Dr. Rie Umetsu to Receive 2019 Saruhashi Prize for Remarkable Women Scientists on her Analysis of Half-Metal Updated in June 2019

This year’s Saruhashi Prize for outstanding women scientists under age 50 will go to Rie Umetsu, Associate Professor at Tohoku University, Institute for Materials Research (IMR), for her analysis on a special type of metal called half-metal. The Association for the Bright Future for Women Scientists (Chairperson: Mizuho Ishida) announced this year’s recipient on April15. 2019 marks the 39th year since the prize started in 1980.

Dr. Umetsu received the prize for her study on “the physical properties of the Heusler-type functional magnetic materials including the half-metal-type magnets.” A half-metal is known to have the properties of both metal and semiconductor. It is expected to be applied to a wide range of fields like high performance hard disks. Dr. Umetsu is an expert on metal magnetism and solid-state physics. Using the synchrotron radiation emitted from Spring 8, the large synchrotron radiation facility in Hyogo prefecture, she was able to observe the electron’s state characterizing half-metal. She showed that radiation was useful to observe the state of electrons for half-metals. She also focused on “functional magnetic metal materials” consisting of metallic elements like manganese and cobalt, and was able to produce a single crystal of half-metal.

According to the Institute for Materials Research, Dr. Umetsu was born in Sendai (Miyagi prefecture). After graduating from Nara Women’s University, Faculty of Science, Physics Course, she completed her Ph.D at Tohoku University, Graduate School of Engineering. After she took the position of Assistant Professor at Tohoku University’s Institute for Materials Research (IMR), she became Associate Professor.

Recipient of the Saruhashi Prize: Dr. Rie Umetsu (Provided by Tohoku University Institute for Materials Research)