Activity Report

Activity Report of Open Application Course vol.54

Youngsters from Myanmar and Kazakhstan learn about the future of information communication and logistics infrastructure

Report from SAPKOTA ACHYUT
Assistant Professor of National Institute of Technology, Kisarazu College

A total of 8 invited groups from Mandalay Technological University in Myanmar and Eurasia National University in Kazakhstan, each with 1 teacher and 3 students, came to Japan on December 1, 2017.

In the next 2 days they received orientation at the National Institute of Technology, Kisarazu College. This was followed by 6 days of activities on the theme of “Next Generation Connectivity Workshop: Future of Information Communication and Logistics Infrastructure”.

Myanmar, a country having the geographic advantage of becoming a bridge between the East and South Asia, is promoting economic liberalization at a rapid pace since the transition to civilian rule, and various countries including Japan are earnestly considering the industrial development of the country. However, the maintenance of the infrastructure of logistics and information communication, which is the backbone of industrial development, is delayed in this country, and the World Bank has ranked it 113th in the logistics performance index ranking published in 2016. It has borders with China (27th ranking) and Thailand (45th ranking) and it is a country with high logistics performance potential as it is connected to the Indian Ocean in the south.

Similarly, Kazakhstan has the geographical advantage of connecting Asia, the Middle East and Europe, but the logistics infrastructure has not progressed. (Logistics performance index ranking: 77th). So far, the economy of the country has been growing with hydrocarbons, iron and non-ferrous metals, and a great variety of underground resources, and it is planning for some long-term economic measures called “Freeing from resource dependence and industrial diversification”. One of those means is by “Infrastructure development for National security, Political stability and Economic growth promotion”.

Therefore, the purpose of this activity was to invite students and faculty members of representative universities from both the countries, and to impart knowledge on information communication and logistics infrastructure in Japan, related research and future vision, etc.

As a specific activity, they visited the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation (Miraikan), The Railway Museum, and Science Square Tsukuba at the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), from the 3rd to the 5th for a period of 3 days.

At the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation (Miraikan), they showed great interest in the geo-prism using augmented reality technology and a demonstration of a humanoid robot. At the Railway Museum, they were able to learn the principles and mechanisms, history and latest trends related to railway science and technology. At the Science Square Tsukuba at the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), they received an explanation about the Japanese advanced research activities in various fields and their results, and it was an opportunity for them to learn about the trends and future of Japanese science and technology research in a short time.

image2 Together with ASIMO at the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation (Miraikan)
image2 Entraining an historic train at the Railway Museum

image3 Enjoying the train driving simulator at the Railway Museum
image4 Group photo at Science Square Tsukuba

image5 Enjoying the therapy robot developed by the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST)
(Science Square Tsukuba)
image6 What is he looking at in the microscope?
(Science Square Tsukuba)

They participated in a lecture at the National Institute of Technology, Kisarazu College, and an effective engineering training workshop including student poster presentations, from the 6th to the 7th for a period of 2 days. In the workshop, a lecture was held on the present condition of information communication and logistics systems in Asia, including Myanmar and Kazakhstan.

There was also a lecture on “Advanced Research on Transportation (Railway and Airplane) Technology and Future Tasks” by Kazuo Maeno, the Principal of the National Institute of Technology, Kisarazu College, an expert in mechanical engineering.

In addition, the following presenters spoke on the current conditions of the information communication and logistics systems mainly in the Asian region, and overseas:

●Netra Prakash Bhandary, Associate Professor at Ehime University on “Transportation connectivity potential of east, south and central Asia”

●Professor Phyoe Wai Htun of Mandalay Technological University, Myanmar on the “Engineering education system in Myanmar and status of information and transportation infrastructure”

●Shakhmov Zhanbolat, Associate Professor at Kazakhstan Eurasia National University on the “Engineering education system in Kazakhstan and status of information and transportation infrastructure”

The following presenters spoke on the current conditions and development of information communication and logistics in general:

●Keiichi Yonemura, Associate Professor at the National Institute of Technology, Kisarazu College on “Information Security education across multiple disciplines”

●Taisuke Fukuno, Representative Director of JIG.JP Corporation on “Information infrastructure in developing countries: Potential contribution of tiny and affordable computers”

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image9 Next Generation Connectivity Workshop Lecture Day 1
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Next Generation Connectivity Workshop Lecture Day 2

In the student poster session, there were 59 presentations by the students from Myanmar, Kazakhstan and Singapore, as well as from Japan. The poster presentations on various research contents in the engineering field, was a regular activity for the students to present their results of research to the experts in the concerned field, but this was an opportunity to learn the explanation method that is easy-to-understand for the students, experts and general participants in various fields.

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image14 Student Poster Presentation
image15 Group photo of students participating in poster presentation

On the 8th, a questionnaire of invitees, future developments, and exchange of opinions about the themes was given as a summary of exchange projects. It is expected that they would be studying in Japan in the future, and that pursuing joint research at Japanese higher education institutions, and collaborating with Japanese companies will lead to the development of human resources that will become the bridge between Japan and Myanmar, and Japan and Kazakhstan.

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