Prof. Kawata is a Professor of Astronomy at Mullard Space Science Laboratory, University College London, UK. He got his PhD from Tohoku University in Japan in 2000, and did his postdocs at Swinburne University in Australia and Carnegie Observatories in USA before moving to UCL in 2008.
His work has a broad focus across the fields of galaxy evolution, Galactic Archaeology and stellar dynamics, with a special emphasis on the Milky Way. A particular goal of his research is to unravel the assembly and evolutionary history of our Galaxy through interpreting chemo-dynamical features of its main constituent components: the thin and thick discs, the halo, the bulge, bar, and spiral arms.
He is an expert in numerical simulations of galaxy evolution, having developed his own numerical simulation code for Galactic Chemo-Dynamics which includes many physical processes, including star formation, stellar feedback, and stellar evolution. In addition to theoretical models, his works utilises data retrieved by many large Galactic surveys, including astrometric (e.g. Gaia), spectroscopic (e.g. APOGEE), and asteroseismic (e.g. Kepler, K2), as well as machine learning neural network techniques for dataset augmentation. He is also involved with large planned future Galactic survey missions, such as GaiaNIR, and is project scientist of the JASMINE mission (a Japanese NIR astrometry mission).