photo of nboro kikuchi

Noboru Kikuchi

President, Toyota Central R&D Laboratories, Inc.

BS Civil Engineering 1974, Tokyo Institute of Technology
MS EM 1975, The University of Texas at Austin
PhD EM, 1977, The University of Texas at Austin

Noboru Kikuchi is the president of Toyota Central R&D Laboratories, Inc., the advanced research institution of the 16 Toyota Group Companies including Toyota, Denso, Aisin, Shoki and others, located at outside of Toyota and Nagoya in Japan.

Noboru received his B.S. in civil engineering from Tokyo Institute of Technology, Japan in 1974. Moving to the United States from Japan to further his studies, he earned his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in engineering mechanics from The University of Texas at Austin.

Noboru remained at UT Austin as a post-doctoral researcher for Professor J. Tinsley Oden and became an assistant professor of Department of Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics in 1979. In 1980 he moved to the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor as an assistant professor of the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics. He was promoted to an associate professor in 1984 and to a professor in 1986. He was then appointed as Roger L. McCarthy Professor of Mechanical Engineering in 2004. Noboru retired from the University of Michigan in 2015 and is now the Roger L. McCarthy Professor Emeritus of Mechanical Engineering, University of Michigan.

While serving as a professor at University of Michigan, Noboru became a visiting researcher at TCRDL, Toyota Central R&D Laboratories, Inc. in Japan and was appointed as a senior fellow in 2001. He became a board member of TCRDL in 2003 and was promoted to an executive vice president in 2009. Noboru was appointed as the president in 2014.

After his retirement from the University of Michigan, Noboru was appointed as a board member of TRI, Toyota Research Institute in Palo Alto, CA, a newly established advanced research and development company with applications in AI technology for autonomous driving and advanced robotics (2016 – 2018). Noboru also directs TRINA, Toyota Research Institute of North America, Toyota Engineering and Manufacturing America located in Ann Arbor, MI.
He was appointed as a senior technical executive in Toyota Japan to direct Toyota’s Frontier Research Center located in Japan as the president and chairman from 2017.

Noboru was elected as a foreign member of National Academy of Engineering in 2017 for his work on computer aided engineering in the automotive industry. He also assumes several national committees of Ministry of Education and Science in Japanese government to advise science and technology policy and its implementation.

Noboru lives in Nagoya, Japan while his wife, Nanae lives in Ann Arbor, MI. Their eldest daughter, Ayako lives in Chicago, IL and their youngest daughter, Reina lives in Tokyo, Japan.