Honorary Degree Recipient
- Doctor of Science, Purdue University 1999
Professor Shoji Tanaka, Director of the Superconductivitv Research Laboratory, Tokyo, Japan, the recipient of a 1999 Honorary Degree of Doctor of Science from Purdue University, is internationally recognized for his extraordinarily productive and creative research career as an experimental physicist in condensed matter physics spanning many decades. He has made numerous significant and seminal contributions to the physics of semiconductors, transition metal dichalogenides and oxide superconductors including the spectacular high-Tc superconductors. As one of the leading members of the Japanese physics community, as the Vice President of the International Superconductivity Technology Center and as the Director of the Superconductivity Technology Center, Shoji Tanaka has played an influential role in the high prestige Japanese science and technology enjoys internationallly.
After a distinguished career at the doctoral level in the late 1950s, Dr. Tanaka became a member of the physics faculty of Tokyo University. Attracted by Purdue's reputation as an important U.S. center of research in semiconductors, he came in 1959 to collaborate with Professor H. Y. Fan, a very prominent member of our physlcs department. He became Professor of Physics at the University of Tokyo in 1968, a position he held with great distinction until his retirement in 1988.
In 1986, when Bednorz and Müller made the epoch-making discovery that certain oxides can become superconductors at temperatures significantly higher than those at which the conventional superconductors did, it was Tanaka's group which validated it by confirming it. The position Japan commands in the field of high Tc superconductors, an area of extraordinary importance in basic science and its applications, is in no small measure due to Professor Tanaka's scientific vision and preeminence as a scientist.