2024 IEEE DEIS Dakin Winners Announced

The IEEE Dielectrics and Electrical Insulation Society (DEIS) has two DEIS-level technical awards that it bestows every two years.  They are the highest-level IEEE technical awards in the dielectrics and electrical insulation field.  DEIS President Davide Fabiani announced the winners of the 2024 awards in April. Prof Yoshimichi Ohki is the 2024 Dakin Award recipient.

The IEEE DEIS THOMAS W. DAKIN DISTINGUISHED TECHNICAL CONTRIBUTIONS AWARD was first given 1978.  The Dakin award recognizes outstanding, original contributions in advancing the technology of dielectrics and electrical insulation.   

Prof Yoshimichi Ohki

Prof Ohki giving his last lecture to students, graduates, faculty staff, and guests at Waseda University in 2021, just before he retired as Professor. He is now Professor-Emeritus at Waseda.

Prof Ohki is well known in the IEEE DEIS community for his volunteer work and as a prolific researcher of many different subjects in the dielectrics area.  Prof Ohki has spent most of his career at Waseda University in Tokyo, Japan.  He achieved his Bachelor’s, Master’s and Dr. of Engineering degrees from Waseda University, the latter in 1978.  The doctoral thesis was on the flashover of solid dielectric surfaces in vacuum.  Throughout his career he has investigated many aspects of the effect of radiation on organic and inorganic insulating materials.  This initially started out as a project in the 1980s to understand the effect of large electromagnetic pulses (for example from nuclear weapons) on insulation, and later more generally the effect of different types of radiation (nuclear, ultraviolet) on insulation materials.  This work found great significance in nuclear plant applications.  This naturally led to the more general topic of fire safety on wire and cable insulation in nuclear plants, an important issue to extend the life of existing nuclear plants.  Prof Ohki was also deeply involved with the development of HVDC power cables in Japan.  He and his students were involved with assessing the suitability of various polymers for use in DC cables, including the use of nano-fillers.  His work resulted in the first HVDC submarine power cable between the Japanese mainland and Hokkaido Island in 2012, and a 400 kV DC XLPE submarine cable between the UK and Belgium in 2019.  Prof Ohki also led many investigations into dielectric phenomena in general, including research into novel biometric sensors that are now in commercial use.  The results of all this research is over 1800 papers, including over 350 journal and over 350 conference papers published in English. In addition, he has written 7 engineering textbooks in Japanese and 2 in English.

Yoshimichi’ s broad understanding of physics and engineering, plus his specific research accomplishments saw him appointed to several government agencies, including the Japan Nuclear Regulation Authority’s Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency and the OECD’s Nuclear Energy Agency.  Prof Ohki has been a long-time volunteer with the Institute of Electrical Engineers- Japan (IEEJ), including organizing conferences, being involved in standards-making and various leadership roles including serving as its Vice-President.   Prof Ohki has been a Fellow of the IEEE since 2000 and a Fellow of the IEEJ since 2012.  He has received about 20 awards recognizing his work from many organizations around the world.  He has been a visiting professor at several universities and research institutes.  Besides his volunteer involvement with several IEEE conferences, Prof Ohki has contributed articles to the IEEE Electrical Insulation Magazine since 1988 – that is close to 220 “News from Japan” articles.  See the editorial on this in the July 2020 issue of the IEEE Electrical Insulation Magazine.  Based on his technical accomplishmwetns over the past 46 years, it is self-evident why Dr. Ohki was selected by the IEEE DEIS as the 2024 IEEE Dakin Award winner. 

Prof Ohki will receive his award, and give an invited lecture, at the 2024 IEEE International Conference on Dielectrics in Toulouse, France.