The people who use our boards.

308 interviews since 2018

Kentaro Yaji

Associate Professor

Who are you, and what do you do? What do you like to do outside of work?

Greetings. I am Kentaro Yaji, an associate professor at the Department of Mechanical Engineering, Osaka University in Japan. My research is in topology optimization, which has the potential to generate innovative structures by using mathematical optimization theory and high-performance computing. The following video shows an optimization process of the so-called compliant gripper that is composed of a single-piece structure without any joints and is used for microscale manipulation, medical applications, and so forth. You can see other interesting results on my website.

Kentaro Yaji's animation

The optimization process of a compliant gripper in which input force is applied at the center of the left boundary, and then it can grip a workpiece in the right space.

Outside of work, I love to see and do rowing. I had been rowing for over fifteen years, since I was ten. Also, I have been watching the races before I was born because my mother went to cheer for my father every year, even when she was pregnant. Thanks to their passionate education, I could join the U18 and U23 world rowing championships as a national team member.

Kentaro Yaji rowing with his father
Kentaro as a PhD student is on the left, and his father is on the right

What hardware do you use?

I have been using Mac hardware since 2012. My recent PCs are Mac Studio and MacBook Pro. Also, I use Linux machines with many cores of AMD processors for large-scale computing. My favorite mouse is the Logitech MX Master 3S because the wheel can scroll very quickly, which is useful for reading papers and web browsing. I love the Mac displays, namely Studio Display and Pro Display XDR, which are beautiful, and I use them as a dual display.

I have two desks at my office, and one of them is a height-adjustable desk. Sometimes, I work standing and believe that this refreshing way is effective for the creativity of my research.

Kentaro Yaji's setup
Dr. Yaji's office workspace includes two OKAMURA desks and an Ergohuman PRO2 Ottoman chair

Kentaro Yaji's son
At home, Dr. Yaji's son is very interested in his work

And what software?

I use standard software such as Microsoft Office 365 for general tasks. For my research, I like using MATLAB, COMSOL, and open-source software for scientific computation. For writing code for Python, Fortran, C++, etc., I use emacs and VS Code.

What’s your keyboard setup like? Do you use a custom layout or custom keycaps?

I have two Moonlanders and a Voyager. I love clicky keyswitches, especially Kailh Box White. For the office work, I use a Moonlander with the platform for adjusting the boards to the best angle.

Kentaro Yaji's keyboard
Dr. Yaji is happy with the angle of the lights on his keyboard

As seen in my layout, my keyboard setup is not so complex. Anyway, I want to emphasize that the thumb’s red keys are handy for non-English users. In my case, I need to change the languages between Japanese and English frequently. I don’t use custom keycaps, but I am interested in using them on the keyboard in the near future.

What would be your dream setup?

Since topology optimization is compatible with 3D printing, I would like to set up a compact and quiet 3D printer on my desk and break the barrier between the virtual and physical space as much as possible. Let me know if you can mathematically define the comfort of keycaps and keyswitches. I would love to optimize and print their shape and topology!

Kentaro Yaji's 3D model of the compliant zipper
3D compliant gripper design makes the leap from a virtual design to a 3D-printed part

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