2020 Activity Report vol.6:Chiba University

Activity Report of Open Application Program 2020 vol.6 (Online)

Implementation of an online exchange with an engineering university in Myanmar

Report from the Graduate School of Engineering, Chiba University

A total of 51 people composed of 5 faculty members and 46 students (4 post-doctoral students, 3 master's students, and 39 departments) from Yangon Technological University, and Mandalay Technological University in Myanmar participated in the five-day online exchange between December 14 to 18, 2020. In the two universities mentioned above, research has been initiated on semiconductor properties and devices in the JICA-supported project called the "Myanmar Engineering Education Expansion Project." People who have been implementing this project visited the area twice over several years in association with this project to provide instruction to faculty and students. In December 2019, a research center with a fixed equipment group was established at Yangon Technical University thanks to the grant financial assistance from the Japanese government. Until February of the following year, Japanese teachers taught how to operate the equipment.

In order for young faculty and students to launch their research that is organically related to visible and ultraviolet wavelength spectrophotometers, Fourier transform infrared spectrophotometers (FTIR), vacuum deposition devices, mask aligners, and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) introduced in relation to semiconductors, an object of this online exchange was to take a look at actual research examples in the laboratory, and to grow research perspectives by conducting research discussions among students.

This time, the implementation online was conducted without dividing the Myanmar participants into small groups. For that reason, we were able to spend time on each item of the implementation. Particular emphasis was placed on the machining process and structural observations using SEM, and infrared spectroscopy using FTIR. The explanation was detailed and everyone was able to observe the work at close range through the use of a webcam, so everyone was able to get a good sense of the subject in detail. We fielded many questions. A tutorial lecture was inserted into the waiting time during the work processes, without having to move, allowing us all to utilize the time available effectively. Because there was no limit to the number of people who participated, there were many undergraduates participating from lower grades. This gave us the impression that many have a great interest in this field. There was also a lively discussion between students. We felt that students from both countries shared one consciousness online. We are holding out our hope that the world pandemic COVID-19 will calm down next year, and more students would like to come to Japan to continue their studies.

We are very grateful to the people from JST and Chiba University for their support in conducting this exchange. We are indeed very grateful.