Tokyo Tech News

10th Satellite Seminar in Sustainable Engineering Technology


Published: June 2, 2017

The 10th Satellite Seminar in Sustainable Engineering Technology (SET) was held on February 22 and 23, 2017. A total of 45 SET course students from 17 countries, 8 teaching assistants, and 7 faculty members joined this year's milestone seminar, an annual highlight of Tokyo Tech's Sustainable Engineering Program. With the help of industry experts, attendees spent two days considering sustainability-focused problems and solutions under the theme "Energy and Innovation for Infrastructure Development."

During the preparatory SET lectures held in December 2016 and January 2017, students had the opportunity to discuss energy issues with experts from the Central Research Institute of Electric Power Industry (CRIEPI) and Komatsu Ltd. The topics of these lectures included clean energy, energy safety, and environment preservation.

Factory visit

On February 22, the first day of the seminar, students visited the Komatsu Ltd. factory in Hitachinaka, Ibaraki Prefecture, around 150 km from Tokyo Tech. The company's Ibaraki plant is responsible for manufacturing large-sized equipment such as dump trucks, articulated dump trucks, and wheel loaders. Komatsu Ltd. chose the Hitachinaka location for its manufacturing activities due to its close proximity to the sea, which allows for efficient global shipping of its products.

After a briefing on Komatsu's activities, 52 students from Tokyo Tech had the chance to observe the assembling process of a dump truck — from the single hopper to complete assembly. At the end of the site visit, all participants took a picture in front of the super-sized 72-ton HD 785 Dump Truck, one of the most valuable products manufactured by Komatsu Ltd.

In front of super-sized dump truck at Komatsu's Ibaraki plant

Photo 1. In front of super-sized dump truck at Komatsu's Ibaraki plant

As a result of the Komatsu Ltd. briefing and factory visit, participants were informed of what the company refers to as dantotsu, or unrivaled products, and their innovation in construction, mining, and utility equipment. After the site visit, all participants moved to the Clearview Golf Club & Hotel in Chiba Prefecture for the satellite seminar. At the gala dinner in the evening, each student introduced their own country and culture in the front of the other participants, which helped everyone appreciate the atmosphere of diversity they created. The introductions were not the last task of the day. All the groups worked late into the night preparing the group presentations held on Day Two.

On the second day of the program, eight groups delivered their solutions to energy problems in the development of infrastructure. Most of the groups focused on the generation of energy from renewable sources, the establishment of systems for energy conservation, and efficient energy usage with the help of cutting-edge technology. Due to the interesting topics delivered by the groups, the question and answer session was very lively and interesting.

  • Photo 2. Briefing of Komatsu Ltd. at Ibaraki plant
    Photo 2. Briefing of Komatsu Ltd. at Ibaraki plant

  • Photo 3. Q&A session after presentations
    Photo 3. Q&A session after presentations

Presentation titles by group:

Title of Group Work
Novel Municipal Solid Waste Treatment Management - Case of Megacities
HOUSE REBORN - New Solutions to Building Reconstruction -
IoT for Smart Infrastructure
Smart Train Station as Part of Sustainable Society
Smart Transportation System
House of the Future - A new style of house and life-style -
Smart Home Construction for Japanese Environment
Setting the criteria for evaluating green construction sites
Photo 4. Preparing presentations on the night of first day

Photo 4. Preparing presentations on the night of first day

At the closing session, Professor Shinya Hanaoka, chair of the Sustainable Engineering Program, gave comments and feedback regarding the factory site visit and seminar. The event successfully closed after the announcement of the best discussion participants and the presentation awards:

1st place - Group 7

2nd place - Group 2

3rd place - Group 6

Comments from participant

Lukman Adi Prananto, Mechanical Science and Engineering

I enjoyed the atmosphere in the class because it was very diverse and global. The Industrial Expert delivered the material presentation in English. Therefore, most of the students who are from foreign countries outside Japan could easily grasp the information and asked valuable questions based on their major and expertise. The seminar in Komatsu Ltd. gave us the experience of Japanese Industry in manufacturing. Besides the high quality shown in the process, we also learnt the spirit of Japanese Company to support the sustainable development of the society. Personally, I want to express deep gratitude to all of the Professors in the Sustainable Engineering Technology and Komatsu Ltd. for giving such a memorable experience to us.

Photo 5. Group photo in front of the seminar venue

Photo 5. Group photo in front of the seminar venue


Jiro Takemura
Associate Professor, School of Environment and Society