Masato Sagawa

Masato Sagawa

Formal First Name
Nick Name
8/3/1943 - present

Masato Sagawa is the Founder and President of Intermetallics Co Ltd. He is a Japanese scientist and entrepreneur most known for inventing the sintered permanent magnet NdFeB. His most prized achievement is the invention and industrialization of the world's most powerful Nd-Fe-B sintered magnets and the continuation of the research and development of the production technologies enabling their resource-saving manufacturing and the reduction in the amount of usage of rare metals. Sagawa was awarded the Japan Prize in 2012 for his efforts towards energy conservation.

Professional Experience

Academic History

  • Sagawa was born in Tokushima Prefecture, Japan
  • He is active in his laboratory.
  • His most important research subject now is the development of heat resistant NdFeB sintered magnets without dysprosium (Dy).
  • He has appeared as a guest on Real Vision.


  • The sintered NdFeB was initially conceived and developed when he was with Fujitsu Laboratories.
  • Without his supervisor's support for the new magnetic compound, Sagawa resigned in 1981 and then joined Sumitomo Special Metals.
  • Within months after joining SSM in 1982, the strongest sintered NdFeB magnet was developed.
  • He presented the new discovery of NdFeB magnet during the Magnetism and Magnetic Materials Conference in Nov. 1983 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.


  • At Fujitsu Company, he was assigned to develop magnetic materials for electric relays.
  • At Sumitomo Special Metals, he accomplished the invention of the NdFeB sintered magnets.
  • He has been a consultant for several companies, including Ugimag S.A. in France, Showa Denko in Japan.


  • Osaka Prize (1984)
  • Minister of Science and Technology Agency Award (1985)
  • James C. McGroddy Prize for New Materials (1986)
  • Asahi Prize (1990)
  • Japan Magnetics Society Award (1991)
  • Okochi Memorial Prize (1993)
  • Acta Metallurgica J. Herbert Hollomon Award (1998)
  • Honda-kinen Prize (2003)
  • Kato-kinen Prize (2006)
  • Japan Prize (2012)