Message from the Dean
Prof. Hiroo Yugami
Tohoku University was founded in 1907 as Japan's third Imperial University, and the School of Engineering was established 12 years later in 1919. Since then, Tohoku University has contributed to the realization of a safe and prosperous society through numerous research achievements in all fields of engineering based on the principles of "Research First," "An Open Door," and "Practice-Oriented Research and Education.” In 2019, with the cooperation of many, we held a centennial ceremony, established a memorial fund, and conducted other centennial commemorative activities.
The current Graduate School of Engineering and School of Engineering consists of five undergraduate departments: the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, the Department of Electrical, Information and Physics Engineering, the Department of Applied Chemistry, Chemical Engineering and Biomolecular Engineering, the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, and the Department of Civil Engineering and Architecture, and 18 graduate departments. The number of students is approximately 3,450 undergraduates and 2,000 graduates. That is about one third of the total number of students at Tohoku University, which shows the great demand from society for graduates of the Graduate School of Engineering.
Engineering is a discipline that connects science and people's lives, and today, as we face a variety of challenges on a global scale, the role of engineering is becoming increasingly significant. In particular, the global epidemic of the new coronavirus since the beginning of 2020 has completely changed our social living environment, with measures to prevent infection having resulted in a decline in economic activity and widening economic disparity. In addition, the big-data infrastructure has led to a rise in corporate activity in the form of data-driven value creation, so it can be said that the social structure itself is entering a period of great change. Engineering is an academic discipline that not only seeks the truth but also takes on the challenge of solving social issues, so it is precisely in this challenging situation that engineering can facilitate efforts to protect people's lives and to contribute to local and international communities through various academic activities.
There are numerous issues that we need to tackle as soon as possible. In addition to contributing to the ongoing recovery from the Great East Japan Earthquake that occurred 10 years ago, we also need to strengthen our national infrastructure in preparation for larger-scale natural disasters caused by climate change, improve the quality of life in Tohoku, an advanced region with an aging society, and achieve a decarbonized society. Japan has declared to the world that it will achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. It is essential to overcome the "E trilemma" of environment, economy, and energy, and innovate in the fields of energy technology and carbon recycling. This will create a virtuous cycle between the economy and the environment, with a stable energy supply. We also need to strengthen industry-academia collaborative research and education to promote digital transformation (DX) in a variety of industries, including manufacturing, which is a key industry in Japan.
Lastly, I would like to share my thoughts on education. Every year, new students enter university in April and graduate in March. For us, the faculty engaged in education and research at Tohoku University, this is a repeating process. However, for each individual student, they are 18 years old only once, and 22 years old only once. It is therefore no exaggeration to say that the relationship between our faculty and students is "once in a lifetime" across the long run of their lives. Keeping this in mind, I would like to create a campus environment where we can learn together for a meaningful student life at Tohoku University, the Graduate School of Engineering, and the School of Engineering.
I look forward to your continued support in the future.