, and has filed about 80 applications for domestic and international patents. He has received numerous awards including the Director General Award of Science and Technology Agency from the Japanese Government in 1998, Academy Achievement Award from the Ceramic Society of Japan in 2006, and Honor Medal of Aurel Stodola from the Slovak Academy of Sciences in 2011. He is a member of The American Ceramic Society, and is part of the Engineering Ceramics Division.
His current research work includes the development of high thermal conductivity Si3N4 substrates for semiconductor power modules, combustion syntheses of nitride powders, and microwave syntheses of high purity powders.