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Yamamura Establishes First Graduate Fellowship in Mechanical Engineering

Endowment of $250,000 is largest from an international alumnus

When Akira Yamamura, ME '69, arrived at Northeastern from Japan, he was a struggling graduate student. Professor Arthur Foster, then-chair of the mechanical engineering department, took Yamamura under his wing and helped him to secure a much-needed teaching assistantship. Foster also introduced him to the emerging field of thermoelectric and served as his thesis advisor on that same topic.

Yamamura credits Northeastern for setting him on the path to his professional success. "I would not be where I am today without Northeastern."

The events determined the focus of Yamamura's studies and, ultimately, his career.

Today, Yamamura lives in Tokyo and serves as president of Ferotec Corporation, a $100 million technology company. The company's products include thermoelectric, which are used in a wide range of industrial applications.

Yamamura credits Northeastern for setting him on the path to his professional success. "I would not be where I am today without Northeastern," Yamamura said.

In the thirty years since graduating from NU, Yamamura has kept in close contact with his mentor, now retired Professor Foster, and visited Northeastern several times.

On his last trip to campus, Yamamura toured several research labs and spent time with current engineering students. These connections inspired him to endow a $250,000 graduate fellowship, the Akira Yamamura Graduate Fellowship in Mechanical Engineering that will provide financial assistance to doctoral students. It is the largest gift Northeastern has ever received from an international alumnus.

"I knew this would be an important and worthwhile investment," said Yamamura.

"We are grateful to Akira for establishing the first graduate to Akira for establishing the first graduate fellowship in mechanical engineering," said John Cipolla, chair if the Department of Mechanical, Industrial, and Manufacturing Engineering.

"This enables us to recognize especially outstanding PhD candidates. Three students are already receiving support from the fund."

Graduate fellowships and undergraduate scholarships to help Northeastern preserve its legacy of educational opportunity for talented students of all economic backgrounds. Alumni and friends currently support more than six hundred endowed scholarships and fellowships.

Yamamura, an emeritus member of Northeastern's National Council, received an Outstanding Engineering Alumni Award from the college in February 2003.

Mechanical Engineering Department
  This article appeared in the Summer 2001 issue of Forefront.          

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