by Ken Oyama. Published: 08 December 2014

During the last ALICE week in Croatia, the ALICE collaboration board approved the "Nagasaki Institute of Applied Science" (NiAS) as a new full member of the ALICE collaboration.

NiAS is a technical private university founded in 1942 as a marine engineering and mechanical engineering school, from which great engineers in naval architecture have graduated.

NiAS is located in Nagasaki, a city in Kyushu area, Japan’s third largest island. From 17th to the 19th century, Nagasaki was the only city in Japan with an international trading post despite Japan’s self-imposed isolation policy. This made Nagasaki a unique and historically important city, where the traditional Japanese culture mixes with Asian and European culture. In the course of the 20th century, Nagasaki also became famous for the large shipyard of Mitsubishi Heavy Industrial.

Nowadays the activities of the faculty of engineering in NiAS have expanded to include engineering but also architecture, car engineering, electric power generation technology, clinical instrumentation, and electronics engineering.

In the past, the electrical and electronics engineering activities within the faculty led to significant contributions in the building of the PHENIX experiment. More specifically the group was involved in the development of the electronics for the PHENIX Ring Imaging Cherenkov detector (RICH), used for electron identification. Prof. Yoshito Tanaka, co-director of the university, played an important role in the PHENIX RICH project together with the University of Tokyo (Hideki Hamagaki, Ken Oyama et al.) when PHENIX was under construction.

On the other hand, the faculty of applied information technology has been a member of the ATLAS collaboration and has made a significant contribution to ATLAS computing.

Prof. Ken Oyama, is not new to ALICE as he has been working for the ALICE Transition Radiation Detector (TRD) as a member of the University of Heidelberg. However he is now rejoining ALICE as a team leader from NiAS.

One of the primary aims of his new group will be to make significant accomplishments in detector technology and electronics for high energy and nuclear physics experiments. The group plans to make important contributions in the ALICE TPC upgrade project, and to develop its readout electronics, namely common readout unit.Realizing the advanced TPC system with GEM technology, with continuous readout architecture is a key element for the future runs of the experiment.

It is not very common for Japanese private universities to become collaborators of such large physics experimental projects like ALICE. The cooperation with ALICE makes NiAS a quite unique university in Japan and will certainly benefit our growing field of high-energy nuclear physics.