As well as being an important field of natural science, chemistry is an indispensable core industry that supports our society, which is apparent in the numerous amount of chemical corporations that have been established. In the Department of Chemical Science and Engineering, students acquire knowledge and skills from basics to applied, covering all areas of chemistry from the academic field to the industrial field. As a part of the coursework, students have opportunities to visit chemical companies and to attend lectures on the latest topics in the chemical industry, which are put on by researchers working for chemical companies.
In 2000, Dr. Hideki Shirakawa was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his research on polyacetylene, a material known and referred to as "highly conductive plastic." Dr. Shirakawa, who learned the basics of chemistry at the Institute, succeeded in synthesizing polyacetylene films for the first time in history at a laboratory in the Main Building on Ookayama Campus, which is still in use today. The film is now on display at Tokyo Tech's Museum and Centennial Hall.
The Department of Chemical Science and Engineering offers laboratory experiment courses through which students can develop skills useful for studying a wide range of fields of applied chemistry. In the Bachelor's Degree Program, education is provided to help broaden these skills, which are required of chemists. Students are trained not only to pursue their area of expertise, but also to acquire basic skills of conducting experiments necessary in chemical science and engineering fields. They can deepen their understanding of materials and phenomena through conducting hands on experiments based on theories learned in class.
In the Department of Chemical Science and Engineering, three core courses (applied molecular chemistry, chemical system engineering, and polymer science) are offered in addition to common courses such as basic science and technology courses, languages courses, and those relating to chemical science and engineering. By choosing a course category best suited to one's goals and objectives, and by referring to the course numbering system as well as a course example, students can learn from basic to advanced specialized courses in a proactive, step-by-step manner.
Students who have acquired basic knowledge and experiment skills start their independent research project. After becoming affiliated with a laboratory and academic supervisor, each student is assigned to a different research theme and starts conducting cutting-edge research in chemical science and engineering. With the knowledge and experiment skills they have learned, students can devote themselves to their research. There are a number of laboratories affiliated with the Department of Chemical Science and Engineering on both Ookayama and Suzukakedai Campuses.