Professor Koji Ikuta received his first B.S. in Material Science and Engineering, and his second B.S. and M.S. in Biophysical Engineering in 1977, 1979 and 1981 respectively from Osaka University. He received a Ph.D in Control Engineering from Tokyo Institute of Technology in 1987. He joined the Center for Robotic Systems in Microelectronics at the University of California, Santa Barbara in 1987. He was an assistant professor at the University of Tokyo and an associate professor at Kyusyu Institute of Technology. He has moved to Nagoya University as a full professor at the new department of micro/nano system engineering in 1994. He has moved to the University of Tokyo to upgrade his research from April in 2010.
Professor Ikuta is originally renowned for his pioneering work on Shape Memory Alloy(SMA) servo actuator and medical applications from the early 80s, and is the inventor of the world's first "Active Endoscope". Much research on SMA micro actuators, including new control methods and micro fabrication of SMA thin films, was performed during these years.
He successfully developed Micro Stereo Lithography(IH process) in 1992 and this method allowed10 micron robot hand to handle a single living cell. He has also proposed and investigated unique concepts for “Biochemical IC chips” since 1994. More recently, his research activities have focused on progress towards new micro devices for tissue engineering.
He was awarded more than 30 academic prizes for his outstanding research in biomedical micro machines (Bio-MEMS) and medical robotics from government and academic societies such as the Japanese Society of Mechanical Engineers (JSME) and several foundations. Outstanding Researcher Prize from Ministry of Education, Science and Culture of Japan, The Achievement award from American Association on Laboratory Automation and Best paper award from Japan Society of Robots etc. He received a Purple Medal from Japanese Emperor in 2010.