Katsushi Fukuda has informed us of the sudden passing of Kinichi Uemura on April 24, 2014 after a brief illness at the age of 91 in Japan. Prof. Uemura was well known to the thermoelectric community in Japan and around the world, serving on the International Thermoelectric Society board from 1992-4. He worked on thermoelectrics at Komatsu for many years and was a tireless advocate of the technology. He was modest, very professional, a scientist, an engineer and a teacher too.
Prof. Uemura first came to my attention as the organizer of the 12th International Conference on Thermoelectrics, ICT1993 and the 1993 Short Course on Thermoelectrics, SCT-93 (scanned PDF files of the lecture handouts are available online on this website.) ICT1993 was the first ITS conference to be organized in Asia and established the three year rotation (North America, Europe, Asia) preference used by ITS for selecting the ICT location up to the present day. ICT1993 also significantly raised the bar for the overall quality of the conference series, a standard that each ICT organizer strives to maintain.
After leaving Komatsu, Prof. Uemura remained active in thermoelectrics through the institute he founded, ITTJ, Institute for Thermoelectric Technologies Japan. He is survived by his daughter, Erico, and son, Hiroshi.