Subaru Staff -Part 3-

March 11, 2002

We continue to introduce the day crew at Subaru Telescope. The day crew goes to the Subaru Telescope on the Mauna Kea summit and does various work during the day to prepare for nighttime observations. The day crew members Kiichi Okita, Masao Nakagiri, and Akihiko Miyashita appear in this month's issue. Okita and Nakagiri will leave Hawaii in April 2002. Okita will be based at the Okayama Astrophysical Observatory of NAOJ in Okayama Prefecture in Japan and Nakagiri at the Mitaka Campus of NAOJ in Tokyo (current as of date).


Day Crew
Kiichi Okita

From Okayama Prefecture, Japan
Hobbies : Drama and Golf
Worked at Okayama Astrophysical Observatory of Tokyo Observatory (former organization of NAOJ) for 20 years. Joined in the Subaru construction project at Mitaka Campus in Tokyo and then moved to Hawaii.

- What is your job at Subaru Telescope?

I came to Hawaii as a construction supervisor. My roles were watching the construction, checking the conditions, and reporting them to Mitaka Campus. After the completion of the summit facilities, I participated in the operation and maintenance of the telescope itself. I continue such work as a day crew member.

- How did you become interested in this type of work?

It was some sort of quirk of fate. I never imagined that I would work at an astronomical observatory. However, I liked technical staff, so I call my self an “Astro-engineer.”

- How do you spend your weekend?

Mostly playing golf. My wife scolds me for that.

- What advice would you give to people who hope to find a job like yours?

What I want to say is: “Pay close attention to what’s happening in the workplace now” This is very fundamental. To figure out what is needed in any situation, you have to gain experience. This is how an engineer who can make an appropriate judgment in an instant is born.



Day Crew
Masao Nakagiri

From Okayama Prefecture, Japan
Hobbies : Judo, Baseball, and Golf
Worked at Okayama Astrophysical observatory since 1961. After moving to Tokyo, worked in the Stellar-Classification, Solar Physics, Spectroscopy, Galactic Studies and Optical and Near Infrared Astronomy Divisions at the Mitaka Campus of Tokyo Observatory, while attending evening school. Participated in the Subaru construction project for 20 years. Moved to Hawaii in 1994.


- What do you do at Subaru Telescope?

I work as a “mobile crew.” That includes helping day crew members, inspecting the entire summit facilities of the telescope, dome, and control building, and guiding guests. I’ve been writing an inspection report almost every day for several years now.

- How did you become interested in this kind of work?

I was interested in astronomy as well as chemistry when I was young. So here I am now, working for Subaru. Life’s a mystery. We cannot imagine what is going to happen.

- What do you think of your current job?

In any workplace there are people doing different tasks to get the job done. As Subaru, there is a diverse group of people including researchers and engineers. As an engineer, I am happy to be at a first rate institution doing interesting work.

- How do you spend your free time?

I play golf with my wife almost every weekend. Also, everyday on my way to the summit of Mauna Kea, I climb cinder cones around Hale Pohaku during the time we spend to adjust to high altitude.



Day Crew
Akihiko Miyashita

From Nagano Prefecture, Japan
Hobbies : Photography and Sports
Worked at Mitaka Campus in Tokyo for several years. Joined the Subaru construction project in the 1980s and investigated the atmospheric conditions of the candidate sites for Subaru, while doing research on the solar system. Worked on determining the shape of the dome. Continues to work on improving the seeing.


- What is your job at Subaru Telescope?

As a day crew member, I work on instrument exchanges, secondary mirror (*) exchanges, and pre-inspection before observations. I also investigate observing conditions so that Subaru Telescope can obtain even clearer images.

- How did you become interested in this type of work?

When I was a high school student, I was really interested in astronomy and was an amateur astronomer. I think I got this Subaru job by chance.

- How do you spend your weekends here?

I play golf every weekend, because I do not have a place to travel in Hawaii Island anymore.

- What advice would you give to people reading this page?

If you work hard, you will encounter interesting jobs and opportunities. This is true for anything, not only for Subaru or astronomy.


(*) Secondary mirror : a mirror attached to the prime focus to lead star light to the Cassegrain and Nasmyth foci.


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