Tokyo Tech News

Tokyo Tech co-hosts Sustainability Course under Sweden-Japan MIRAI Project


Published: November 15, 2018

On October 18, Tokyo Tech hosted the final day of a four-day course for doctoral students held under the auspices of the MIRAI Project, an academic, research, and innovation collaboration platform involving 15 research universities in Sweden and Japan.

The project began in 2016 to promote long-term research collaborations between Sweden and Japan and to provide early-stage researchers with knowledge, contacts, and networks. Since then, it has held six research workshops per year in its focus fields of Sustainability, Materials Science, and Ageing. This year, to bring young researchers together in educational programs under the MIRAI Project banner, faculty members involved in MIRAI collaborations developed and launched multi-day intensive courses for doctoral students in the fields of focus.

One of three courses conducted thus far, the sustainability-focused course jointly organized by Tokyo Tech and Hiroshima University ran from October 15 to 18 on the topic of “membranes for a sustainable water cycle.”

Course participants and lecturers at Tokyo Tech

Course participants and lecturers at Tokyo Tech

Professor Takeo Yamaguchi of Tokyo Techʼs Institute of Innovative Research, Professor Toshinori Tsuru of Hiroshima University, and Professor Frank Lipnizki of Lund University developed the course. A total of 14 doctoral students from Lund University, Stockholm University, Hiroshima University, and Tokyo Techʼs School of Materials and Chemical Engineering participated.

Tokyo Techʼs participants were:

  • Hiroto Okuyama, 2nd-year doctoral student, Chemical Science and Engineering
  • Hafis Pratama, 2nd-year doctoral student, Chemical Science and Engineering
  • Yiengveerachon Chayapa, 1st-year doctoral student, Chemical Science and Engineering
  • Le Quang Huy, 3rd-year doctoral student, Chemical Science and Engineering

Hiroshima University hosted lectures and site visits for the first two days of the course. Participants then moved to Shiga Prefecture for a visit to a Toray Industries, Inc. water treatment plant, where they received briefings and observed the company's Membrane Bioreactor (MBR) process. The course concluded with lectures, group discussions, and presentations at Tokyo Techʼs Ookayama Campus.

Tokyo Techʼs Yamaguchi, Dr. Hiroshi Nabetani of the National Agriculture and Food Research Organization, and Associate Professor Kazuki Akamatsu of Kogakuin University provided lectures on the morning of the final day. They spoke respectively on “membrane technologies for energy, bio, and water applications,” “membrane separation technologies for food industries,” and “membrane modification and anti-fouling membranes.”

In the afternoon, participants worked together in five groups to create proposals on the topics below:

Effective export of membrane technologies to developing countries and dissemination within those countries
Public water supply systems for developing countries based on comparison of such systems in Japan and Sweden
Design of natural-disaster-resilient water/energy infrastructures
Efficient management and protection of ocean ecosystems
Use of membrane/water technologies to contribute to sustainable production and consumption in e.g. agriculture, forestry, livestock farming, or industry

Group discussion
Group discussion

Poster presentation
Poster presentation

Following the studentsʼ poster presentations, Yamaguchi and Lipnizki awarded each participant with a certificate of completion. In addition, Wang Qing of Hiroshima University and Kristofer Hägg of Lund University were recognized with the Best Poster Award for their proposal on public water supply systems.

Recipients of the Best Poster Award (center) with Tokyo Techʼs Yamaguchi (left) and Lund Universityʼs Lipnizki (right)

Recipients of the Best Poster Award (center) with Tokyo Techʼs Yamaguchi (left) and Lund Universityʼs Lipnizki (right)

The next sustainability-focused MIRAI course will be held in Sweden in spring 2019.


Planning and Coordination Group,

International Cooperation Division,

International Affairs Department

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