Satoshi Kawata received his B.S. and Ph.D. in Applied Physics from Osaka University in 1974 and 1979, respectively. After the experience of a postdoctoral fellow in Japan, he spent two years at the University of California, Irvine, as a postdoctoral scientist. Kawata joined the Department of Applied Physics of Osaka University as an Assistant Professor in 1981, and was promoted to a full Professor in 1993 and a Distinguished Professor in 2013. He has also been a Professor of the Department of Frontier Biosciences and School of Information Sciences at Osaka University. Kawata founded the Photonics Advanced Research Center (PARC) at Osaka University in 2007, where he was the Executive Director until 2016. In PARC, he initiated collaborations between 23 professors of 8 departments and more than 10 partners from various industries to peruse a variety of research collaborations, which resulted not only in high-level product-oriented research, but also in the birth of at least 5 startups at the university. Kawata also led a research group on nanophotonics as a Chief Scientist in RIKEN from 2002 to 2015. He is now a Professor Emeritus of Osaka University and Honorary Scientist in RIKEN. He founded two companies, one of which is a laser-scanning Raman microscope company, Nanophoton, established in 2002, where he has been the Chairman.
Satoshi Kawata has been an OSA member since 1980, and served as the Chair of the International Council (2009-2010), member of the OSA Executive Committee (2009-2010) and on the OSA Board of Directors (2009-2010). He has served on a number of OSA committees and councils, and organized topical meetings for OSA. He has been the advisor for the OSA Student Chapter of Osaka University, the first OSA student chapter in Japan, which now has nine chapters. He has given lectures at many student chapters including Stanford University, University of Sao Paulo, and Utsunomiya University.
Satoshi Kawata was the President of Japan Society of Applied Physics (2014-2015), President of Spectroscopical Society of Japan (2007-2008), General Chair of Nano Science and Engineering of SPIE (2012-13), Editor of Optics Communications (2000-2009), and the Regional Representative of Journal of Microscopy (1988-2014). He chaired and organized a number of international conferences, including Near Field Optics (1998), Focus on Microscopy (2000, 2008) and UV Nanophotonics (2013).
Satoshi Kawata is one of the pioneers of near field optics (the inventor of tip-enhanced near-field microscopy), 3D microscopy, 3D optical data storage, plasmonics (SPR sensors, plasmonic nano-microscopy, plasmon holography, etc.), two-photon engineering (two-photon polymerization, two-photon isomerization, two-photon reduction, etc.), bio-molecular imaging, molecular spectroscopy and signal recovery. He has authored/edited more than 30 books and published more than 520 papers with h-index 72 (Web of Science). The "8-micron bull" fabricated with his invented two-photon technology has been awarded in Guinness Book of World Records 2004 Edition. He was awarded the Medal with Purple Ribbon from the Emperor of Japan, Leo Esaki Prize, LVMH da Vinci Excellence, Shimadzu Award, and many others. He is a Fellow of the OSA, SPIE, IOP, and JSAP.