The 3rd academic group provides a breadth of study, ranging from the nano-realm of molecules and atoms to the management of manufacturing processes. Students are trained to explore ways in which chemistry can contribute to the betterment of society through cutting-edge research. Second-year students affiliate themselves with the Department of Chemical Science and Engineering in the School of Materials and Chemical Technology or the Department of Industrial Engineering and Economics in the School of Engineering. Graduates from these departments become research leaders in the fields of environment, energy, medical care, and new materials manufacturing.
The Department of Industrial Engineering and Economics in the School of Engineering is the only department of its kind in a Japanese national university. Students conduct research into and develop people-friendly work environments and user-friendly technologies and systems.
Most students in this academic group go on to pursue master's degrees involving advanced research in the global environment and energy fields. One characteristic of this academic group is the wide range of potential careers available to students after graduation. Many seek and find positions in chemical companies, engineering firms, oil companies, food industries, and public agencies.
A core feature of this group is pairwork. Throughout the 2nd and 3rd years, the 80 to 120 students in this academic group regularly pair up to conduct experiments in applied chemistry. Rather than pursuing their specialties only, students learn broad fundamentals and share their views as researchers, deepening their understanding of lectures through hands-on experiments.
As part of orientation soon after enrollment, students attend a two-day overnight seminar, affectionately called the bus seminar because students get to know each other as they travel to their destination by bus. Students in this academic group visit large-scale chemical plants and research institutes, located mainly in the Tokyo metropolitan bay area. The visits aim to help students envisage the sites they will lead in the future. Recent visits include the Chiba branch of Sapporo Breweries and the research centers of JX Nippon Oil & Energy and Sumitomo Chemical.