Dr. Sawada is Director General of the Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute (FFPRI) which has about 480 researchers. The institute is the main institute of the Forest Research and Management Organization of which Dr. Sawada is in charge as the president for about 1,100 staffs. He worked for FFPRI for 30 years and moved to the University of Tokyo as Professor of Civil Engineering in 2008. Then he was appointed as a principal researcher of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and a visiting professor of the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT). After that he moved back to FFPRI as DG. His specialty is applied remote sensing, especially for forest environment and natural disasters. He is awarded as Emeritus Professor of the University of Tokyo in 2014.
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