Report from Saitama University
Through support from the SAKURA Exchange Program in Science, three undergraduate students, two graduate students, and one supervising faculty member from the University of Peradeniya (Sri Lanka) were invited to Saitama Univ. for a course running from October 28 to November 6, 2017. (Expenses for the faculty member were paid by Saitama Univ. as international exchange expenses.)
The theme of the course was "development of technology to prevent environmental pollution at waste disposal sites in Sri Lanka." Environmental pollution at waste disposal sites due to inappropriate management is a serious issue in many developing nations. This includes Sri Lanka, the country which sent students to Saitama Univ. for the course. In order to prevent further environmental pollution, Sri Lankan students experienced appropriate waste disposal management and technology for preventing pollution at waste disposal sites in Japan. For Sri Lankan undergraduate students and graduate students who will lead their country in the future, increasing their understanding in these areas is extremely meaningful. After watching a demonstration of methods for administration of crude industrial solutions to vesicles, the students tried operating equipment themselves.
Another notable feature of the course is how it seeks to further cultivate young professionals based on joint international activities for "Research Theme: Prevention of Pollution by Using Regional Characteristics at Sri Lankan Waste Disposal Sites and Construction of Restoration Techniques, a project held by the Saitama Univ. International Institute for Resilient Society from 2010 to 2015 as part of the SATREPS (Science and Technology Research Partnership for Sustainable Development) Program.
The course combined three main elements: 1) English-language discussions with faculty, graduate students, and undergraduate students at Saitama Univ., 2) acquisition of environmental analysis technology, and 3) tours of waste treatment/disposal sites.
A detailed schedule for the course is listed below.
|October 28||Arrived at Narita International Airport and traveled to Saitama Univ.|
|October 30||Discussion and laboratory tour with graduate students and undergraduate students in the Geo-Environmental Engineering Laboratory|
|October 31||Discussion and laboratory tour with graduate students and undergraduate students in the Environmental and Hydraulic Engineering Laboratory|
|November 1||Tour of the Saitama City Sakura Environmental Center (waste treatment site)|
|November 2||Tour of the Saitama Prefectural Environmental Management Center (waste disposal site, recycling plant, etc.)|
|November 3||Environmental analysis experiment (1): Water quality analysis|
|November 4||Environmental analysis experiment (2): Gas analysis|
|November 5||Reporting session by students from the Univ. of Peradeniya|
|November 6||Return to Sri Lanka|
Although course activities were extremely diverse, the most notable point was tours of advanced waste treatment/disposal sites in Japan. During tours, measures were taken to help students understand the series of processes spanning from collection, sorting, recycling, incineration, and final disposal. Participating students were extremely interested in the tour. In addition to the technical aspects of waste treatment/disposal, students asked many questions regarding know-how and experience for appropriate management.
Based on agreements between the Univ. of Peradeniya (Sri Lanka) and Saitama Univ., we have conducted many exchanges among faculty and students, have accepted many foreign students, held joint seminars, and engaged in joint international research. Moving forward, with a focus on the cultivation of young professionals, we will promote cooperation that is based on close mutual cooperation.
In closing, we would like to express our deepest gratitude to the SAKURA Science for providing this invaluable opportunity, and to all individuals who actively participated in the course.