Transdisciplinary Science and Engineering News
Welcome to the year 2021! Before the end of the year 2020, the Department of Transdisciplinary Science and Engineering held its 1st workshop on transdisciplinary education and research. The workshop of the faculty of the Department of Transdisciplinary Science and Engineering was conducted at the main building of the Tokyo Institute of Technology and remotely via Zoom on the afternoon of December 9, 2020. The participants include 30 faculty members of the department and Dean Prof. Norihiro Nakai, dean of the School of Environment and Society, and staff of the department. The workshop was motivated by the need to explore possible areas of collaboration among its big number of faculty members. It also served as an opportunity to listen to transdisciplinary concepts and be inspired by existing projects led by faculty members of the department.
The event comprised three parts with open discussions in between. In the first part, Prof. Yuya Kajikawa, an expert on technology and innovation management, talked about the concepts of transdisciplinary research and its significance to building a sustainable future society through his talk entitled, “Science & Technology, Future Society, and Innovation”. From multiple scientific backgrounds, it was educational for the faculty members to visualize the development of research fields and technologies in line with the (current and future) needs of society. In the second part, Dean Prof. Norihiro Nakai shared the mission and vision of the School of Environment and Society. He commends the initiative of the faculty in organizing the workshop and hopes for more workshops that will enhance research collaborations within and outside of the department. Through such endeavors, transdisciplinary fields may be created.
The final part consisted of three presentations from faculty members who conduct so-called super-interdisciplinary projects. Prof. Kayoko Nohara introduced her collaborative project entitled “Science & Technology + Art & Design Hybrid Innovation (STADHI)”. Dr. Kentaro Saito, assistant professor of Takada laboratory, introduced his collaborative work on the development and investigation of novel concrete material that transmits radio waves for 5G connectivity. Dr. Takumi Ohashi, assistant professor of Saijo laboratory, presented his collaborative work on the application of ICT, internet-of-things, to the promotion of animal welfare and sustainable farming methods.
From its vision statement, the department envisions the emergence of new fields as a means to solve international problems. This workshop was the first for a series of upcoming workshops to unite and advance research of the Department of Transdisciplinary Science and Engineering within and beyond the Tokyo Institute of Technology.