Tokyo Tech News
From September 25 to November 26, 2018, Tokyo Tech hosted six students through the Thailand Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (TAIST)-Tokyo Tech Student Exchange Program in 2018.
TAIST-Tokyo Tech was established in 2007 as a collaboration of Tokyo Tech, the National Science and Technology Development Agency (NSTDA), and leading Thai universities. Aimed at developing highly skilled researchers, engineers, and R&D personnel in Thailand, TAIST-Tokyo Tech provides a joint graduate program through which participating students receive the master's degree of their home institution and a certificate from TAIST.
Tokyo Tech faculty members are heavily involved in the TAIST program, serving as lecturers and — in cooperation with faculty members of Thai TAIST partner universities and researchers from NSTDA — as academic co-supervisors of TAIST students.
The TAIST-Tokyo Tech Student Exchange Program was launched in 2015 to encourage greater interaction between students from TAIST and Tokyo Tech. The program provides Tokyo Tech students with opportunities to attend TAIST lectures and participate in research internships at NSTDA, and offers opportunities for TAIST students to conduct research in the laboratories of their co-supervisors at Tokyo Tech.
The program at Tokyo Tech typically includes campus tours, including to TAIST-related Tokyo Tech faculty labs, visits to Japanese companies, and weekend activities. In 2018, it also offered an opportunity for the TAIST students to participate in activities with TAIST alumni currently enrolled in doctoral programs at Tokyo Tech.
On the first weekend of the TAIST students' program in Japan, a TAIST alumnus currently enrolled at Tokyo Tech and three Tokyo Tech students who will participate in the outbound iteration of the exchange led the TAIST students on a sightseeing tour in the Tokyo Bay area. Despite having just met, the participants quickly opened up to one another and enjoyed their time together.
The program also included a visit to Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corporation's Kimitsu Factory, where the TAIST students had an opportunity to observe the steel manufacturing process. The group was accompanied by TAIST-Tokyo Tech Steering Committee Chair and Tokyo Tech Professor Katsunori Hanamura. "I was able to observe the iron manufacturing process closely, learned relevant knowledge, and expanded my horizons." "I was impressed by the diligence of the Japanese workers and their clear focus on getting the best results," TAIST students commented.
As their stay at Tokyo Tech concluded, the TAIST students made final presentations on their research to a 60-person audience comprised of their academic supervisors, fellow lab members, and faculty members involved with TAIST, as well as donors to TAIST.
Tokyo Tech faculty members commented on the program:
TAIST supporters also said, "[Based on the presentations] I well understood the outstanding abilities of TAIST students."
Utilizing the knowledge and experience they gained at Tokyo Tech, TAIST participants in the exchange have returned to Thailand to complete their master's theses. After graduation, some will advance to doctoral programs at universities in Thailand or abroad, while others will pursue careers with Thai and foreign companies.