By Gurpreet Singh

Masaki Narisawa graduated in 1989 from Tohoku University, Japan, with a Ph.D. in chemistry. From 1989–1992, he worked on carbon fibers and polymer derived ceramics (PDCs) at the Osaka National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology.

Narisawa started his academic career in 1992, as an assistant professor in the Department of Metal Engineering at Osaka Prefecture University. In 2005, he was promoted to associate professor. Narisawa’s academic research focused on characterization of silicon carbide fibers in high-temperature environments. His research has led to numerous commercial applications, such as ultra-fine silicon carbide fibers and silicon oxycarbide fibers. His most recent research project involved the synthesis of a novel polycarbosilane derived from carbon dioxide.

From 2006–2008, Narisawa served as chief of the Inorganic Polymers Division for the Society of Polymer Science in Japan. In 2018, he got involved with the National Science Foundation Partnerships for International Research and Education project on polymer-derived ceramics. Throughout his illustrious career, Narisawa actively participated in research projects throughout Europe, the U.S., and Asia. He published over 100 research papers in peer-reviewed journals, was granted 10 patents, and delivered numerous lectures at conferences and universities across the globe.

At a personal level, Narisawa was a most gentle, intellectual, and compassionate person with a subtle sense of humor. He will be missed and remembered. In the summer of 2016, he visited the University of Colorado Boulder for a few months with his daughter. He shared the office with his host, Rishi Raj, who is reminded of those lovely and sweet times. He was a warm host when Raj visited him in Osaka, taking him to old bars in the basement, where they fried this and that with glasses of cold beer. These events are etched in his memory.