Highlighted Programs

Science and Technology Experience Course (Course A)

Report of the Graduate School of Engineering Faculty of Engineering, Kobe University

Ten graduate students from the School of Civil Engineering of Tianjin University, China were invited for nine days from June 9 to 17, 2018. The purpose of this international exchange program was to develop an international research and educational program in architecture and urban design in a port city jointly carried out by the Department of Architecture of the Graduate School of the Faculty of Engineering, Kobe Univ. and the School of Civil Engineering of Tianjin Univ. It consisted of two sub-programs: A workshop on urban design and an exchange architectural design exhibition at both universities. The project was implemented at Kobe Univ. in FY2016, and in FY2017, Kobe Univ. visited the School of Civil Engineering of Tianjin Univ. to do the same. We carried out the project for the third time this year.

Holding of Urban Design Workshop in Discovery of Problems

A workshop was held in the Faculty of Engineering of Kobe Univ. from the second to the sixth day with the design task of “Designing Kobe waterfront on the occasion of the 180 year anniversary of the opening of Kobe Port”. Four groups formed by the students from both universities proposed ideas under instruction by the faculty members of both universities.

On the morning of the second day, they were explained what the current situation and issues that the Kobe City downtown waterfront project is facing. On the same afternoon, they visited the Kobe City downtown waterfront to see the actual site of their designing task. They started group work on the third day, and we held an intermediate review in the morning of the fourth day to conduct QA sessions over the proposals made by each group.

As it was a challenging task for the students targetting a big site and proposals for a waterfront city image about 30 years from now, they had been spending a lot of time discussing and working every day. They seemed quite exhausted from the hard work. The proposal panels were dsplayed at the design exhibition starting on the seventh day. On the eighth day, the students provided presentations of their workshop in the review session at the design exhibition.

Holding an interchange architectural design exhibition

An interchange architectural design exhibition by Kobe Univ. and Tianjin Univ./ was held at KIITO (Design and Creative Center Kobe) for 4 days from the sixth to the nineth day of the program. Their excellent work of design exercises, undergraduate theses (designs) of both universities and the outcomes of this workshop were exhibited so as to deliver their work to the public outside of Kobe Univ.
We invited the faculty members from Tianjin University, Kobe University, Tōhoku University of Art & Design, and Dr. Ryukoku Univ. as evaluators to review the students’s presentations. The design exhibition ended on the nineth day, and the participants from Tianjin Univ. returned home.

Program Development

Students from both universities were perplexed by the differences between each other’s ideas on the planning proposals. However, they had a great time in exchanging ideas in a specialized field and built a strong relationship despite the shortness of the visit.

Dep. of Architecture of the Graduate School of the Faculty of Engineering, Kobe Univ. and the School of Civil Engineering of Tianjin Univ. concluded an academic exchange agreement in 1980. This exchange program is said to have the longest history in university exchange programs between Japan and China. This exchange agreement was revised in 2014 which gradually stimulated active visits between the faculty members and students of Kobe Univ. and the faculty members and students of Tianjin Univ. This workshop was the third one since 2016. The number of students from the School of Civil Engineering of Tianjin Univ. studying in Japan has increased during that time. Kobe Univ. accepted nine students (eight undergraduate and one graduate student) which is considered to be a great outcome of the exchange program. There seems to be a considerable increase in the desire to study at Kobe Univ. for half a year among the students in Tianjin Univ. Unfortunately, students from Kobe Univ. have not studied at Tianjin Univ. yet. However, it seems that the number of students who are considering studying abroad has gradually increased. It requires encouragement to face the challenge of long-term study abroad at first. Our programs probably have been contributing to the reduction of students’ anxiety about studying abroad by joining a short-term workshop through the programs.

Future Development

We can communicate using blueprints and diagrams about architecture and urban design. That is what we want students to experience through our programs. We would like to eradicate the bias among students where they strongly believe that communication in a professional field and making a proposal together in English is so difficult. In addition, we would like to actively provide information on past activities of the programs to the students who did not participate in this workshop so that students will have opportunities for international exchange and develop the desire to participate in international joint research. We are hoping that these activities develop into international joint research.

We would like to express our heartfelt gratitude to Sakura Science plan, to all the members of the School of Civil Engineering of Tianjin Univ. have contributed to planning and who went through various procedures and adjustments, and to all those who have cooperated in this project.

Collaborative Research Activity Course (Course B)

Report of the Graduate School of Science and Engineering, Ibaraki University

Supported by the SAKURA SCIENCE Exchange Program, the Graduate School of Science and Engineering, Ibaraki University invited graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and nine faculty members from India, Thailand, Vietnam and Taiwan for 19 days from May 21st to June 8th, 2018. They participated in a course in “Joint research utilizing the network of Asian countries connecting experiment and theory in Quantum Beam Molecular Sciences”.

An introductory meeting was held on the Mito Campus on May 22nd. Prof. Mitsuru Baba, Vice-President of Ibaraki University gave a welcome speech, and Prof. Takamitsu Kohzuma, Director of the Institute of Quantum Beam Science, provided a summary of the Institute, and Prof. Seiji Mori (Organizer), Deputy Director of the Institute of Quantum Beam Science, gave the opening remarks as well as an introduction to the organizations which were invited to this program. Following the opening meeting, joint research on the challenges related to the Quantum Beam Molecular Sciences was conducted at the laboratories of Mito and Hitachi Campuses, and at the laboratories of Tokai Satellite Campus.

The invited group participated in the 3rd International Symposium of Quantum Beam Science at Ibaraki University (Mito Campus), with the main theme set to ”Quantum Beam in Biology and Soft Materials” to discuss research using Quantum Beam of the molecular structure and the properties of biomolecule of protein, etc. and soft materials, as well as to seek its applications. In the afternoon of May 30th (during the 3rd International Symposium of Quantum Beam Science at Ibaraki University), they were also visited to the Japan Proton Accelerator Research Complex (J-PARC) in Tokai Village. Japan Broadcasting Corporation (NHK) covered their visit to the facility.

“The Asian Workshop in Experiment and Theory in Quantum Beam Molecular Sciences” was held at Mito Campus, organized mainly by the SAKURA SCIENCE Exchange Program Steering Committee on June 3rd. Professors from Ibaraki University, invited lecturers and faculty members from invited institutions (leaders of the participants) provided speeches followed by the opening remarks by Dr. Hisaki Ozaki, the Executives and Vice President of Ibaraki University. All invited participants of this program, including graduate students, made speeches as invited lecturers. The total number of the attendants of the event was as small as 30, but lots of questions and answers were exchanged at the venue.

On June 6th, the day before their departure, they visited Miraikan (National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation in Tokyo) where the most advanced science and technology of Japan are shown. All of the participants arrived at their home countries safely. Their feedback showed that they were highly satisfied with this program. For example, “This international academic exchange was very useful to me”, “I have learned new research methods and research styles” and “The network among us the invited countries have gone stronger”.

Joint research will continue to be conducted with these people and academic exchanges shall be developed more in-depth with these participating institutions in the future as well. We are looking forward to further success of these young researchers who participated in this program, and everyone, including people from JST, who gave support to make this happen by organizing and carrying out this program are highly appreciated.

Science and Technology Training Course (Course C)

Report from St. Luke’s International University and the National Institute of Infectious Diseases

The Asian region is considered to be a hot zone of many infectious diseases, and the establishment of a network of researchers of infectious diseases and the sharing of appropriate information will greatly contribute to the countermeasures against infectious diseases in each country. In addition, Japan has a history of overcoming infectious diseases since the chaos of the aftermath of WWII when sanitation became so deteriorated, and the information and knowledge obtained from the experience may contribute to other rapidly developing Asian countries as important references. 

The Asian region is considered to be a hot zone of many infectious diseases, and the establishment of a network of researchers of infectious diseases and the sharing of appropriate information will greatly contribute to the countermeasures against infectious diseases in each country. In addition, Japan has a history of overcoming infectious diseases since the chaos of the aftermath of WWII when sanitation became so deteriorated, and the information and knowledge obtained from the experience may contribute to other rapidly developing Asian countries as important references. 

On the first day, a special lecture by the Director General of Nobuhiko Okabe of the City Institute for Public Health, Kawasaki was held at St. Luke’s International University Hospital. The researchers learned about the necessity and importance of collaboration among Asian countries in fighting against infectious diseases. After that, FETP trainees presented the problems and the countermeasures concerning infectious diseases in their countries, as well as in Japan. 

On the second day, Professor Gilmour of St. Luke’s International University introduced an infectious disease mathematical model of HIV as an example. After that, they observed Japan’s state-of-the-art examination and diagnostic technologies and therapies at St. Luke’s International University Hospital. Then they took a tour of the Kawasaki Institute for Health to see the actual site where infectious diseases are treated in Japan. 

In the second half of the program, they spent most of their time at the National Institute of Infectious Diseases and participated in the seminar by Professor Jose Binongo of Emory University in the USA presenting biostatistics. In the seminar, he introduced and explained the analysis method based on biostatistics, and the participants participated in an exercise to learn the analysis method by using actual sample data. 

The participants had many interactions, including introduction of the cultures of their countries, demonstration of calligraphy by the Japanese FETP trainees, and a welcome party when they were not participating in lectures during the program period. On the weekend when they were participating in the seminars, they visited the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation and learned about the excellent Japanese science and technology, including the field of infectious diseases. 

The young researchers exchanged opinions and shared their experiences in various fields during the period participating in this program. Joint research and information sharing are anticipated to accelerate using the network they have built in the interaction during the program, and hopefully it will lead to the formation of the foundation of future measures against infectious diseases in participating countries and regions including Japan. 

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