Tohoku University

Future Global Leadership Program

Degree Courses Taught in English

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International Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Course Graduate Course

Graduate School of Engineering

Dean of Graduate School of Engineering : Professor KANAI, Hiroshi
Department chairman of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering: Prof. MIURA, Hideo
Degrees offered: Master of Engineering and Doctor of Philosophy (Engineering)
Number of students: 10 students per year
Starting: October 2010
Campus: Aobayama
URL: http://g30.eng.tohoku.ac.jp/imac/
Email: Click to Send Mail

Right People, Right Environment for Research

One of Tohoku University’s major attractions for international students is the large number of world-class researchers concentrated there. Many students and researchers say that the university does a great job of providing an environment where they are inspired to tackle the themes that fascinate them. They are delighted with the academic atmosphere and the comfortable, convenient lifestyle available in Sendai. In keeping with Tohoku University’s well-earned reputation as a pioneer among Japan’s universities, almost all classes will be offered in English from October 2010 onward.

The Graduate school of Engineering at Tohoku University has long been a center of excellence with several world-class achievements to its credit, including the Yagi antenna and Honda KS steel. According to the ISI Thomson Corporation Database, Tohoku University’s School of Engineering ranked second in Japan from 1998 to 2008 in terms of the number of paper citations.

Access to World-Class Researchers

International students will have easy access to the world of Japanese mechanical and aerospace engineering and technology at Tohoku University. “Their classes will have exactly the same content as those of the Japanese graduate students,” Professor Hiroshi Wada, Chairman of the International Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Course or IMAC, comments. Prof. Wada.

Prof. Hiroshi Wada

Prof. Hiroshi Wada

This is because all lectures will be offered in English, as well as in Japanese. So, foreign students will not be required to have Japanese language skills. Previously, most of the lectures on engineering were offered only in Japanese, as almost all the students were Japanese. Now, Tohoku University is preparing to welcome talented graduate students eager to pursue their advanced engineering studies in Japan. Taught entirely in English, the International Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Course Graduate Course (IMAC-G) will start in October 2010.

Five departments in the Graduate School of EngineeringU+2014Mechanical Systems and Design, Nanomechanics, Aerospace Engineering, Bioengineering and Robotics, and Quantum Science and Energy EngineeringU+2014have joined forces to establish IMAC-G. These departments comprise more than eighty laboratories devoted to such specialties as fluid dynamics, thermal dynamics, aerospace engineering, robotics, microtechnology/nanotechnology, and biomedical engineering, etc.

Take the Entrance Exam Overseas

Admission criteria will also favor international students. Previously, both engineering skills and Japanese language capability were required. The new IMAC-G system, however, requires engineering skills first and foremost, and English capability to understand lectures. Skills in Japanese are not a requirement.

Another advantage is that the entrance exam can be taken overseas in March 2010, whereas, previously, it could only be taken in Japan. So, applicants do not need to travel to Japan. Successful applicants will be selected based on the entrance exam, an oral interview, English language proficiency, and submitted documents.

Wide-Ranging Curriculum

The IMAC-G curriculum has three components; Major Basic, Major General, and Related Subjects of Other Majors. The Major Basic component includes Numerical Analysis, Fluid Dynamics, Thermal Science and Engineering, Solid Mechanics, and so on (see Table 1). Each of these ten subjects is worth two credits. Students are required to earn at least eight credits for the Major Basic component.

A master’s course student is required to earn a total of 30 credits during two years. For the other two components, Major General and Related Subjects of Other Majors, lectures and course materials are also in English.

The Major General component includes Project-based Learning for Frontier of Mechanical Engineering, Internship Training, Special Lectures, and Advanced Seminars.

Related Subjects of Other Majors are offered by other departments of the Faculty of Engineering, such as Electronics Engineering, Applied Physics, and Material Processing.

Project-based Research with Japanese Students

The Major General component includes the newly introduced Frontier of Mechanical Engineering program. Supported financially by the Japanese government, this program focused on project-based research is a unique opportunity designed to meet the needs of international students.

Prof. Hiroo Yugami

Prof. Hiroo Yugami

The project themes may differ somewhat from the themes students tackle in their master’s degree research. For example, project themes include prototyping a robot, an airplane and fuel cells. A theme is proposed by a professor with research funding. Having selected a theme, a student joins a project team consisting of fellow students from different laboratories. A team can enter inter-university or industry contests for robotics, hand-made automobiles, and so on. The project teams are intended to nurture a spirit of teamwork through collaboration with Japanese and international students from other laboratories. “Each project team will consist of a few students from IMAC-G alongside students drawn from the courses taught in Japanese, with up to seven or eight students in a team,” says Professor Hiroo Yugami of the Department of Mechanical Systems and Design.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for international students to develop friendships with their counterparts from Japan and around the world who are affiliated with other laboratories,” comments Prof. Goro Masuya of the Department of Aerospace Engineering who is also manager of the Division of International Exchange and Education. Supervisors and members of faculty evaluate a student’s performance during the project.

IMAC-G is the master’s course. For the doctoral course, some lectures have been offered in English in the Mechanical Engineering Departments since 2000. However, lectures in English are rapidly becoming commonplace for the doctoral courses of all engineering departments. The International Doctoral Program in Engineering, Information Sciences and Environmental Studies is an interdisciplinary doctoral program, launched in 2001, offered by the Graduate School of Engineering, Information Sciences and Environmental Studies. The program consists of courses in English for international students pursuing doctoral degrees in the three schools.

Support for Job-Hunting in Japan

Prof. Goro Masuya

Prof. Goro Masuya

Looking to the future, the Mechanical Engineering Departments energetically support students of engineering in their search for suitable employment in Japan. The Office for Promotion Engineers Network (OPEN) organizes meetings with company recruiters at the university where recruiters make presentations on their companies and respond to students’ questions. International students receive the same support as Japanese students, says Professor Wada. “We will be delighted if they choose to work in Japan after graduating from IMAC-G or earning a doctorate. ”
“We offer an internship program for Japanese students and would like to offer the same program to international students who are interested in temporary positions with Japanese companies,” says Professor Yugami. The international as well as domestic internship programs are also one of the subjects of the Major General component.

The Graduate School of Engineering also offers Japanese language courses and cultural courses, including Japanese flower arrangement and calligraphy, to help international students explore Japanese culture. With the needs of future engineers in mind, there are also lectures to familiarize international students with engineering terminology in Japanese.

Table 1 : Curriculum of the Master Basic component of IMAC-G

SubjectCreditSchedule
Numerical Analysis22011
Fluid Dynamics22010
Solid Mechanics22011
Thermal Science and Engineering22010
System Control Engineering22011
Materials Chemistry22010
Computer Science22011
Solid State Physics22010
Mechanics of Plasticity22011
Structures and Functions of Living Systems22010

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