Visiting Fellow Prof Shogo Mori has been working at the Intelligent Polymer Research Institute (IPRI) from Japan’s Shinshu University for the past six weeks, strengthening his collaborative work with University of Wollongong (UOW) researchers, particularly Prof Attila Mozer and A/Prof Pawel Wagner.
The visit was once a yearly occurrence until the COVID-19 pandemic halted international travel. Thankfully, however, after what has been two years in the making, Prof Mori was able to return to Wollongong and continue to work hands on at IPRI once again.
During his visit, we caught up with Prof Mori to find out more about his work, collaborations with IPRI and more.
What’s your current role at Shinshu University?
I’m a professor in physical chemistry but mainly teach physics and quantum mechanics for the Faculty of Textile Science and Technology, Division of Chemistry and Materials.
You mentioned to me that you’ve been collaborating with Prof Mozer for some time? How did that first come about?
Prof Mozer was a postdoc in Japan at Osaka University at the same time I was – and this is where we met. He was interested in similar areas of research that I was doing, which led to us forming a relationship. We have worked together ever since.
How did you find researching during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic with lockdowns and labs closed for example?
Of course we couldn’t visit partners overseas but it did allow me to be able to concentrate on specific research, which was nice. Although we didn’t have any face to face meetings, we were able to achieve most outcomes virtually. However, it is really great to be back here now and to catch up in person.
I know you’ve visited IPRI many times before. What was the purpose of your return this time around?
I’ve been collaborative with Prof Mozer and A/Prof Wagner, as well as Director Prof Gordon Wallace, for many years on various work, but mostly on solar cells. This area, however, hasn’t been as of much interest for as many people lately so we have been focusing more on electron transfer. We’ve been exploring the fundamental mechanisms for this. We also have a discovery project we are working on, which was delayed because of COVID.
That being said, the main purpose is for not only for our current collaboration but also to facilitate new opportunities between IPRI and Shinshu University. While I am here, I have been talking to lots of people to create new relationships. I’d like to expand our research areas further than energy and materials. I still have a week of my visit to go, so I hope to have even more interactions and create even more opportunities before I leave.
Thanks for your time, Shogo – and safe travels on your return to Japan.