PERSON : Dr. Randy Jalem (Philippines)
This corner focuses on a person who has made remarkable achievements at NITech.
Dr. Randy Jalem (Philippines)
Alumnus of Nagoya Institute of Technology
National Institute for Materials Science(NIMS).
I came to Japan from the Philippines last 2008 to do my postgraduate studies. I was inspired to go to NITech because of its reputation for cutting-edge research on materials science, a field in which I am very interested with. In fact, the university is located in Aichi prefecture which is where you can find many of known ceramics-based products and related industries in the country. I am very much grateful for the knowledge and skills that I gained there, without a doubt they had enabled me to soar to great heights. NITech has provided me with the most suitable environment for learning and for my well-being, not only within the walls of the school but also outside of it. Tsurumai park, for instance, is conveniently just in front of the campus, and was a regular getaway for me when I wanted to enjoy nature or simply when I wanted to relax.
In my first 6 months, I was given the opportunity to attend the intensive class for the Japanese language at NITech's language center. The proficiency I gained had greatly helped me in my daily life in Japan. Not only through the language, but through firsthand experiences for Japanese traditional activities such as tea ceremony, traditional flower arrangement and origami making, I came to a deeper appreciation and understanding of the Japanese culture. It was also the time when I was able to meet and interact with many foreign students who were studying at the time just like me. I gained many new friends from all over the world.
I joined Prof. Masayuki Nogami's group in the Department of Frontier Materials for my Master’s study. Prof. Nogami was very supportive, both technically and personally, and was very active in directly engaging with me for discussions and in terms of exploring directions related to my research work. The laboratory is well-equipped, so I was able to concentrate on coming up with novel and creative ideas. My study then was about developing nanoparticles catalysts for self-cleaning glasses and fuel cell application. Specifically, I investigated several materials which include tin oxide photocatalysts and Pt metal catalysts in their monometallic, multimetallic, and core-shell forms.
After Master's degree, I went to Doctor course in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering under the supervision of Prof. Masanobu Nakayama. Just like my supervisor during Master course, Prof. Nakayama was also very supportive technically and intellectually. My research had shifted under him, that is, instead of experiments, I was doing physics-driven computational modeling of lithium/sodium ion battery materials. One specific area that I studied is on the development of computational techniques that combine both ab initio DFT and experimental data to accelerate material property screening and exploration. I also studied ion transport property evaluation by molecular dynamics, defect chemistry calculation, crystal structure prediction based on evolutionary algorithms, and phase stability and phase transition of battery cathodes. I was able to publish many of my results in international high-impact-factor scientific journals. Also, I received the prestigious NITech University President’s Award for Research Encouragement during my graduation.
After PhD, I became a postdoctoral researcher, continuing my computational works on battery materials. I was employed at first under the Unit of Elements Strategy Initiative for Catalysts & Batteries (ESICB) group of Kyoto University. At present, I am now doing my postdoc work at the National Institute for Materials Science (NIMS)- Global Research Center for Environment and Energy Based on Nanomaterials Science (GREEN), Tsukuba.