Energy security and environmental protection are perhaps the most important issues for the sustainable development of our modern society. They have a great influence on the trends of politics, economy and industry, especially in Japan, which has minimal natural resources and professes to be a scientific, technology-oriented nation. In 2011, the earthquake off the Pacific coast of Tohoku, and the subsequent accident at the nuclear power plant gave us the opportunity to re-recognize that energy problems are closely related to the life of the individual and require the efforts of all members of society. Additionally, climate change at the global scale has become clearly overt and numerous large scale natural disasters have happened each year in all parts of the world including Japan.
To solve such varied problems of energy and environment, the Graduate School of Energy Science was founded in 1996, gathering together experts in wide-ranging academic areas including technology, science, agriculture, economics, and law, among others. Since then, the Graduate School has been working on the creation of a novel learning base for energy science, the development of technology for energy and the environment, the cultivation of excellent human resources with specialized knowledge in energy and environment, and on making a contribution to society.
The Graduate School counts 22 chairs and 17 cooperative chairs from the Institute of Advanced Energy, the Institute for Integrated Radiation and Nuclear Science (former Research Reactor Institute), and the Graduate School of Human and Environmental Studies. These chairs cover a spectrum of advanced and interdisciplinary research fields. The Graduate School has four departments, i.e., the Department of Socio- Environmental Energy Science, the Department of Fundamental Energy Science, the Department of Energy Conversion Science, and the Department of Energy Science and Technology.
The Graduate School accepts 130 students in its master’s program and 35 students in its doctoral program each year. Students, especially those in the doctoral course, may enroll in the Graduate School on a part-time basis, meaning they need not resign from their professional occupations. To cultivate talented individuals toward excellence, it is especially important that students study both the natural and social science, and improve their practical skills. The Graduate School has devised a special curriculum featuring not only a variety of subjects in the natural and social science, but also off-campus research projects, which can be conducted, for example, in industry or national research institutes.
Students who graduate from the master’s program pursue a variety of directions, for instance, some work in government, some in firms that deal with electricity, machinery, chemicals, automobiles, heavy industries, steel, gas, ceramics, fibers and so on. Those having graduated from the Doctoral program have pursued careers as researchers and expert professionals in universities, both national and international institutions, and private companies.
The Graduate School also has English-based courses both in the doctoral program (for all departments) and in the master’s program (for three departments), these come under the banner of the International Energy Science Course (IESC). In the curriculum of the IESC, around 12 subjects are currently provided in English by both Japanese and foreign professors. Both the acquisition of required credits and undertaking research are possible in English (no Japanese requirement). An online application is open to applicants for the IESC, with initial online document submission and remote interview-based screening enabling candidates to take the entrance examination in their home country.
To further promote internationalization in the university, we frequently organize international symposia, short-term research internships and summer and winter schools. Furthermore, we have developed double master’s degree programs and double doctoral programs with partner universities. Under these schemes, students can pursue their study in two universities and be awarded two degrees on fulfillment
of both universities` requirements.
We welcome individuals who have motivation high enough to challenge the significant energy and environmental problems that are currently the most pressing global issues. We invite such individuals to join the Graduate School and succeed in partnership with our faculty members in creating a new world of energy science.