Monday, June 22, 2020

AOCS Award of Merit Winner Feature – Masaki Tsumadori

Q&A with Masaki Tsumadori, winner of the AOCS Award of Merit

A brief bio: Masaki Tsumadori retired from Kao Corporation in February 2016 as a Research Fellow in Strategy Research, R&D and as the director of the Kao Eco-Lab Museum. He is now a Senior R&D Advisor at Kao Corporation. He also runs his own global consulting business in the field of R&D planning. 

Masaki Tsumadori earned a master’s degree in Polymer Chemistry from the Nagoya Institute of Technology in 1977. Tsumadori began his career at Kao Corporation in 1977, working as a research chemist developing fabric and home care products. He subsequently held senior positions across Research & Development, including manager of hard surface cleaners from 1987 and director of fabric care products such as laundry detergents, fabric softeners and bleaches from 1997. During the years 1997 - 2002, he played key roles in the development and launch of powder and liquid laundry detergents in Japan and Asian countries, including the Attack brand. He was appointed Vice President of Global R&D, Fabric and Home Care of Kao Corporation in 2002. Tsumadori was a member of the governing board of AOCS from 2011 to 2016 and has been supporting the World Conference on Fabric and Home Care as a member of the Executive Committee since 2010. 

1) How did it feel to win the AOCS Award of Merit?

I am very honored and grateful. I think that in my future business activities, winning this award will give me a more positive evaluation.

2) How did you get started in the field that you are studying or working in?

After graduating from the graduate school, I joined Kao Corporation and was assigned to the Household Research Laboratories. At Kao, I started to engage in research on surfactants and formulation technologies.

3) Can you tell us more about your work and/or research?

When I was working for Kao, I oversaw the development of products for household and professional use detergents, finishing agents, cleaning agents, and also responding to environmental issues. Since retiring from Kao in 2016, I have been working as an advisor for several companies and academia, taking advantage of my experience at Kao.

4) What challenges have you overcome during your course of study or your career?

The development of new technology and products is a challenge itself, as is the development of new technology and products, both of which mean tackling unprecedented things (things not written in textbooks). Discussions with many people will give me ideas. It can be said that the challenge is to believe in my creativity and push forward.

5) What advice can you share on how you have achieved success thus far in your career, whether that be entering a graduate program or a lengthy career in a prestigious position?

The development of innovative technology requires the cooperation of many people. To do so, it is necessary to first create a wide network of contacts, and then create good relationships so that useful information can come in smoothly from that network of contacts. Needless to say, after gaining knowledge from a wide range of contacts, one's creativity is important at the end.

6) Why did you decide to volunteer with AOCS?

I have attended the AOCS Annual Meeting and the Fabric & Home Care World Conference for a long time. When I was invited to the AOCS Board and the World Conference Program Committee and was able to get the approval of Kao, I did not hesitate to participate. I would be incredibly happy if the activities at AOCS Board or the World Conference Program Committee, contributed to AOCS.

7) How has AOCS helped you in your career?

The fact that I was able to form an international network and network with people from different fields through AOCS has helped me a lot.

8) What are some fond memories or experiences you’ve had from AOCS service?

I have fond memories of presentations at AOCS conferences and symposia, which give me the opportunity to meet and discuss with top executives of industry and academia directly at the AOCS Board Conference and the Fabric & Home Care World Conference Program Committee.
Check out the AOCS Awards video featuring him:

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