Masaki Suenaga - Feb. 13, 2009
Masaki Suenaga of Bellport, a retired award-winning scientist at Brookhaven National Laboratory and an adjunct professor at Stony Brook University, died Feb. 13 at age 71.
Dr. Suenaga received the IEEE Council on Superconductivity Awards For Contributions in the Field Of Applied Superconductivity during the 2008 Applied Superconductivity Conference, which was held last September in Chicago, IL. After receiving his Award, Dr. Suenaga said, "I feel fortunate that I've been able to do work that I like and that my research has resulted in useful technologies."
Suenaga's study of the superconductor niobium-tin helped to lay the groundwork for the first high-temperature superconductor power transmission cable system. That system, installed last year by the Long Island Power Authority in Holbrook, allows for the use of far less cable to conduct many times more power than more traditional systems.
Born in Shimonoseki, Japan, Suenaga moved to the United States after high school, and attended the University of California at Berkeley. There, he earned a bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering in 1962, a master's degree in engineering in 1964, and a doctorate in metallurgy in 1969.
Yoko Suenaga, his wife, said her husband loved reading, studying and researching everything. "For instance," she said, "before we'd go to Italy or Spain, he'd borrow books and study their history and culture ... He was devoted to research, a never-ending job ... his whole life."
Suenaga was diagnosed with leukemia about two years ago, and retired from Brookhaven Lab about that time, his wife said, but he maintained office space at the lab, and continued to work three days a week as a guest scientist.
He first joined Brookhaven Lab in 1969 as an assistant metallurgist, moving up through higher positions over the years until he became senior metallurgist in 1983. He was an adjunct professor of material sciences at Stony Brook, and was honored in November by the lab with the title of Senior Scientist Emeritus.
Diane Greenberg, a lab spokeswoman said in a statement after his death, "The title is given to BNL retired scientists ... who have made particularly noteworthy contributions to the Laboratory's reputation as a world-class scientific institution."
In addition to his wife, of Bellport, he is survived by his mother, Aiko Suenaga of Shimonoseki; two sons, Ken of Yokohoma, Japan, and Ben of Manhattan; and two grandsons.
Suenaga was to be buried in Japan this week.
A memorial service is tentatively planned for next month on Long Island.
Source: Newsday, 21 February 2009