Wednesday, August 9, 2017

A Tribute to my Mentor, Prof. Tada-aki Tanabe

Prof. Tada-aki Tanabe, the founder of the NU Concrete Lab in 1981
 Prof. Tada-aki Tanabe was my mentor when I took my M.Eng. and D. Eng. programs at Nagoya University, Japan. In 1988, I applied for a Monbusho scholarship to pursue a Master's Degree in Japan. I didn't know any professor in Japan and fortunately, I was accepted by one great professor at Nagoya University in the Concrete Laboratory. I completed my M. Eng. degree in 1991 and then passed the entrance exam for D. Eng with Prof. Tanabe again as my mentor. After three years of academic and research work, I graduated D. Eng. in 1994.

After 23 years, the former students of Prof. Tanabe organized a reunion and a forum as tribute to the great mentor of the Medai Concrete Lab on Aug. 5, 2017. Incidentally, Prof. Tanabe is turning 77 years old this year. It was a happy and momentous event for me as I met my former colleagues in the Tanabe Concrete Lab - foreign students,  Dr. Denzil (Sri Lanka), Prof. Farahat (Egypt), Dr. Yu (China), Prof. Wu (China), Dr. Gupta (India) and Japanese colleagues which includes the present head of the Concrete Lab., Prof. Nakamura and batchmates, Mr. Kannan and Mr. Takatsuji.  I met also foreign graduates now professors from Bangladesh and the new graduates of the Concrete Lab under Prof. Nakamura.

The foreign students had a chance to present a tribute to Prof. Tanabe and an update of their research and professional activities. In my case, I shared my activities after graduating from Nagoya University in 1994 - my teaching tasks at De La Salle University, my networking activities with Nagoya University and other Japanese Universities and the research themes of my students' researches. My story ends with the following slide stating that "it's not just my story but also the story of the legacy of a mentor, Prof. Tanabe" who has passed his "genes" to a new generation of researchers. I summarized the principles that I give credit to my mentor below: 

Finally, I presented my last slide with the quotation, "A truly great mentor is hard to find, difficult to part with and impossible to forget." In Japanese, "Idai na shi wa, mitsukemuzukashiku, hanare muzukashiku, wasure muzukashii - 偉大な師は、見つけ難く、離れ難く、忘れ難し。

Here are memorable slides of the message of Prof. Tanabe during the forum on Aug. 5, 2017.

Here are memorable photos before and after the NU Concrete Lab Forum 
Dinner hosted by Prof. and Mrs, Tanabe (4 Aug 2017)
Prof. Tanabe and Dr. Gupta - Happy Moments!

The Alumni and Students of NU Concrete Lab (50 + strong) gave tribute to Prof. Tanabe

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