During the days when Akira was in hospital and after Akira’s passing, messages poured in from Akira’s former students, PDFs and research associates, as well as his collaborators and colleagues from many countries around the world. Your best-wish messages were conveyed to Akira on a daily basis and certainly brought him comfort based on his subtle responses that people around him detected. Your messages certainly brought comfort and strength to Akira’s family and members in the Plasma Physics Laboratory during the difficult times of tremendous loss.  We compiled some condolence messages below.


May Akira rest in peace!



Dr. Liyan Zhang,        Cogent Communications, USA,   former Ph.D. Student

c/o Prof. Chijin Xiao

Dear Mrs. Hirose and the Physics Faculty,

We are shocked and saddened to learn that Prof. Akira Hirose has left us suddenly and peacefully, please accept our deepest condolences to the Hirose family from myself, Liyan Zhang, his Ph.D. student, and my family at Washington DC USA. It is also a great loss to the Physics Department of the University.

I came to University of Saskatchewan in 1990 to study under Professor Hirose, and completed my program and earned my Ph.D. in 1994. Upon my arrival at the University, I was impressed by Prof. Hirose’s broad and deep knowledge in Plasma Physics, as well as his consistent hard working style. I have enjoyed the courses that he taught, and was often impressed by the calculations that he made many years ago, on subjects that he was teaching at my time, nice, beautiful handwritten formula deductions that, of course, are all correct when I tried to repeat. He was certainly gifted in science and technology by universal standards across cultural and national boundaries. His career achievement was reflected by his elections as Fellow of APS, Fellow IEEE and Fellow RSC. I have a lot respect to Prof. Hirose and in fact, had been in contact with him all the time.

At the time of my graduation, with Prof. Hirose’s strong recommendation, I have successfully found a NSERC Post-Doc position with a company in Ottawa, Canada, where I had worked on plasma technology for about 4 years. In early 1998, I was fortunate in having found a Post-Doc/consultant position with the Bell Laboratories of Lucent Technologies at New Jersey, USA, to have officially switched to the field of fiber optic communications. However, I only remained in Pos-Doc/consultant position for 4 months and was immediately promoted to the full regular position Member of Technical Staff (MTS) with the Bell Labs/Lucent. Since then, I have been practicing in the communication and internet field for about 20 years. Currently I am working as Director of Optical Network Technology with Cogent Communications, a world top 3 Internet Service Provider (ISP) that carries 1/5 of global internet traffic. I am enjoying my work and proud of my achievement so far, which I would attribute a large part to Prof. Hirose’s training. As I mentioned before, I had been in touch with Prof. Hirose all the time as I moved around in industry, and his technical expertise and hard-working style had been my role model.

Although Prof. Hirose left us, the legacy he created, and his spirit, will remain. Together with his family, those who benefited from his guidance and mentorship will remember him forever!

May Prof. Hirose rest in peace!

Yours truly,


Liyan Zhang, Ph.D.

Wife: Mei Chen

Son: Zhiwei Zhang

Daughter: Jennifer Zhang


Dr. Brian Gregory                                    Professor Emeritus,  INRS, Quebec


The great distance and short delay prevents me from attending Akira’s memorial service.  None the less, thank you for contacting me and please express my sincere condolences to Kimiko.


Yours sincerely,


Brian Gregory



Dr. Allan Offenberger                          Professor Emeritus, University of Alberta


I was so sorry to learn of Akira's death yesterday. Please pass on my condolences to colleagues in Physics/Engineering Physics and especially to members of your plasma physics group.

I think of the two scientists who accomplished so much at the University of Saskatchewan - Harvey Skarsgard followed by Akira Hirose - and lament their passing from Canada's active scientific scene. Both provided able leadership to a highly successful program in plasma and fusion energy science that your institution can be proud of.

Personally, I had many occasions to interact with Akira in our professional lives and always valued our discussions. He was an outstanding scientist and an admirable gentleman. He is genuinely missed.

Please extend my regards to Akira's family.


Dr. Promod Kumar Sharma,  Institute for Plasma Research, Baht, India


“…It is a great loss to the plasma physics fraternity and would create a big void in the Fusion Community. He was a great visionary and his contribution to the plasma physics community was immense.”



“I still remember my meeting with him when I last visited your lab in 2016. He had bubbling ideas and I could see glow in his eyes when we were discussing on proposal on spherical tokamaks and basic plasma experimental physics. I hope his ideas are taken forward by the Plasma Physics Division of UoS.”




Professor Hossam Gaber                                             University of Ontario Institute of Technology


“We are very sorry to hear the loss of Prof. Hirose, our condolences and hope his family will pass this hard time.

His legacy in the plasma and fusion research field will make us always remember him and his scholarly



Dr. Weixing Ding                                              University of California, Los Angeles


“I am so deeply saddened to hear that Akira passed away. He is my first advisor who led me to tokamak research.  We have a long time friendship even though, we only spent 9 months together.

His kindness and sharpness impressed me a lot.    I have lost two respected advisors this year. It is hard for me to accept the fact.” 


“Please bring my condolences to his family.  May God embrace them in comfort during such difficult time.


 May his soul rest in peace.  I will miss him forever”



Carl Dunlea                              UofS                    Ph.D. student 


 “ It's very sad news - we all hoped he would make a recovery. …”


Liu Yelu                                               China, former M.Sc. Student


“I am very sorry to hear this information. I am sending a donation to the Department of Physics and Engineering Physics in memory of Prof. Akira.”


Prof. Robert Fedosejevs                                                          University of Alberta


The Canadian plasma community has lost one of its great leaders over the past several decades.  Both his innovation and leadership with the Tokamak research program in the University of Saskatchewan were major factors in maintaining Canada's status as a significant player in magnetic fusion energy research internationally.  He will be sorely missed, both on a personal and scientific level, by all his colleagues across Canada


Prof. Jan Stockel                                             Institute of Plasma Physics, Prague, Czeck Republic


I am very sorry to hear this bad message. I had known Akira since beginning of 90th as a driving person of STORM tokamak. Big loss for your staff. Please convey my condolence to family, if possible.



Dr. Roger Raman                                             University of Washington, Former PDF


This is very sad news.


It is good that Akira was with his family during this very difficult time.


Hope Akira's immediate family members will find the needed strength to overcome this very difficult time that words cannot describe.


Hope all of you at the department are coping well.



Dr. James F. Basinger                          University of Saskatchewan, Former AVP-Research


It is indeed tremendously sad news.  Akira was a remarkable scientist, and a remarkable human being.  He will be greatly missed.


Yue Ding                                              Ontario, Canada, Former M.Sc. Student


With my greatest sadness, I am so sad to hear thatYelu and I were planning to visit him in December. But I guess it is too late!