Takafumi Asaki ’03, M’04
CETA graduate Takafumi Asaki ’03, M’04 returns to UHart as faculty member after personable experience during his undergraduate and graduate studies.
Assistant Professor Takafumi Asaki graduated in 2003 from the College of Engineering at University of Hartford with his Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Engineering. Then in 2004, he received his Master of Engineering in Mechanical Engineering from the College of Engineering, Technology and Architecture (CETA) at the University of Hartford. As an undergraduate, Asaki received the Regents’ Honor Award for the academic year 2000-2001. He went on to earn his Ph.D. from the University of Connecticut in Biomedical Engineering. Asaki returned to CETA and UHart in 2017 as an Assistant Professor for the Civil, Environmental, and Biomedical Engineering Department.
When Asaki was an engineering student at UHart, he enjoyed all the benefits of attending a smaller more personable school. Whenever he needed a signature on a form or a meeting with faculty, he found that it was much easier. He realized this when he went to UConn for his Ph.D., stating “at UConn, I had to identify a building on huge campus, and then I needed to set a specific appointment time with a person I would like to meet, a week or two weeks of advance.” Due to the small class size, the students and faculty easily recognize one another, and Asaki grew to love that. Asaki reflected on one of his favorite experiences as a UHart student below.
Takafumi Asaki ’03, M’04, M’04
When I was working on my BME senior design project, the Biomedical Engineering program did not have an oscilloscope at the time, so I needed access to the Electrical Engineering Lab. I was getting tired of asking for permission to use the oscilloscope every single time I needed, so I asked Professor Michael Nowak about borrowing an oscilloscope from the Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Department. He immediately walked down to Professor Alnajjar’s office, the ECE Department Chair at the time, and asked him for one. Then, Professor Alnajjar said “Okay. Make sure to return it, and make sure not to break it” with a big smile. It was just about 5-10 minutes and I got an oscilloscope for the project. I think it was a benefit of attending a small college. It is a common happening at the University of Hartford, but borrowing equipment is a big task and not easily done in a bigger school.
Professor Alnajjar is now the Dean of CETA and Asaki is now a member of the faculty as an Assistant Professor, but the students and their ability to learn is still the main priority. Asaki takes time to reflect on his experience as a student to inform his strategy as an instructor, stating “I still remember when I had a tough time understanding the Statics/Dynamics/Mechanics of Materials in the same classroom. So, I keep asking myself when I didn’t understand the topic, how did I study the materials?” Asaki attempts to understand his students’ experience, what they are struggling with, so he can implement strategies to aid their learning.
Takafumi Asaki is just one of the many faculty members that once attended the University of Hartford, but it is a testament to how deeply CETA faculty care about the student experience. They are dedicated to providing an education that will enable the students with the tools to go out and succeed in whatever they choose to pursue.