Greetings from the Dean of the Faculty of Engineering

立川先生顔写真(英)Engineering is an academic discipline that pursues technologies to enhance convenience in our lives and build a safer, healthier, and higher quality society based on scientific knowledge. Major fields of engineering include the manufacture of structures, machines, electronics, and new substances and advanced materials, as well as the development of technologies related to system control of structures and machines, information and computers, energy generation, the global environment and space, life and living organisms, and more. In addition to manufacturing, engineering also encompasses the development of technologies related to eco-friendly, disaster-resilient urban development. Engineering pursues cutting-edge science and technology, while at the same time working to apply science and technology in a manner that benefits society, with an emphasis on human nature, social compatibility, economic feasibility, and efficiency. Engineering covers a truly broad cross-section of science and technology aimed at realizing a sustainable society.

Kyoto University’s Katsura Library, located on the Katsura Campus, has created a research catalogue titled “Katsura no Niwa” to compile the most up-to-date research seeds. Further information can be found on its website. The following introduces some of the research that is being conducted at the Graduate School of Engineering at Kyoto University as an example of global warming-related solutions.

  • Research on minimizing the risk of water-related disasters and global warming countermeasures aimed at realizing a decarbonized society: Research on reduction scenarios and investments to achieve the goal of zero greenhouse gas emissions, assessment of flood risks resulting from climate change, and development of adaptative technologies to minimize damage.
  • Research on renewable energy and clean energy generation: Development of technologies to improve the performance of fuel cells to optimize energy use and significantly reduce carbon dioxide emissions, development of new technologies to produce hydrogen from water, development of catalysts to produce hydrogen from ammonia, and development of technologies to convert the scientific energy of biomass into electrical energy.
  • Research on analysis and control of energy systems and sustainable use of resources: Development of technologies to realize stable energy supply using data to link mathematical science with the real world, and development of technologies for sustainable use of water resources and utilization of geothermal energy.

The Graduate School of Engineering at Kyoto University is developing a diverse array of technologies in a broad range of fields for mitigation measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adaptation measures to lessen the impact of climate change as means of addressing global warming. As can be seen in these examples, engineering aims to provide solutions to impending issues and develop technologies that benefit the global community. Simply put, engineering is a practical science that is meant to be applied. At the same time, the scientific research that supports this technological development––in other words, basic research––is also an essential element of engineering. The purposes of basic research are to elucidate the natural principles that govern motion and the properties of matter, and to formulate new approaches and theories to explain these. This is motivated by curiosity and the desire to understand the principles of nature, and at the beginning of a project, researchers often do not yet know how their findings will be applicable. However, it is only through achievements in a diverse range of basic research that application in a wider range of technologies becomes possible. The Faculty of Engineering and the Graduate School of Engineering at Kyoto University emphasize the elements of both basic and applied research, under the philosophy of being “committed to the development of science and technology in harmony with the natural environment, with an emphasis on academic fundamentals and basic principles.” As a student in the Faculty of Engineering at Kyoto University, it is our hope that you will study not only your specialized field and related natural sciences but also cultivate a rich liberal arts education by broadening your interests in the humanities and social sciences. In doing so, you will gain a better understanding of how engineering––your chosen field––integrates with society through its interconnections with numerous other disciplines.

The Faculty of Engineering at Kyoto University consists of six undergraduate schools: the Undergraduate School of Civil, Environmental and Resources Engineering; the Undergraduate School of Architecture; the Undergraduate School of Engineering Science; the Undergraduate School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering; the Undergraduate School of Informatics and Mathematical Science; and the Undergraduate School of Chemical Science and Technology. First and second year students primarily take general education subjects called Liberal Arts and Sciences Courses and foreign language subjects such as English common to all undergraduate schools, as well as basic subjects common to all science courses. Specialized subjects specific to each undergraduate school and undergraduate course program are also provided from the first year, and the level of specialization of these subjects increases with each successive academic year. In the fourth year, students are assigned to laboratories, where each works on a specific research project under the subject of Special Research (graduation research). Depending on the undergraduate school or undergraduate course program, students will work together with laboratory faculty members and/or graduate students on cutting-edge research projects relating to megastructures, water resources, urban and transportation network design, energy development, disaster prevention and mitigation, the global environment, water and waste treatment, building and interior design, robotics development, nanomaterials, electronic materials, optical and electronic devices, advanced information systems, data science, computers, artificial intelligence, control systems, development of new substances and advanced materials, or microorganisms and life.

The Faculty of Engineering website features a section titled First Steps toward Engineering at Kyoto University, in which faculty members and students introduce their daily lives along with appealing aspects of the Faculty of Engineering. The pamphlet Kyoto University Faculty of Engineering provides detailed information on each undergraduate school. In addition, each undergraduate school in the Faculty of Engineering has prepared a course tree showing the types of lectures offered, how they interrelate, and in what order they should be taken. These are available on the Faculty of Engineering website. We hope that these resources help you better understand the Faculty of Engineering. We encourage all students in the Faculty of Engineering to make use of these reference sources to aid you in your studies.

We look forward to seeing you find ways to challenge yourselves through your studies at the Faculty of Engineering at Kyoto University, and are confident that, in pursuing these challenges, you will come to shine even brighter. We will spare no effort to support you in this endeavor.