Superconductivity Awards Go to Leaders in Superconducting Magnet and Energy Technologies

ISTEC Leader Yuh Shiohara named "Superconductor Industry Person of the Year" and Oxford Instruments Engineering Chief Seung Hong wins "Lifetime Achievement Award" from leading industry newsletter Superconductor Week.

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Portland, OR (PRWEB) April 17, 2006

Superconductors are at the heart of several large and rapidly growing industries, ranging from magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to fusion energy research. Superconductors, which can transmit electricity with zero losses, may soon revolutionize other industries as well, including electric power, communications, computing, nanotechnology, and transportation. Superconductor Week, the leading publication on superconductor business and technology, today calls attention to two leaders at the forefront of the global superconductor industry.

The award for "Superconductor Industry Person of the Year," the industry's most prestigious international award in the development and commercialization of superconductors, has been bestowed upon Dr. Yuh Shiohara, Director of the Superconducting Tapes and Wires Division of the Superconductivity Research Laboratory at the International Superconductivity Technology Center (ISTEC) in Japan.

Dr. Shiohara is recognized by top peers in the industry for his broad vision and effective leadership at the head of Japan's national effort to develop high temperature superconducting (HTS) wire. HTS wire operates at the relatively warm temperature of liquid nitrogen -- a common industrial refrigerant -- and is expected to help solve some of the 21st century's most pressing needs, enabling a new generation of ultra-efficient motors, generators, power cables and devices, and magnetically levitated (maglev) trains.

"Much of the global effort to commercialize low-cost, high-performance HTS wire is centered on second generation (2G), YBCO coated conductor development," said Mark Bitterman, Executive Editor at Superconductor Week. "Dr. Shiohara's leadership in 2005 was essential to the impressive progress in 2G wire development reported by ISTEC last year, and also aided the two major industrial HTS wire manufacturers in Japan, Fujikura Ltd. and Sumitomo Electric Industries Ltd (TSE: 5802). His ability to effectively coordinate industrial, university, and governmental organizations is truly outstanding."

Shungo Suzuki, of the R&D Division of Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), added: "Under the leadership of Dr. Shiohara, we have passed key technical milestones for the practical use of HTS wire, and we are encouraged that the industry will now advance on a sure footing. As a result, we are now stepping up our efforts to reach our next targets. This award by Superconductor Week brings great pleasure not only to his colleagues, but also to the many others working in superconductivity around the world."

Dr. Shiohara joined ISTEC in 1988, and has been Director of the Division of Superconducting Tapes and Wires since 2003. He has published more than 300 papers. Under his direction, ISTEC set a world record for 2G wire in 2005, with a 245 ampere wire measuring 213 meters long.

For more information on Yuh Shiohara, see http://www.superconductorweek.com/scipoy/scipoy05more.htm

Superconductor Week has also named a winner of the prestigious "Superconductor Industry Lifetime Achievement Award." Seung Hong, Vice President of Engineering at Oxford Instruments (LSE:OXIG.L) Superconducting Technology business (OST), is recognized for his outstanding career and ongoing contributions to the development of world class low-temperature superconducting (LTS) wire.

"Dr. Hong has led superconductor development and engineering at OST for 25 years," said Bitterman. "His technical and business leadership has contributed as much as that of any person in history to the advancement of magnet applications. During his tenure at OST, the performance of both NbTi and Nb3Sn superconductor improved substantially, while production levels increased from a few tons to more than 500 tons per year. He continues to lead efforts to develop a new generation of higher field conductors based on HTS materials."

Steven Parker, President, OST, added: "This is a great honour for Dr. Hong personally, and for Oxford Instruments. Innovation has long been a driving force in our company, and Seung's achievements have continued this tradition and made a major contribution to our growth and success. This award is well-deserved, and we all congratulate him."

LTS wire is key to many of the most important technologies of our time. It is used to make magnets for MRI devices, the fastest growing diagnostic imaging modality, and also for magnets used in other growth industries including pharmaceuticals and materials research, and industrial processing. Fields such as high energy physics and fusion research also use LTS wire.

Dr. Hong has been the Vice President of Engineering at OST since 1989. During his tenure of technical and business management, OST has become the largest supplier of superconductor in the world.

For more information on Seung Hong, see http://www.superconductorweek.com/scipoy/scipoy05more.htm

About the Awards

The winners of Superconductor Week's Superconductor Industry Awards were determined by a panel of nine leading experts in science and industry from around the world working in every field of superconductivity. For information on the panel, visit: http://www.superconductorweek.com/scipoy/scipoy05_panel.htm .

Additional information on the awards is available at http://www.superconductorweek.com/scipoy/index.htm.

Last year's winners were Alex Malozemof, American Superconductor (Nasdaq: AMSC) , and Venkat "Selva" Selvamanickam, IGC SuperPower (Nasdaq: IMGC).

Founded in 1987, Superconductor Week is the leading provider of critical information and expert insight for the technology and business of superconductivity. Original reporting, exclusive interviews, and expert analysis cover medical, electric power, communications, military, basic science, nanotechnology, and other markets. For more information please visit: http://www.superconductorweek.com.

Mark Bitterman, Superconductor Week's Executive Editor, will present the awards' official plaques to the winners at the 2006 MRS Spring Meeting in San Francisco, Calif., and at the American Superconductivity Conference 2006 meeting in Seattle, Wash.

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