Subaru Staff -Part 7-

May 17, 2004

We will introduce staff of the operation center (current as of date).

Operation Center
Takuya Yamashita

From Osaka
Hobbies: Astronomy, Radio-controlled airplanes

- What is your job at Subaru?

As the chief of the support scientist division, I manage three groups: the day crew, the operators, and the support scientists. It is also an important task for me to arrange the telescope-observing schedule. I also schedule special projects, such as tests of the telescope and instruments. I need to change the schedule as the occasion demands. I am making short and long terms plans for the telescope observing procedures. For instance, I am working on establishing new ways of observing.

- What made you work at Subaru Telescope?

I got my PhD when Subaru Telescope was still in its planning stage. I decided to join the Subaru project, because I was interested in building our own large telescope. In 1999, an observational instrument COMICS, which was made at the Mitaka headquarters, was transported to Hawaii. I came along with COMICS. I used to work with the instruments, now I manage the operations.

- What is your field of study?

I study the birth of stars and planets. COMICS, which we made, show us detailed information of proto planetary disks, where planets are forming, because it is an infrared instrument.

- How do you spend your time off?

I fly a radio-controlled airplane at a wide-open field in Hilo. I am still learning how to control an airplane, but I am working on an original design.

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

It is a pre-requisite that you have a doctorate in astronomy or a closely related field, since a support scientist is an astronomer. I recommend you to study astronomy or physics at university.

Operation Center
Saeko S. Hayashi

Born and raised in Akita and Fukushima

- What is your responsibility at Subaru?

Right now I wear two hats. One hat is to arrange the work of the summit day crew. The other is to help run the Director’s office. For the smooth operation of the telescope, I am trying to coordinate the daytime work at the telescope site. I am also sort of a link between the summit day crew, the summit night crew, support scientists, telescope engineers, instrument crews, contractors, and so forth. If needed, I go to the summit on weekends as one of the day crews. During the past winter, I had to shovel snow off the dome which is 12 stories high.

- What is the crucial part in your work?

To communicate well with the specialists what they are required to do. The priority is to keep the telescope running. So I do not hesitate to walk up to a big guy and give commands.

- Do you have any message for youth who are interested in working at a telescope like Subaru?

From my experience with the staff here, I firmly believe that anybody who is strongly motivated to be creative at research or engineering, and is also willing to support others’ productivity will do a good job at Subaru. Also it is important to be aware of the need to share scientific results with the wider community. Communication is also a big issue. I do not mean fluency in English. Anybody willing to speak with broken English, to colleagues or to the general public, is welcome.

Operation Center
Kazuhito Namikawa

From Osaka
Hobbies: Golf, Motorbike

- What is your background?

I used to maintain cars and maintain and sell motor bikes.

- What made you work at Subaru?

When I was working as an administrative clerk at a national university in Japan, I was asked to work for Subaru. I came to Hawaii in January 2000.

- What is your job at Subaru ?

I worked at the facilities office when I started at Subaru Telescope. Now, I am working as technical staff since it suits me better. My job is to go up to Mauna Kea several times a week, and work on the observational instruments and the telescope. I am still learning. At the Hilo office, I schedule jobs for the summit day crew so their work can be done before observation begins.

- Do you have a message for youth who are interested in a job like yours?

Learn about anything that comes your way. Technical details in any field change all the time, so you have to learn them gradually. If you have good judgment, you can do anything. Being interested in your job is also important.

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