Greetings from the Dean of the Graduate School of Engineering

立川先生顔写真(英)The purpose of engineering is to pursue technologies to enhance convenience in our lives based on scientific knowledge and build a safer, healthier, and higher quality society by applying these technologies in the real world. Engineering-related research encompasses the manufacture of structures, machinery, electronics, and new substances and advanced materials, along with numerous other fields related to our daily lives, including but not limited to conservation and restoration of the global environment, generation of renewable and clean energy, and development of information technologies to support a super-smart society. Engineering is an academic discipline that contributes to the realization of a sustainable society through the development of these technologies.

Engineering aims to provide solutions to impending issues and develop technologies that benefit the global community. Engineering is a practical science that is meant to be applied. At the same time, advancements in the scientific research that supports this technological development––in other words, basic research––enable previously unimagined breakthroughs. Engineering at Kyoto University emphasizes the basic research that leads to understanding of the natural principles that govern motion and the properties of matter and the formulation of theories to explain these principles. The Graduate School of Engineering and the Faculty of Engineering at Kyoto University define engineering “encompasses all fields of science that make direct or indirect contributions to the lives of people.” We state as our philosophy that engineering “plays a significant role in the ongoing advancement of the global community and in the progress of civilization” and we are “committed to the development of science and technology in harmony with the natural environment, with an emphasis on academic fundamentals and basic principles.” Through emphasizing both basic and applied research, Kyoto University’s Graduate School of Engineering aims to develop science and technologies to realize previously unimagined forms of manufacturing as well as a sustainable global society.

In graduate school, students are expected to study and research a single topic in-depth to the point of mastery. Making progress in your research activities requires a systematic comprehension of the trends and advancements made in your chosen field to date as well as an accurate understanding of where your research fits into this framework. In addition, in doctoral programs, it is important for you to broaden your perspective and take an interest in the relationships between your own research and the research being conducted in other disciplines and the various issues faced by society. Through the process of considering the potential applications of your research in other fields and how it can be used in solving various issues in society, your research network will naturally expand, which could lead your research in directions that you had never before imagined.

The Interdisciplinary Research Institute for the Next Generation (iRING) is scheduled to open in Kyoto University’s Graduate School of Engineering in 2023. Within the Graduate School of Engineering, iRING aims to train personnel capable of collaborating across organizational boundaries, with the goal of fostering the next generation of researchers through the acquisition and application of new integrative knowledge. Here, young researchers will be able to consider the compatibility of their knowledge with that of other––even quite dissimilar––fields, and cultivate the ability to apply and integrate their personal expertise into other disciplines. We anticipate that iRING seminars will enable young researchers and graduate students in doctoral programs to gain a broader perspective on research, which they can then apply to advance their own research.

Currently, the Graduate School consists of seventeen departments and eight centers. Graduate students are assigned to laboratories in each department, center, or cooperating chair at an affiliated research institute, where each works on a specific research project under the guidance of faculty members. Through this process, graduate students acquire specialized knowledge and develop the abilities to plan and advance research, to explain research finding in an easy-to-understand and logical manner, and to discover and overcome problems on their own. Students are also required to develop high ethical standards and a sense of responsibility in the domain of academic research. In addition, students need to acquire the ability to clearly define how their research fits into the overall framework and to discuss the findings and significance of their research at venues of any type both in Japan and overseas. The Graduate School of Engineering provides various research facilities and study environments to help you acquire these abilities. The Graduate School of Engineering also offers grants to provide students with opportunities to participate in and present their research at overseas academic conferences and to study at overseas research institutions. Kyoto University’s Katsura Library facilitates group work and research discussions by providing access to group study rooms, open laboratories, and a research commons.

The websites of each department and center as well as the Graduate School of Engineering Guide provide detailed information on the aims of each department and the research being conducted in their laboratories. The website “Katsura no Niwa–Catalogue for Advanced Research,” operated by the Katsura Library, introduces “Katsura no Tane (research seeds)” currently being addressed by laboratories in the Graduate School of Engineering in an easy-to-understand manner. We hope that these resources help you better understand the diverse range of research being conducted in the Graduate School of Engineering. We encourage all students in the Graduate School of Engineering to make use of these reference sources to aid you in establishing your research topic.

Conducting research in graduate school means taking on new challenges. You will select a research topic and work to overcome the various issues you face along the way, using the accumulation of past research as a foundation. At times, you will encounter difficulties. Seek solutions to these through your own efforts. Also discuss with university faculty members and your peers, who are as hard working as you. A way forward is bound to reveal itself. Graduate school provides opportunities for you to improve yourself through this process. The effort that you apply is what opens the door to a promising future. We wish to run alongside of you to help you shine ever brighter.