Prof. Akao graduated and received his Ph.D. from Tokyo Institute of Technology in 1948 and 1964 respectively. He developed and introduced QFD together with late Prof. Shigeru Mizuno in the 1960s. The enormous contribution of QFD to the success of the Japan industries made him one of the few in receiving the prestigious Deming Prize Individual Prize in 1978. Prof. Akao had won many prizes and international awards recognizing his great work with QFD and notable contribution to total quality management. He received Quality Control Literature Prize of Nippon Keizai, Shinbun-Sha, in 1960 and 1978, Vision Award of GOAL/QPC in 1990, Best of Quality Award of International Academy for Quality in 1993, Distinguished Service Medal of American Society for Quality (ASQ) as well as Distinguished Service Medal of Japanese Society of Mechanical Engineers in 2001, Shainin Medal of ASQ in 2007, and, Honorary Member from ASQ in 2010.
Besides the author of several QFD books in Japanese, Prof. Akao is the editor of Quality Function Deployment: Integrating Customer Requirements into Product Design (commonly known as "Bible of QFD"), Hoshin Kanri: Policy Deployment for Successful TQM, and, the co-author of QFD: The Customer-Driven Approach to Quality Planning and Deployment as well. Prof. Akao published more than 70 papers and articles in Japan and internationally. He had travelled round the world, including the USA, UK, Australia, China, India, Sweden, Brazil, Singapore, Germany, Canada, Mexico, Chile and many other places, to promote QFD.
Prof. Akao had been the Chairman of the International Council for QFD and senior advisor of the QFD Institute, USA. He was the Honorary Consultant of Asia Quality Function Deployment Association as well as the Honorary President of Hong Kong Quality Function Deployment Association. Furthermore, he was the Member of Deming Prize Committee, Academician of International Academy for Quality, President of Japanese Society for Quality Control, Chairman of Committee for Quality Month in Japan and Honorary Member of JSQC. Two distinguished awards are established in his honor. The first one is the Akao Prize®, awarding individuals around the world who have demonstrated excellence in their practice and dissemination of QFD for many years. The second one is Akao Scholarship for QFD, a recognition for university students who have achieved excellence in their QFD study and research.