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Akita University

Graduate School Outline

Organization

 The Graduate School of Engineering Science consists of a two-year Master’s Degree Program and a three-year Doctor’s Degree Program.
 The Master’s Degree Program consists of 4 departments (9 courses), the Doctor’s Degree Program consists of 1 department (4 fields). The 4 departments in the Master’s Degree Program are related to the 4 departments in the undergraduate program.

 

[Master's Degree Program]

 (Life Science Course)

 (Applied Chemistry Course, Materials Science and Engineering Course)

 (Mathematical Science Course, Electrical and Electronic Engineering Course, Human-Centered Computing Course)

 (Mechanical Engineering Course, Creative Engineering Course, Civil and Environmental Engineering Course)

[Doctor's Degree Program]

 (Field of Life Science, Field of Materials Science, Field of Mathematical Science and Electrical-Electronic-Computer Engineering, Field of Systems Design Engineering)

 

Master’s Degree Program

Department of Life Science

The results of research in the life sciences have led to breakthroughs that brought about many new advances in science and technology, as these fields can be seen as carving out the future of human society. This department therefore seeks to develop scientists able to unravel the elaborate workings of life phenomena; human resources who will play core and leading roles in their future professions taking advantage of their high level of knowledge, insight, and research skills in life science; and human resources who, with their grounding in science, will lead research and development in crossdisciplinary and academic fields related to medicine, pharmacology, engineering, agriculture, and other areas, and be active in many different fields related to life science including medicine, pharmaceuticals, food production, and development of bioenergy resources.

 

1) Life Science Course
 This course consists of the Biomolecular Chemistry field, covering areas including structural biology, protein chemistry, analytical chemistry, supramolecular chemistry, organic chemistry, electrochemistry, and computational chemistry, and the Molecular Cell Biology field covering areas such as biochemistry, molecular biology, cell biology, and disease biology. In addition to helping students systematically acquire fundamental nowledge in both fields, the course fosters engineers and scientists capable of independently pursuing research and development based on a high level of specialized expertise.

 

Department of Materials Science

 Today, as energy problems, environmental degradation, resource depletion, and other global issues become increasingly severe, demands are heightening for technology development toward the promotion of green innovation and highly efficient infrastructure systems. The role to be played by materials science, based on applied chemistry and on materials science and engineering, is becoming more important than ever before. Responding to these needs of society, it is essential that we bring together scientific knowledge across the basic fields of physics, chemistry, and mathematics, pursuing the limits of the potential in materials while aiming to create new materials and functions. This department develops engineers, scientists, and educators equipped with a strong sense of ethics, who are able to deal with various issues relating to materials science facing modern society. The department consists of the Applied Chemistry Course and the Materials Science and Engineering Course, playing a closely interrelated role in the education and research of the Graduate School.

 

1) Applied Chemistry Course
 With chemistry-related knowledge as a foundation, the necessary curriculum is provided for linking material design and synthesis from the atomic and molecular level to creation of original materials. Human resources are fostered who can exercise agility in creating environmentally harmonious materials, such as through the development of new functional materials, effective use of chemical energy in recycling and regeneration, and advanced use of biological functions, and in conducting research and development on leading-edge technologies.

2) Materials Science and Engineering Course
 Based on materials science and materials engineering, the necessary curriculum is provided for gaining practical experience in creating new materials and new functions, with the main focus on metals, semiconductors, and ceramics. In this way, human resources are fostered who are able to clarify the expression mechanisms of material properties based on simulations and on organizational and structural analysis from the nanoscale to the macro scale, and to contribute to developing technologies for producing and manufacturing next-generation functional materials in harmony with human society.

 

Department of Mathematical Science and Electrical-Electronic-Computer Engineering

 In this department we aim to develop human resources which include those who will contribute to the advance of basic industries, solutions to energy problems, and harmony between humans and computers, driving revolutions in technology development, as well as educators and researchers equipped with highly specialized knowledge, skills, and insight in mathematics, theoretical physics, and computer science, and with advanced knowledge in the field of mathematical science.
 We will also foster human resources able to develop technologies for solving regional issues faced by Akita Prefecture with its advanced state of aging, and to communicate these to the world. In addition, they will acquire the skills for exercising leadership based on recognition of the importance of teamwork, and for dealing with unanticipated problems. We will train professionals who, with their overview of the enormous specialized knowledge in the fields of mathematical science, electrical and electronic engineering, and computer engineering, are able to create new technologies and value for a highly aging society.

 

1) Mathematical Science Course
 Education and research are carried out for a deep understanding of advanced mathematical concepts and structures, their applications to theoretical computer science,  and for clarifying and investigating the mathematical structures of physical and other phenomena. In this course whose main features include a focus on a systematic curriculum and qualifying examinations, students study modern mathematics and related areas in order to acquire the ability to solve problems by logical thinking and from a mathematical science perspective.

2) Electrical and Electronic Engineering Course
 Along with studies for systematically understanding knowledge in a wide range of specialized fields including electrical energy and equipment, electronics, photonic and electronic devices, and information communications and systems control, students engage in research for creating new applications and technologies by focusing on a particular field or integrating these fields. Through this experience, human resources are developed with creative thinking and flexible application skills.

3) Human-Centered Computing Course
 The Human-Centered Computing Course develops human resources who, majoring in computer engineering, are equipped with creative thinking and flexible application skills enabling (i) the use of information and communication technologies (ICT) for supporting healthy longevity and home healthcare of the elderly in regional society, (ii) advancement of technologies and development of application systems related to environmental monitoring, disaster prevention and mitigation, and human sensing, and (iii) use of information networks, ICT, and other tools for realizing a safe and secure society.

 

Department of Systems Design Engineering

 In parallel with rapid advances in science and technology, society is facing problems such as global warming from CO2 emissions and the need to develop renewable energy sources. Here the role of mechanical engineering is of growing importance, in such areas as improving the technologies needed to enhance the functionality of equipment. Meanwhile, in Japan there have been major advances in the aerospace field of rockets and satellites, and in technologies for recycling of waste materials, while the need for creative engineering capable of creating and nurturing new industries has grown. The aging of society has also created an urgent need for technology advances, not only in the health and welfare area but in creating civil engineering technologies in harmony with the environment and improving the functions of urban and regional systems to build and maintain better communities.
 The Department of Systems Design Engineering, through education and research on the design and development of these complex and large-scale systems, aims to nurture researchers, developers, and engineers equipped with fundamental knowledge in the specialized fields of mechanical engineering, creative engineering, and civil and environmental engineering, as well as having knowledge across the fields of system design, and who, with their accurate awareness of regional needs, are able to contribute to local society and to the world. To meet these aims, education and research are carried out in tandem in the following three areas.

 

1) Mechanical Engineering Course
 Basic subjects of mechanical engineering are four kinds of dynamics—mechanics of materials, thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, and mechanics—plus control engineering. Education and research, in mechanical engineering course, is planned to deepen the expert knowledge learned in undergraduate school and enable to apply, as well as to build problem-identifying ability and problem-solving ability and communication skills, so as to contribute from a global perspective to formation of a sustainable society where people, the environment, and machines are in harmony.

2) Creative Engineering Course
 Education and research are carried out centering on mechanical engineering, for acquiring a high level of specialized knowledge in such areas as space engineering, control engineering, and thermofluid engineering, while also aimed at developing human resources with project execution skills (project management, problem discovery and solution, communication, and engineering design skills, etc.) and the ability to play a leading role in creative manufacturing and project implementation so as to contribute broadly to society.

3) Civil and Environmental Engineering Course
 Research and education are aimed at acquiring advanced specialized knowledge in such areas as structural engineering, hydraulic engineering, geotechnics, urban and traffic engineering, and concrete engineering, and on this foundation to build up individual knowledge and skills for applying these to problem solving, while also fostering communication skills for cooperative problem solving, in order to contribute to formation of safe, reliable, and convenient infrastructure for society.

 

Cooperative Major in Life Cycle Design Engineering    WEBSITE

 In today’s industrial society with its ongoing advanced development, numerous issues have emerged that cannot be dealt with adequately in traditional frameworks. Recent years, in particular, have seen growing needs for tackling such issues as reducing environmental impact and forming a material-cycle society. In the light of such needs of society, this major was established as a joint course of the Akita University Graduate School of Engineering Science and the Akita Prefectural University Graduate School of Systems Science and Technology.
 “Life cycle design engineering” in the course name is a branch of engineering that seeks to reduce environmental impact throughout the entire life cycle from resource mining and product planning, design, and manufacturing to disposal and recycling. It is therefore closely tied to many other fields of engineering including materials engineering, computer engineering, mechanical engineering, electrical and electronics engineering, civil and architectural engineering, and management engineering.
 This major aims to develop human resources with a broad viewpoint and high sense of ethics, who can contribute from an international perspective to formation of a material-cycle society, and to revitalizing local communities in environmentally conscious ways. Toward these objectives, advanced education and research are carried out concerning life cycle design engineering through the close collaboration of the two schools offering this major.

 

Doctor’s Degree Program

Department of Integrated Engineering Science

 The Department of Integrated Engineering Science consists of four fields: the Field of Life Science, the Field of Materials Science, the Field of Mathematical Science and Electrical-Electronic Computer Engineering, and the Field of Systems Design Engineering. The aim is to develop advanced engineers, scientists capable of advanced independent research, and educators, equipped with a strong foundation in the specialized fields of life science, materials science, mathematical science and electrical-electronic-computer engineering, and systems design engineering, and with broad knowledge in other specialized areas, who will accurately recognize the needs of society and contribute to society as leaders.

 

Field of Life Science

 The results of research in the life sciences, such as mapping of the human genome and discovery of iPS cells, have led to breakthroughs that brought about many new advances in science and technology, as these fields can be seen as carving out the future of human society. Of the various basic science fields that have been dedicated to solving the key issues believed to help us understand the secrets of life, the role played by the life science field is becoming increasingly important.
 Moreover, as academic disciplines as well as science and technology continue to advance, the relationship between life science and other academic fields is becoming increasingly close, and new integrated or collaborative research fields are emerging one after another. The Field of Life Science addresses the situation and needs of society by nurturing human resources who understand the national and regional characteristics of Japan and can see them from a global perspective, and who, while observing social obligations and the ethical code of engineers and scientists, carry out research and development based on their advanced specialized knowledge and skills in life science-related fields, while going beyond the framework of their own specialty to promote convergence with other research fields and the opening up of new research fields.

Field of Materials Science

 While the dramatic advances in science and technology in the 20th century brought about unprecedented changes and advancement to human society, by the end of the century environmental degradation had become a serious problem on a global scale. Today in the 21st century, leading-edge technologies that enable society to achieve both abundance and environmental protection, and technologies for reducing environmental impact, are seen as more important than ever before.
 To respond to these needs of society, the materials science field must be developed in order to understand the properties of materials and substances at the atomic, molecular, and electron level and, while drawing out the limits of their potential, to create new materials and functions.
 To these ends, strong efforts must be made to develop human resources whose knowledge goes beyond traditional science, engineering, physics, and chemistry, and who are equipped with broad and abundant specialization in materials science transcending these existing academic areas. With the emergence of nanoscience and nanotechnology in the 1990s and after, there is a global need for materials scientists who can obtain an overview of a broad range of areas, including interdisciplinary fields, on the basis of new science and engineering foundations across traditional academic fields. The Field of Materials Science aims to nurture human resources who meet these desired characteristics, having a comprehensive understanding and awareness of the workings of nature and the properties of materials, able to convey this knowledge to society in easily understood terms, and equipped with the skills and strong ethical grounding for applying their knowledge to the sustained development of human society.

1) Applied Chemistry : Leading-edge education and research are carried out, aimed at gaining an understanding of the mechanisms by which material properties and functions occur on a chemistry base, including by design and analysis of materials at the atomic and molecular level, in order to develop technologies for creation and use of materials with a strong emphasis on environmental preservation and safety, and to design sustainable chemical processes. In addition, though academic projects, education and research are carried out for developing human resources with a broad perspective who will seek harmony between the earth’s environment and science and technology.
2) Materials Science and Engineering: Education and research are carried out, aimed at developing new materials with new functions, and at improving the performance of, or developing more efficient manufacturing processes for, already developed materials, by providing and controlling the physical, chemical, and mechanical properties of various materials, and by evaluating functions. Education and research are also carried out toward rational development and manufacturing methods and process design for realizing materials with the necessary functions.

Field of Mathematical Science and Electrical-Electronic-Computer Engineering

 The coming of the highly aging society has made it necessary to solve the problems facing local communities by creating new technologies and value and by making use of information and communications technology (ICT).
 The objective of this field is to develop human resources who have acquired interdisciplinary and advanced specialized technology. To this end, an education and research program is provided that starts from the fundamental science fields of mathematics and physics and encompasses leading-edge technology from electrical and electronic engineering as well as computer engineering.

1) Mathematical Science: Abstract thinking skills and intution in mathematics or physics are said to be qualities characteristic of persons who study in the field of mathematical science such as mathematics, theoretical physics, and computer science.
 In today’s society, as the amount of information communicated grows enormously day by day and its contents are becoming increasingly complex, such qualities are likely to be in high demand in many different areas. Students in Mathematical Science are assumed to have completed the contents of the master’s program in the Mathematical Science Course or the equivalent. Building on this knowledge, they carry out education and research aimed at methods of creating mathematical structures and physical models, at techniques of analysis, at and computation that are essential to building fundamental theories in the science and engineering fields, and at improving their problem-solving skills from a mathematical science standpoint.

2) Electrical and Electronic Engineering: Today’s information society is supported by infrastructure that includes electrical energy, electronic equipment incorporating photonic and electronic devices such as liquid crystal displays and microchips, information networks of optical fiber and mobile phones, and the control systems necessary for large-scale systems of various kinds as well as robots. Education and research are carried out for developing human resources able to deeply absorb the essence of leading-edge technologies in the specialized fields relating to electrical and electronic engineering, and who will contribute to solving global problems of which energy and environmental issues are representative, as well as regional issues such as aging populations and community revitalization.

3) Human-Centered Computing: Necessary for using ICT to achieve harmony between people and computers are (i) a deep understanding of the way human beings process information and development of technology making use of that understanding, (ii) development of advanced sensing technology to enable acquisition of the desired information, and (iii) development of technologies and application systems for realizing safe and secure networks that convey information properly. Education and research in Human-Centered Computing include such subjects as advanced study on sensory information engineering, which deals with psychophysics methods for investigating perception and motor functions including brain functions of living beings as well as the design of testing and support systems; advanced study on remote sensing engineering for analyzing remote sensing data, developing algorithms, and applying image recognition; and advanced study on information network theory for developing information network routing rules, network design, and optimization methods.

Field of Systems Design Engineering

 The outstanding capabilities of the Japanese in the art of manufacturing and in building production infrastructure are believed to be major factors enabling rapid economic growth in a short time, which turned Japan into a highly developed country. For the near and long-term future, however, the urgent needs for realizing sustainable societal growth include dealing with such problems as the aging society with declining birthrates, and information technology revolution, obtaining energy on a global scale, and protecting the local and global environment by building the infrastructure for a material-cycle society.
 The field aims to address such issues through manufacturing toward formation of a sustainable society, creation of new industries, and provision of infrastructure for everyday life. It is therefore a field of study that seeks convergence and harmony among various areas including mechanical engineering, space engineering, electrical and electronic engineering, and civil and environmental engineering; and for the sake of building a society that enjoys sustainable and creative growth without harming the global environment, it aims to contribute to solving regional problems and extend these solutions worldwide. To achieve these objectives, the field consists of three areas of study. The first is Mechanical Engineering, focusing on sustainable manufacturing based primarily on: microtechnology and nanotechnology; technologies for an aging society that are developed through interdisciplinary collaboration between medicine, science, and engineering; and high-efficiency thermofluid technology. Second is Creative Engineering, where the focus is on creation of new industries and the highlevel processing and control technologies to support them, in such relatively new technology areas as aerospace engineering. The third is Civil and Environmental Engineering, aimed at building and maintaining social infrastructure in urban and regional areas in an aging society with declining birthrates, designed for disaster prevention and mitigation and for environmental protection, where anyone can live and produce.

1) Mechanical Engineering: With a view to helping create a sustainable society where people, the environment, and machines are in harmony, education and research are carried out in three areas: human mechatronics for supporting more convenient and affluent lifestyles and contributing to improvement of healthcare and welfare technology in an aging society with declining birthrate; thermofluid science for ensuring a sustainable environment and obtaining stable supplies of renewable energy; and nanomechanics for helping to make smaller, more advanced machines.
2) Creative Engineering: Education and research are carried out toward active engagement in creation of new industries by developing the aerospace field and other relatively new engineering fields and enabling creative manufacturing in various areas. The studies therefore include dynamic analysis of biomechanical systems, heat transfer enhancement mechanisms with flow instability, development of new people-friendly, ecological engineering materials, environmentally conscious product service systems, and surface improvement of engineering materials.
3) Civil and Environmental Engineering: Education and research are aimed at building and maintaining social infrastructure that is in harmony with the environment and disaster resistant, enabling all people to live in safety and security, by conducting advanced research and technology development mainly in the areas of structural engineering, geotechnics, hydraulic engineering, urban and traffic engineering, and concrete engineering, as well as fields merging these areas.