Jiro Funamoto

Jiro FunamotoUniversity of Sydney
Aerospace Engineering and Advanced Science

I was born and raised in Australia to a Korean mother and a Japanese father. I recall that in my younger years I always enjoyed making toys out of wood, rubber bands, electronics and anything I could find around the house. When asked what I wanted to become, I would always answer an inventor. Physics and chemistry in high school taught me that it was possible to characterize the workings of the world in a much more systematic way. I was quickly attracted not only to the beauty of the world but also in its potential to unlocking ideas previously unimaginable. I naturally headed in the direction of engineering and science.

I attended the University of Sydney where I studied Aerospace Engineering and Advanced Science. During my degree I was fortunate to have been able to do research in a large number of fields. In technology, I experienced satellite systems engineering, photonic technologies for telescopes and medical applications, and the development of miniature plasma thrusters for nano-satellites. In science and theory, I worked on the foundations of quantum mechanics, the analysis of complex plasmas, and the theories of baryogenesis and theoretical particle physics, on which I wrote my honours thesis.

My interests include solving problems that are widely applicable and useful, and require creativity in bridging problem to solution. I believe such general interests can be fulfilled in both theoretical and experimental/developmental realms. My research this summer at NASA Ames on new techniques in predicting earthquakes is of such a characteristic. Of special interest is the reinterpretation of the abstraction in some current theories. I also enjoy music, and drawing life and scenery.