– For Invention: Neodymium Magnet, World's Strongest Permanent Magnet, Enabling Significant IT Advancements for Society –
The Honda Foundation in Tokyo held the 44th Honda Prize Award Ceremony on November 16, 2023, where it awarded this year's prize to Dr. Masato Sagawa of Japan (advisor to Daido Steel and president of NDFEB Corporation) and Dr. John J. Croat of the United States (former president of John Croat Consulting, Inc.).
Dr. Masato Sagawa and Dr. John J. Croat: https://cdn.kyodonewsprwire.jp/prwfile/release/M106338/202311283430/_prw_PI1fl_T7QT6Zn2.jpg
Awardees deliver commemorative lectures: https://cdn.kyodonewsprwire.jp/prwfile/release/M106338/202311283430/_prw_PI2fl_lhPoOqCk.jpg
Honda Foundation President Hiroto Ishida commented, "Utilized in a wide range of fields that include electronics, industrial machinery, and automobiles, permanent magnets are essential in modern society as a basic material. Dr. Sagawa and Dr. Croat's independent magnet research has facilitated IT advancements for society by enabling significantly lighter motors, smaller hard drives, and more. Neodymium magnets, which make up 95% of the permanent magnet market, are advancing energy-saving technologies to reduce CO2 emissions. As demand for neodymium magnets rises in the effort to achieve a carbon-neutral society, we are pleased to award the Honda Prize to these two distinguished scientists."
Honda Prize Selection Committee Chairman Hirohisa Uchida said, "Dr. Sagawa and Dr. Croat's invention of the Nd-Fe-B permanent magnet, an unprecedented super-strong magnet, has impacted various industries. Neodymium magnets, with their powerful magnetic force, have driven significant IT advancements, contributing to energy conservations, reduction of fossil fuel reliance, and the journey toward a carbon-neutral society. Global demand is rising as electrification and motor efficiency improvements fuel development of energy-saving technologies to curb CO2 emissions. This reflects the global commitment to policies aligned with the SDGs. As Soichiro Honda said, the basic principle of eco-technology aims to 'make people happy through technology.' In view of the invention's alignment with the Honda Foundation's policy of prioritizing eco-technology and recognizing achievements worthy of the Honda Prize, we are pleased to present them with this award."
Upon the presentation of the awards and medals to both doctors, Dr. Croat stated, "It is a great honor to receive the Honda Prize, and I am grateful to be able to receive this award together with Dr. Sagawa, whom I deeply respect. Reflecting on our journey, both of us independently discovered the same substance in the early 1980s. Today, neodymium magnets are essential in a variety of fields, and I am elated that we were able to make this remarkable discovery."
Both doctors shared insights into their academic journeys, professional experiences, and their discovery of neodymium magnets.
"I lacked confidence as a student," Dr. Sagawa said. "However, my time for working for companies allowed me to apply the research knowledge gained in the graduate school, immersing myself in magnet research. Now I encourage young people to pursue a career in science."
Meanwhile, Dr. Croat said, "The discovery of neodymium magnets has enabled major technological innovations, including the miniaturization of household appliances and the development of computers. It continues to be used in various high-tech applications even today. I am thrilled and honored to have played a role in its discovery and development."
Dr. Sagawa's research and biography: https://kyodonewsprwire.jp/attach/202311283430-O1-T8HSiax4.pdf
Dr. Croat's research and biography: https://kyodonewsprwire.jp/attach/202311283430-O2-1vLpgM0l.pdf
History of permanent magnet research/ Present and future of neodymium magnets: https://kyodonewsprwire.jp/attach/202311283430-O3-BEzBzzM3.pdf
About Honda Foundation: https://kyodonewsprwire.jp/attach/202311283430-O4-03J0h6bw.pdf
Honda Foundation's official website: https://www.hondafoundation.jp/en/
Source: Honda Foundation