Meet the Editor:
Professor Yukiko Yamada-Takamura

In commemoration of International Women’s Day, we reached out to our female Editors in STEM for an interview on their experience as a woman in the field. In this edition of our “Meet the Editor” series, we speak to Professor Yukiko Yamada-Takamura, Associate Editor of Science and Technology of Advanced Materials (STAM).

Prof Takamura specializes in thin-film surfaces and interfaces, nanostructure physics, material fabrication and microstructure control. Her work goes beyond academic teaching where she also manages research teams and serves as member of other board of directors in the field.

Can you introduce yourself, give us a brief description about who you are, and where you are based in the world.

I am a professor in Materials Science holding a PhD in Metallurgy. I teach in Japan Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (JAIST) located in Ishikawa prefecture, which is Japan’s first national independent graduate school with campus founded in 1990.

Besides teaching courses and training graduate students through research on nanomaterials, I represent and manage our institute’s team in Advanced Research Infrastructure for Materials and Nanotechnology (ARIM) project lead by National Institute for Materials Science (NIMS) and funded by Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT). With that, 25 institutions share their research facilities to outside academic and industrial users providing technical support and collecting materials data to be shared, at the same time.  

I have also been active as a member of the board of directors in Thin Film and Surface Physics Division of the Japan Society of Applied Physics, and more recently, as a member of Committee on Nanotechnology and Materials Science in MEXT. Last year, I was newly appointed as an associate member of the Science Council of Japan. 

In a few sentences, please describe the focus of your work.

Since my student days, I have been interested in experimentally realizing materials which are not the most stable phase under ambient conditions, and thus difficult to synthesize. Recently, I have been working on experimentally realizing and characterizing novel two-dimensional (2D) materials, such as “silicene”, Si-version graphene.

Right now, I am collaborating with my colleagues in a “2.5-dimensional materials” project funded by MEXT to further explore the possibilities of interfacing different 2D materials and intercalating various atoms and molecules to produce novel materials with new functionalities.

Professor Yukiko Yamada-Takamura
Prof Takamura alongside graduating students and staffs in front of the enlarged title page of Sir Francis Bacon’s “Novum Organum” in the institute’s library. The book is among the library’s collection of rare books.

What led you to become an associate editor with STAM, and could you briefly share what your day-to-day role as an editor entails?   

Serving as an Associate Editor since 2015, I was first invited to join the editorial board after writing an invited review on silicene for STAM journal. One of my roles as an editor is to find expert reviewers for assigned manuscripts and collect reviews in reasonable time, so that we can make decisions on their publications. Additionally, I search and invite active researchers in our field, who could potentially contribute to STAM by writing reviews or original papers. I also advertise our journal whenever I have the opportunity.

Why should researchers submit to STAM?  

STAM is a fully open-access online journal which accepts research and review articles across all aspects of materials science. It offers golden open access publication of your manuscript with a reasonable article processing charge (APC). Additionally, in celebration of STAM’s 25th anniversary, authors can benefit from zero APC until 31 March 2025, courtesy of NIMS and Empa.

    What do you think are the most important steps needed to encourage more girls and young women to pursue careers in STEM?  

    I believe it is essential for parents, schoolteachers, and peers to actively encourage girls to pursue studies in mathematics, science, programming, and related fields from an early age. It’s crucial to consistently illustrate to young women that there are numerous career opportunities in STEM fields after their studies and that they are eagerly welcomed in these professions. 

    You’ve achieved significant success in a traditionally male-dominated field. What message do you have for the next generation of women leaders and innovators?  

    I beg you not to quit your career in STEM. We need you! 

    Prof Takamura together with her research group members in lab

      About the Journal

      Science and Technology of Advanced Materials (STAM) is a leading open access, international journal for outstanding research articles across all aspects of materials science. Our audience is the international community across the disciplines of materials science, physics, chemistry, biology as well as engineering.

      The journal covers a broad spectrum of topics including functional and structural materials, synthesis and processing, theoretical analyses, characterization and properties of materials. Emphasis is placed on the interdisciplinary nature of materials science and issues at the forefront of the field, such as energy and environmental issues, as well as medical and bioengineering applications.