Hiroshima University (HU) was established by combining eight existing institutions in May 1949 under the National School Establishment Law. Later in 1953, the Hiroshima Prefectural Medical College was also added to the new HU. Some of these higher educational institutions already had brilliant traditions and histories of their own. Although these educational institutions suffered a great deal of damage due to the atomic bomb which was dropped on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945, they were reconstructed and combined to become the new HU. In addition, Graduate Schools were established in 1953. The new HU has risen from the ruins of war like a phoenix, which is in fact the University’s symbol.
HU is located in the southwest part of Honshu, the largest island of Japan. Approximately 900 kilometers away from Tokyo, it takes 70 minutes by airplane, or 4 hours by Shinkansen (bullet train) to Hiroshima. HU has three campuses and the main campus, covering 252 hectares, is located in Higashi-Hiroshima, in a verdant area which is famous for sake brewing. Including campuses in Hiroshima, known as the International City of Peace and Culture, the University includes 11 faculties, 11 graduate schools, a research institute, a university hospital, and 11 affiliated schools.
HU aims to be a world-class hub of education and research, to foster excellent human resources to contribute to the community, and developmentally expand science. HU’s mission of ongoing growth is based on the following five guiding principles:
1. The Pursuit of Peace
● To develop intellectual attitudes which always seek peaceful solutions to the problems affecting society and the world at large.
2. The Creation of New Forms of Knowledge
● To evolve new systems of study which surpass existing frontiers of knowledge and encourage intellectual innovation.
3. The Nurturing of Well-Rounded Human Beings
● To train graduates with well-developed and multifaceted personalities by means of an education which has breadth as well as depth.
4. Collaboration with the Local, Regional, and International Community
● To create a university with a strong international awareness which can efficiently disseminate knowledge on a worldwide scale, in collaboration with local and regional communities.
5. Continuous Self-Development
● To maintain a constant readiness to re-examine established ways of acting, and a constant openness to improvement and innovation.
HU has a long history of accepting international students from Southeast Asia. This commenced before World War II with students employed as high government officials devoted to the development of their home countries. As of May 2016, HU has over 15,000 students including nearly 1,000 international students from different 70 countries.
Laos is situated at the center of the Indochina. Hence, security and development of Laos are geopolitically significant for the whole Mekong region as well as the entire ASEAN region. In Laos, urbanization was accelerated since its open economy in the late 1980s. The percentage of people living in urban areas was increased rapidly from approximately 27% in 2005 to about 33% of the present. The Lao government set the national goal for emerging from so-called least developed countries by 2020. In order to achieve this goal, it is necessary to improve the currently insufficient infrastructure systems across the country. Furthermore, more considerations are required today for the further development issues such as economic gaps among regions, and urban and regional vulnerability due to the rapid urban centralization, etc.
In FY2015, the Development Technology Course (DTC), IDEC, and the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (DCEE), GSE, Hiroshima University, have newly established a comprehensive educational program, “Global Educational Program for Designing Sustainable Infrastructure Systems (GESIS)” on the basis of three academic fields, i.e., 1) “Regional and Urban Sustainable Design”, 2) “Forest and Ecosystem Conservation”, and 3) “Disaster Management”. The main aim of this program is to produce human resources with systematic knowledge and capability necessary for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) included in the post MDSs for the next decades in developing countries.
The JDS Fellows will join the GESIS program in order to be equipped with special knowledge and skills necessary for addressing socio-economic and environmental issues in Laos through the improvement of social infrastructure involving hardware and software aspects, and the improvement of urban and regional planning by considering interaction between industrial location, land use, transportation, architecture, energy, water, human life, ecosystem, earthquake and climate disaster prevention, etc. We provide the GESIS program for students through theoretical and empirical lessons with practical cases.
【Experiences and Achievements in the Field of International Cooperation】
GESIS has 32 faculty members, in which 7 professors, 4 associate professors, and 2 assistant professors from DTC, and 5 professors, 7 associate professors, and 7 assistant professors from DCEE are included respectively. We provide education and research guidance in English, with a teaching model that employs multiple teachers. Regarding research activities, professors and several students have been constantly presenting the papers in the journals or proceedings of international academic societies. Students are regularly guided to submit the research articles after the presentation for publication in high-ranking international journals, in which the following topics are included.
Regional and Urban Sustainable Design: Urban and regional planning, Transportation planning, Transportation engineering, Tourism, Architecture, Structural engineering, Material engineering, Geotechnical engineering, Energy policy, Hydraulic engineering, Hydrology, Environmental system engineering, and Environmental engineering, etc./ Forest and Ecosystem Conservation: Ecology, Botany, Animal resources, Forest resources, Landscape ecology, Biomass energy technology, and Environmental risk analysis, etc./ Disaster Management: Meteorology, Earthquake engineering, Ground disaster prevention engineering, Environmental fluid dynamics, Coastal engineering, and River engineering, etc.
Since its establishment, IDEC has provided personnel training to developing countries through research, education, and activities that contribute more to the society. It has also created and expanded a human resource network through international cooperation. Based from aforementioned endeavor, DTC promotes educational initiatives for those who are capable of coping with urban and regional environmental sustainability from the viewpoint of interdisciplinary knowledgebase including both public policy and technological and engineering expertise. Furthermore, IDEC has been selected as one of the best 5 educational institutions in Japan for global environmental and climate leaders education (GELs program (http://hicec.hiroshima-u.ac.jp/en/)) and the performance was evaluated as “S” (top score) among others. Faculty members of DTC have made important roles to the achievement through research and education activities in the fields of “Urban Sustainable Design”, “Wise Use of Biomass Resources” and “Environmental Impact Assessment”. Therefore, rich experiences and achievements on advanced and up-to-date interdisciplinary environmental education in IDEC, specifically in the field of environmental studies, are surely beneficial for educating and developing professional in sustainable infrastructure, environmental and disaster management in Laos.
DCEE has also contributed infrastructure and industrial development in developing countries, through international cooperation. Some of the faculty members have experiences to be a course leader of JICA training program or a JICA specialist on international cooperation projects, with the topics including; i) sewage treatment in Latin America region, ii) geotechnical engineering, iii) improvement of personnel engaging in construction of express highway, iv) technical support to Suez Canal Authority and so on. In addition, many professors are carrying out collaborative research with foreign universities or organizations, such as “development of low cost wastewater treatment technology in Jakarta”, “environmental rehabilitation of coastal area, Korea”, etc. Furthermore, some of the professors have experiences of working in national institute belonging to Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, which are administrating the technical codes of infrastructures in Japan. They are familiar with the technical codes supporting the design, maintenance and safety against the natural, environmental conservation of infrastructures.
The JDS Fellows will study GESIS (Global Educational Program for Designing Sustainable Infrastructure Systems), organized by Development Technology Course (DTC), IDEC, and Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (DCEE), GSE. The broad spectrum of faculty member disciplines in DTC and DCEE enables us to design “GESIS” that fosters advanced specialists who address a wide range of problems in socio-economic and environmental conditions in urban and rural areas in developing countries. It consists of four sub-programs: a) Collaboration program, b) Usual program of DTC and DCEE, c) Training for thesis writing, and d) JDS special program. Through the preliminary education (phase I of “JDS special program”), main-supervisor and affiliation (DTC or DCEE) will be decided for each student.
a) Collaboration program: This program, in which strong academic fields of DTC and DCEE are integrated, is the axis of GESIS. It consists of four subject areas, to include: i) Systematic Theory and PBL, ii) Regional and Urban Sustainable Design, iii) Forest and Ecosystem Conservation, and iv) Disaster Management. In subject area i), which is based on effective combination of lecture, group work, and debate, etc., students’ interdisciplinary knowledgebase is fostered for designing sustainable infrastructure system. Through the lectures of land use, transport, architecture, energy, urban metabolism and water resource management, etc. in subject area (ii), forest management, sustainable agriculture, ecosystem conservation and environmental risk management, etc. in subject area iii), and natural disaster management, and adaptation of earthquake and climate disaster, etc. in subject area (iv), academic expertise and practical skills of each subject area are fostered. Furthermore, to seek continuous improvement in effective educational methods in this program, taskforce of “GESIS collaboration program design” is organized by several faculty members with different expertise. In this taskforce, education methods such as i) fostering a more systematic understanding of sustainable infrastructure, ii) providing more suitable reference materials for students to succeed in their group works, and iii) improving each student’s communication level in the early stage by increasing students’ opportunities to discuss issues with lecturers, etc. have been discussed. Based on such activities, contents of subjects and group work topics, etc. are periodically reviewed and enhanced.
b) Usual program of DTC and DCEE: On the basis of guidance and advice from main-supervisor, student can learn the suitable subjects provided by DTC or DCEE to foster the student’s own academic expertise. To strengthen practical skills of international cooperation, interdisciplinary education program is also provided. In this program, the subjects of “International Environmental Cooperation Studies I and II”, “Practical Seminar on International Cooperation Project”, “Technology Transfer”, and some existing internship programs, such as i.ecbo (Explorers of International Cooperation Studies to Cross Borders) and ECBO (Engineers to Cross Border), etc. are included. Field research by students is also actively promoted in this program. (For more details, refer to http://www.hiroshima-u.ac.jp/en/en-gecbo/.)
c) Training for thesis writing: A JDS Fellow will be supervised by three professors (the main-supervisor, and two sub-supervisors) from DTC and DCEE. All students are required to join the seminar held by their main-supervisor every week. Through the seminar classes, student can receive more deliberate supervision (research plan, literature review, academic presentation, and academic writing) and obtain basic skills necessary for academic research (analytical methods and result interpretation). In addition, through the appropriate guidance and advice from sub-supervisors, student can enhance research contents by obtaining knowledge of research methods in different academic fields.
【JDS Special Program】
We provide the special program consists of three phases: preliminary education (phase I), practical education and research (phase II), and follow-up training (phase III). Note that our special program has been enhanced through our 5-year experience of acceptance of JDS Fellows from various Asian countries. Thus, we do have high confidence that we provide ample support for JDS Fellows in terms of their personal life and more importantly, in research. The usual program, in which aforementioned sub-program a), b) and c) are included, will be implemented in Phase II.
(1) Phase I: Preliminary education
Preliminary education aims to make accepted candidates prepare for studying advanced materials in our course through distance education. Candidates are provided with textbooks on basics of sustainable infrastructure development and are required to conduct self-study under the instruction of professors. Candidates need to submit a report, which topic is “importance of designing and realizing a sustainable infrastructure in Laos”, and professors will give some advices based on their expertise to foster the candidates’ academic skills.
(2) Phase II: Practical education and research
(a) We provide several opportunities to discuss with specialists of other universities and institutions, and officers of governmental and international organizations, to learn practical knowledge for problem-solving policy and technology system design. It would be very useful opportunity to build a network of personal connections with professionals. In addition, we actively promote students’ participation to academic conferences. In our program, the International Conference on Civil and Environmental Engineering has been held annually, rotating in four hosting universities in China, Korea, Taiwan and Japan (FY2015: National Central University, Taiwan, FY2016: Hiroshima University, Japan, FY2017: Dalian University of Technology，China). At the conference, student workshop is organized by the students in partner universities working together on a self-determined theme, which are then presented as sessions in panel discussion. The selected students from the partner universities hold a leader's camp (LC; extensive course) in Hiroshima University. In LC, students participate in group-work for a solution proposal under the given task supported by the lecturers from partner universities. Participating students not only acquire international communication capabilities but also learn the role of leader in highly advanced research or practical issues with regards to cities, environment and disaster preventions in Asian regions.
(b) All JDS Fellows are provided with specialized books, datasets, and/or other materials necessary for their research. In addition, analytical tools and software to promote research activities are also provided.
(c) At least one Ph.D. student is assigned to every JDS Fellow (mentorship system). Students are able to get appropriate advice and ample support on their research from the mentor.
(d) We provide special English language courses. Through these courses, student can obtain basic skills in writing academic papers. In addition, JDS Fellows can utilize English proofreading by native speakers on their master theses. These practices have improved students’ English skills dramatically.
(3) Phase III: Follow-up training
In order to get feedback from graduates on how they utilize the knowledge acquired in our course and how we should improve the on-going JDS program, we hold a follow-up seminar in Laos after JDS Fellows return to their home country. We also provide advice and recommendations on practical issues from the academic’ view point. Information obtained from the seminar will be utilized to improve the quality of the JDS program and make sure that their knowledge and skills are used in the most effective and suitable ways for their work.
Figure 2 shows an overview of GESIS. To obtain a Master’s degree, JDS Fellows need to satisfy the following requirements: (1) minimum of 34 credits through course work (Collaboration Program: 10 credits or more, Usual Program of DTC or DECC: 8 credits or more, Training for Thesis Writing: 8 credits or more, and JDS Special
Program: 4 credits or more), and (2) submission of a master’s thesis. All students need to decide research topic and supervisors (one main-supervisor and two sub-supervisors) at the beginning of the first semester. Under the main-supervisor’s advice, students will choose subjects to enroll and start preparations for a master’s thesis. Students will choose subjects provided by GESIS, but also can select some subjects offered by IDEC and GSE.
List of subjects offered in 2016 academic year (Reference) Please refer to the attachment. On the basis of the subjects provided by DTC and DECC, Collaboration Program of GESIS is designed as follows (see Table. 1)
Table 1. Contents of “Collaboration Program” (Students are required to take “10 credits or more” in this sub-program, and “ credits or more” from each subject area.)
Systematic Theory and PBL
|Environment Management Technology||2|
|Civil and Environmental Engineering Research I||2|
|Civil and Environmental Engineering Research II||2|
Regional and Urban Sustainable Design
|System Analysis for Regional Development||2|
|Sustainable Architecture I||2|
|Advanced Environmental System Engineering||2|
|Advanced Environmental Protection Engineering||2|
Forest and Ecosystem Conservation
|Management of Conservation Ecosystem||2|
|Applied Ecosystem Science||2|
|Environmental Risk Management||2|
|Management of Natural Disasters||2|
|Disaster Prevention of Earthquake||2|
|Advanced River Engineering||2|
Students need to decide their research topic and supervisors (one head-supervisor and two sub-supervisors) at the beginning of the first semester. Under the head-supervisor’s advice, students will choose subjects to enroll and start preparations for their master’s thesis.
|Department||Major||Laboratories||Position||Name||Details of Education / Research Fields|
|Civil and Environmental Engineering||Structural Engineering||Structural Materials and Concrete Structures||Professo
|Education and research on the physicochemical characteristics of cementitious materials, the mechanical and durability performance evaluation of plain, reinforced and prestressed concretes, effective utilization of resources, environmental impact evaluation of concrete, and maintenance of concrete structures.|
|Education and research on performance-based design on steel, concrete, and composite structures, earthquake and wind resistance design and vibration control, natural disaster prevention, remaining strength of aged deteriorated existing structures, maintenance and asset management of bridges, and various computer simulation technologies.|
|Evaluation of mechanical property of soft ground, Development of ground improvement methods, Development of new geo-materials including lightweight treated soil of recycled materials, Research on geotechnical problems related to environmental rehabilitation in coastal areas, Development of new construction technology for waste disposal sites, In-situ testing of weathered granite soil and the application on risk assessment of natural slopes in heavy rainfall, Estimation and countermeasures of sand liquefaction by earthquakes, Evaluation of seismic site response of ground, Earthquake resistant design of geotechnical works.|
|Civil and Environmental Engineering||Environmental Engineering||Global Environment and Planning||Associate Professor
|Development of planning methodology, and analysis for following themes; recycling society, urban transportation system by making full use of a economical evaluation, a statistical model, and a mathematical planning, or a travel behavior model. Researches on rare material flow, market share forecast on low emission vehicle, development of statistical model for "big-data", and on consensus building by statistical approach for text data.|
|Environmental Preservation Engineering||Professor
|Biological wastewater treatment.
Energy recovery from biomass by microbes.
Nitrogen and Phosphorous removal. Microbial community analysis. Analysis and modeling of behavior of trace toxic chemicals in air and water environments. Application of membrane filtration technique on wastewater treatment.
Cho Thanda Nyunt
|Modeling of interactions among flood flow, vegetation and morphology in rivers.
Monitoring river environment using autonomous multicomputer. Integrated modeling of inundation in river basins. Detachment mechanism of algae attached to river bed gravels. Development of measuring device of bed load during floods.
Assessment of climate change impact on precipitation at a basin scale.
Analysis and prediction of localized heavy rainfalls using high resolution radar system
|Coastal Engineering||Associate Professor
|Acoustic measurement of wash road.
2-D mapping of velocity and salinity fields using fluvial acoustic tomography. Monitoring of ascending tsunami/tidal bore.
Development of technology to improve environment in river bank.
Practical use of "sediment microbial fuel cells" more than solar batteries. Research on groundwater and tidal flat environment in tidal estuaries
|Application of reliability engineering for the evaluation of the safety and reliability of structures|
|Transportation planning methods, evaluation of transport policies, and sustainable development and transport|
Applied Marine Hydrodynamics
|Professor||HIGO, Yasushi||Hydrodynamic forces acting on floating structure, theoretical and numerical studies on seaquakes|
|Resource Animal Science I||Professor||MAEDA,
|Manipulation of germ cells and embryos for the production of transgenic animals (domestic animals)|
|Living environment planning in buildings and urban area: water environment, landscape and environmental psychology|
|Resource Animal Science II||Professor||TSUDZUKI,
|Evaluation of genetic resources in poultry
Mapping of qualitative and quantitative trait loci in poultry
|Ground Disaster Prevention Engineering I, II||Professor||
|Development of natural disaster information system, environmentally-friendly and economical methods for the construction of foundations, image analysis of soil behavior and constitutive relations of soils|
|Regional and Urban Engineering,
|Urban activity/travel behavior models and survey methods, regional/urban development and transportation, tourism policy, urban and transportation issues in developing countries|
|Sustainable Architecture I, II||Associate Professor||KUBOTA,
|Building and urban environmental science for achieving sustainable development in developing world|
|Biomass Energy Technology,
Resource Plant Science
|Development of biomass energy technologies and application to developing countries
Agricultural ecology and development of sustainable agricultural technologies
|Energy Technologies||Associate Professor||LEE,
|Education and research related to energy technologies in the context of developing countries|
Professors who will cease regular teaching within the standard completion period of the thesis. Applicants are allowed to select him/her as supervisor, but need to inquire of the staff in the Student Support Office.
HU is a research based university. In line with this policy, GESIS requires a thesis for the fulfillment of the master’s degree, which is different from the coursework-based curriculum typically found in professional schools. It is not a very easy task to compile a master’s thesis based on independent research. In fact, students need to spend significant time and resources. However, it is expected that this experience will enable you to acquire specialized academic and practical knowledge in your area of specialization. Expected outcomes of GESIS are as follows.
Now, under our aforementioned program, four JDS Lao students are promoting their research activities on forest management, rural electrification, urban planning and architecture planning, respectively. In this program, students design a sustainable infrastructure system to address the following questions: i) What types of technologies are useful for improving the current status?; ii) What types of policies support such technologies?; and iii) What types of institutions are needed to implement such policies?. They formulate their solutions on the basis of their own expertise and multidisciplinary knowledge.
We have a vast experience of guiding students from different countries with various government and national and international agencies’ scholarships and even self-financed, whose details are mentioned below. Our graduates are now working as professors, government officers, researchers, international agencies officers, NGO workers and so on, in their respective countries.
Finally, in the campus surrounded by abundant nature in the suburbs of Hiroshima city, you can give your full attention to your study. Your each and every experience here will serve as an excellent base for your further steps as a professional government official. We welcome you to Hiroshima University.