Tokyo Tech News
Since 2007, Tokyo Tech has been collaborating with the National Science and Technology Development Agency (NSTDA) and leading universities in Thailand to jointly implement the Thailand Advanced Institute of Science and Technology-Tokyo Tech (TAIST-Tokyo Tech, or TAIST) graduate program. TAIST lectures are team-taught by professors from Tokyo Tech and the relevant Thai universities, while TAIST students' research is co-supervised by Tokyo Tech faculty members and their Thai counterparts.
Currently offering three master's programs in Automotive Engineering (AE), Information and Communication Technology for Embedded Systems (ICTES), and Advanced and Sustainable Environmental Engineering (EnvE), TAIST-Tokyo Tech aims to foster world-class researchers and high-level engineers who can solve problems caused by rapid industrialization and contribute to sustainable development in Asia.
Between October 30 and November 19, Tokyo Tech implemented the TAIST-Tokyo Tech Student Exchange Program in Japan 2016, a student mobility program intended to strengthen networks between Thai and Japanese students through research collaboration. The program was supported by SAKURA Exchange Program in Science, a project funded by Japan's Science and Technology Agency (JST) to encourage Japan-Asia youth exchanges in science.
The program provided TAIST students with the opportunity to spend about three weeks conducting collaborative research with Tokyo Tech students at the laboratory of the Tokyo Tech faculty member who co-supervises their research. Ten second-year master's students from TAIST — including eight students from Thailand, one student from Pakistan, and one student from Sri Lanka — participated.
During the program, the TAIST students conducted research in the labs of their Tokyo Tech research supervisors. They were warmly welcomed by lab members with welcome parties and other activities. One student commented that as she was able to develop a good research plan through discussions with her Tokyo Tech supervisor and team members before the program, she felt her research went according to plan during her stay at Tokyo Tech.
Though much of the program was aimed at research in the labs, tours and field trips were also organized. During the Ookayama Campus tour, TAIST students visited the TSUBAME supercomputer facility, the Environmental Energy Innovation (EEI) Building, and the Ookayama Campus Library. They were especially interested in the TSUBAME supercomputer and asked many questions.
Later, the students were divided into groups according to their program of study and visited faculty research labs in related fields. AE students visited labs for systems and control engineering, manufacturing science and technology, and energy science and engineering, while ICTES students visited labs for information and communications engineering, human interface, and high-performance information systems. EnVE students visited water environment, chemistry and materials science, and global development engineering labs.
Receiving introductions to each lab's activities by lab members and the co-supervisors, the TAIST students gained exposure to Tokyo Tech research in various labs and deepened their understanding of their own and other students' research. In addition, they were impressed with the advanced research underway in the labs and remarked on the enthusiasm of Tokyo Tech students.
Together with Tokyo Tech students who had previously visited Thailand under the TAIST-Tokyo Tech Student Exchange Program, the TAIST students also made visits to the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation (Miraikan) and the Science Museum in Kitanomaru Park. Using English to communicate, the students bonded as they explored the museum's displays of innovative technologies.
TAIST students visiting Fujifilm's Odawara production facility for recording media had an opportunity to learn about the company's cutting-edge technology and sustainability practices. Through the tour, TAIST students learned about the history of Fujifilm, including that the company's competitiveness is due to its diversification of product investment. Fujifilm has sales offices around the world, including in Thailand.
Final presentations and a farewell ceremony were held on November 18. TAIST students conducted a poster session to report on their research experiences during the program. A total of 30 persons, including faculty supervisors and student members of the labs, attended the presentations. The supervisors of the TAIST students applauded their efforts. Later, the Vice Chairman of the TAIST Steering Committee, Professor Manabu Okumura, awarded certificates of program completion.
The program provided an opportunity for TAIST students not only to experience research life at Tokyo Tech but also to advance their research and expand their skills and knowledge of new scientific technologies. By visiting Japan and spending time with Japanese students, participants were able to understand the ways of thinking and daily lives of their Japanese peers. Having thus deepened their interest in Japan, program participants returned to Thailand, commenting that they hoped to return to Japan someday. Working with TAIST students on a daily basis in the labs, Tokyo Tech students also benefited from the program as they broadened their own global networks.