Kagoshima, Japan: Ten students from School of Civil Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) were selected to participate in the Sakura Science Exchange Program held in Kagoshima, Japan from 20th January – 27th January 2020. The program was supervised by Prof. Takashi Tsutsumi, from Department of Urban Environmental Design and Engineering, National Institute of Technology, Kagoshima College, Japan. The theme of the visit is “Sustainable Construction”, where the main purpose of the visit is to promote the exchange of scientific knowledge within two countries.
Eu Chai Nie, Brendon Feadrek, Charlton Chong Jing Kang, Chin Chin Yet, Chua Hui Fen, Eiezaz bin Wilfred Simpoh, Farrah Qistina binti Mohd Azli, Fiona Jimbin,Firdaus Al Halil bin Saiful Azlan Shah and Fu Shin Jie are the students under Academic Advisory (PA) of Ir Dr Rini Asnida Abdullah, they also took this program as one of their PA group activities.
The program was warmly welcome by Prof. Shozo Himuro and Assoc. Prof. Hitoo Tokunaga, President of Kagoshima College and Vice President for International Affairs, Kagoshima College. The 7-day visit was properly designed, in which on the first day, the students from both UTM and Kagoshima College had a chance to get to know each other and work in the team under the Problem Based Learning (PBL) activities. This encourage the creativity of the students by having Paper Bridge Competition and Straw Tower Competition. Interesting traditional games like Congkak, Ceper, Lompat Getah and Batu Seremban were introduced by UTM students to expose Malaysian culture to the Japanese students.
Two industrial talks were held at Daisyou Company and Koatsu Kogyo Corporation to expose students to the sustainable construction. Sustainable construction is the practice of creating structures and using processes that are environmentally responsible and resource-efficient throughout a building’s life-cycle from siting to design, construction, operation, maintenance. The talks covered the technologies used in Japan construction sites to deal with disasters like earthquakes and also the maintenance work of old structures such as bridge and tunnel. Here, the students gained a lot of informative knowledge in tunnel and bridge construction, management and maintenance. Visit to Kagoshima University was also arranged during the program. They had laboratory visits to the Tsunami Centre and also other laboratories that relate to the earthquake testing facilities.
The educational visit was also organised to Mount Sakurajima, an active and beautiful volcano in Kagoshima. Other visits namely to Kagoshima Municipal Science Hall, Sengan-En and Chiran Samurai Village provided interesting historical and future of local Kagoshima prefecture. The programs ended successfully when the certificates were handed over to the participants during the closing ceremony by Prof Tsutsumi. The students really enjoyed the program and thankful for the opportunity given by the Sakura Science Exchange Program. More fun can be watched at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U9njvm4PLrU&feature=youtu.be . Finally, arigatou gozaimashita …!!
Ir Dr Rini Asnida Abdullah
School of Civil Engineering