From the Nanoscale to Outer Space. Senior Engineer Connecting People Around the World with Optical Communications.
In this 21st member interview, we interviewed engineer Hino. He joined us in September of this year after working for a major electronics manufacturer until retirement and we asked him about his thoughts on the field of optical communications.
Utilizing His Experience in Optical Disc Development Gained at a Major Manufacturer
-Please tell us about your current responsibilities as an engineer.
I am currently working on the development of technology to control weak light with high precision to promote the practical application of spatial light communication technology.
-How did you gain your experience in"light"?
I majored in physics at Hiroshima University and dealt with condensed matter theory in my academic lab. I was involved in experiments using laser light to observe the state of DNA and polymers in liquids under high voltage.
After graduation, I started working for Panasonic and was assigned to the optical disc development department because I had worked with laser beams when I was a student.
Today, CDs and DVDs are widely used by people around the world, but at the time I joined Panasonic, optical discs were still in the development stage. I was also in charge of technical development and gained a lot of valuable experience from elemental development to management.
-You have developed that Blu-ray disc!
I think this is the result of working hard with the manufacturers and development teams who worked hard on the standardization.
-Did you have any opportunities to do space-related work while working for Panasonic?
I once conducted an exposure experiment to demonstrate the reliability of optical discs by exposing them to outer space from Kibo on the International Space Station. I was thrilled when I could read the data.
A Space Startup He Jumped into with a Longing from Apollo
-How did you come across WARPSPACE after working in product development for a major manufacturer?
I had known for about a year that there was a startup company taking on the challenge of optical communications.
After I retired last year, I wanted to do the kind of exciting work again that I had experienced when I joined the company, where a small number of people take on new challenges. So I contacted WARPSPACE directly by e-mail and decided to join in September 2022.
-What motivated you to take on this new challenge?
For a long time, I had thought that it would be great if I could have a job that would allow me to both be useful to the world as an engineer and also be exciting for myself. Working at WARPSPACE was a process of changing the world from 0 to 1, and I think the fact that I was able to contribute to the world as a result of that process was a major factor. In addition, I had a longing for space ever since I saw the Apollo 11 moon landing when I was in elementary school, and I was able to make up my mind to try a job in the space industry. When I started working here, I found that both young and experienced employees work equally, and I think it is a great company to work for.
-What was the reaction from your family?
They gave me a positive push to go. I am the only one in Tsukuba now, but we are talking about inviting my family to move to Tsukuba sometime in the future.
Technology Does Not Lie.
-The relevance of optical technology handled at Panasonic and optical communications at WARPSPACE.
The technology used in optical discs and optical communications are very similar in terms of control methods and components, and there is a deep technical connection. We are going to achieve accuracy in a series of processes of sending out light, receiving it, and processing signals in space, and we need to achieve this over a much longer distance than with optical disks. For this reason, I have daily discussions with our CTO, on what breakthroughs in optical communications will make it easier to use, and what we can do for the world in the future.
-What do you keep in mind from your experience in team management?
In technology development where multiple companies collaborate, there is a lot of arguing at first, and each company’s ideas and requirements are exchanged. From my previous experience, it is not always easy to reach a mutual understanding at first, but we gradually come to an understanding, and a team is formed.
Technology does not lie, and when engineers work with each other and with the desire to improve the industry, we share the same feelings. The most important thing is to work hard together while understanding each other’s corporate culture from the perspective of creating good products. The other thing is a drinking party.
-Do you have a vision for the future in optical communications?
The field of optical communications is still in its development stage, and there are many issues to be solved and hurdles to overcome to realize high-speed, large-capacity communications in real-time in space.
I hope to solve them one by one and to use optical communications to connect people all over the world, from people and regions that have not been connected before, and to create new values by connecting diverse people in real-time, which I hope will lead to the realization of a better society.
Compass Of Behavior
-Lastly, what is the Compass of Behavior that you value the most?
I would like to value all of them, but the most important one is “Leap’’.
Sometimes, without realizing it, I tend to frame my thinking and close off possibilities. I would like to continue to develop new technologies by working with my own hands to make the optical communication of WARPSPACE a “Leap” project.