Transdisciplinary Science and Engineering News

Labs spotlight #2 - Cross Laboratory -

Research focuses on Hydrogen Production, Waste to Energy Conversion, Energy Policy, Environmental Toxicology and Educational Technology

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March 24, 2017

Last Updated:April 8, 2022

This "Spotlight" series features a laboratory from the Department and introduces you to the laboratory's research projects and outcomes. This time we focus on Cross Laboratory.

Professor Jeffrey Scott Cross

Energy Science and Engineering / Global Engineering for Development Environment and Society / Materials Science
Laboratory : Room 206, South 6 Bldg. , Ookayama campus
Professor Jeffrey Scott Cross別窓

Members: Professor, Associate Professor, Assistant Professor,
Office Staff, Post-Doctoral researcher, Doctoral students, Master students, Undergraduate students, Research student, Research exchange students

Areas of Research Green Hydrogen, Energy Policy, Educational Technology, Waste to Energy Transformation, Environmental Toxicology, AI, Machine Learning, VR, ESL
Keywords Hydrogen, Energy, Policy, Educational Technology, Waste to Energy, Environment, Toxicology, AI, Machine Learning, Green Chemicals, VR, ESL
Website Cross Laboratory別窓

The Cross lab conducts transdisciplinary research on 5 different topics which is summarized below. The lab began in 2016 and has grown to approximately 20 students, staff and faculty. The common core research themes between the groups is machine learning, waste to energy, and educational technology. The lab utilizes lab-based education (experiential learning) focusing on students’ thesis research, where each student is both a learner and teacher. The lab aims to conduct research and develop technology/policies to cultivate students to become experts in their research field. In April of 2022, Associate Prof. Tatsuya Wakeyama an expert in Asian energy policy, joined the lab and leads the Energy Policy research group.

Lab year-end dinner party with current students and graduates

Lab year-end dinner party with current students and graduates

Both students and visitors can experience a truly international research and learning environment, experience different ways of thinking, and conduct research on topics of personal interest in Tokyo. The lab partners both with local government facilities and international partners to create technology-based solutions. The lab is very active and publishes about 10 peer review papers and presents about 20 talks at international and domestic conferences annually.

New students can learn first-hand about what it is like to undertake research and development from a Japanese corporate staff researcher perspective, based upon Prof. Cross’s industrial experience. In addition, Japanese students can have an international research experience since students in the lab are from 11 different countries. Students in the lab often remark that they have improved English technical research presentation skills and academic writing ability. Many of the students win best presentation awards at conferences and workshops. See below for current research activities in the research groups.

Research interests

AI in Education and educational technology group

The lab's AI in education and educational technology research group is committed to the transformation of learning by combining artificial intelligence technology with traditional learning processes to improve learning efficiency supported by a JSPS Kakenhi research grant. The lab has also started doing research on image processing and virtual reality. Group members also develop novel apps to provide personalized online learning solutions, study AI use in writing for English for Second Language learners (ESL), iconicity in VR to learn English, and conduct research on playful programming education in Japanese elementary schools.

AI in Education and Edtech Group

Energy policy group

The Energy Policy Research Group explores the production, distribution, economics, and international trade issues related to electricity and renewable energy. This has become an important topic in Asia as many countries strive to craft new energy policies and develop new technologies to achieve carbon neutrality in the near future. The group's research currently focuses on policy proposal of grid management for new energy technology, reducing air pollution in China by utilizing renewable energy micro-grids and use of renewable energy micro-grids combined artificial neural networks at an Indian railway stations.

Energy policy research group

Biochemical research group

The biochemical (biofuels) group focuses on conducting research and development of carbon negative processes by utilizing waste to energy transformations. The research activities focus on hydrogen production/storage, machine learning based modeling, production of biofuels, and producing value added chemicals from wastes.

Biochemical research group

Biochemical group research topics

Environmental Toxicology Group

The Environmental Toxicology Research Group investigates the harmful effects of various chemical, biological, physical agents, and new-type pollutants, such as micro/nano plastic, on living organisms. The impact of pollutants on individual organisms, the food chain, and the entire ecosystem is carried out by establishing a micro-ecosystem that emulates the natural environment in the lab. Species studied include bacteria, algae, plants, plankton, crustaceans, and fish. This research investigates the impact of pollutants on individual organisms using the theory of complex system analysis to quantitatively explore the critical conditions that lead to ecosystem damage. Experimental data collected supports evidence- based decision making and management of newly developed substances and the formulation of future environmental policies.

Environmental Toxicology Group

About the lab

From Professor Cross
In the lab, students join a research group of their choice and their research theme is decided based upon external research funding and potential social impact. The lab provides students an opportunity to learn about various research fields and enhances their breadth of knowledge. Weekly lab seminars are held to discussion student’s research progress in English. However, Prof. Cross speaks, reads/writes Japanese in order to communicate with Japanese students. Japanese students are encouraged to challenge themselves and apply to join the lab in order to become a global researcher or engineer. The lab atmosphere supports both American and Japanese working styles. Graduates of the labs are working in Japan and other countries for governments, research institutes, NPOs, industry and teaching at universities.

This article has been updated with the latest information on April 8, 2022

 Find more about the lab and the latest activities at the lab site別窓.

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