General Information

Dean's Message

Why not join us and design the future at the Kagawa University Faculty of Engineering and Design?

 

Dean, Faculty of Engineering and Design, Kagawa University, and Dean, Graduate School of Engineering

Yoshihiro Suenaga

The Faculty of Engineering and Design is a newly established unit that begins operations in April 2018. With the Faculty of Engineering as its predecessor, it is based on a new concept and will serve as the pillar around which a reorganization of Kagawa University will take place.

The Faculty of Engineering had been founded in October 1997 and began accepting new students April 1998. The concept behind its founding was for it to provide an engineering education that fused science and the humanities. This was because during the age of industrialization technical skills had been in demand and students had received a compartmentalized and specialized education. However, learning only specialized knowledge and techniques would not be adequate for getting by in the world after graduation. Much of the work that people do involves working with others and in teams. Accordingly, acquiring interpersonal skills such as the ability to communicate and getting a grounding in the humanities are also indispensable for engineers.

But two decades have passed since the Faculty was created, now we live in the age of artificial intelligence (AI). In the AI age, it is possible that the roles that engineers have shouldered until now will be replaced by artificial intelligences. Meanwhile, the craft of monozukuri—the process of developing and manufacturing goods and products—that had been one of Japan's strengths is reaching a turning point as we see from, for example, a dearth of Japanese products in recent years that capture the world's imagination. Furthermore, even in the automobile industry where Japan had once stood at the forefront in the area of energy saving, Japanese companies find themselves being put in a difficult position by the transition to electrical vehicles that is taking place globally. We are coming to an age in which the lines that have been laid down before do not extend into the future.

Advanced information processing technologies and mathematical processing technologies are not the only things that will help to underpin the next generation. It will also require the design thinking skills required for conceptualizing what sorts of things people need and what sort of society we need to have to be happy. However, owing to the fact we come face to face with a variety of obstacles and crises when we try to bring a new vision to life, our abilities to manage risk will also be indispensable. It is with this in mind that Kagawa University has established the new Faculty of Engineering and Design, a unit whose purpose is to train individuals in the engineering fields of the future who possess not only technical and interpersonal skills but also a grounding in such conceptual skills as design thinking and risk management.

Each division within the Faculty of Engineering and Design naturally will provide the relevant specialized education. Furthermore, students in all divisions will receive an education aimed at developing their (1) basic math skills, (2) communication abilities and ethical sense, (3) understanding of the university's local community, (4) design thinking skills, and (5) risk management abilities. The objective is to imbue graduates who have "an ability to solve problems that combines possessing superior expertise with collaboration with people in other fields," "an ability to go beyond existing concepts and come up with new 'things' both tangible (mono) and intangible (koto)," and "an ability to foresee heretofore unnoticed risks and handle them." The goal of this education is to provide them the ability and skills to come up with real innovations and be able to contribute to the local community in the context of a globalizing world.

Naturally, this new faculty will carry on in the good tradition of the Faculty of Engineering in having one faculty advisor for every 20 students assigned from their first year available to counsel them on their studies and lives as students. We also have a peer support system in place for students in their upper years to provide advice to their juniors. Furthermore, students are assigned to research offices under the direction of a professor in the faculty where they can study together with their seniors from the Faculty of Engineering and the Graduate School of Engineering and prepare their graduation research projects. What's more, the alumni associations for the new Faculty of Engineering and Design and those the Faculty and the Graduate School of Engineering will be combined, allowing graduates of the newly established faculty to make the most of those existing know-how, personal connections, and broader networking circles when they are on the job market or looking for other similar new opportunities.

Why not come join us at the Kagawa University Faculty of Engineering and Design and design a new future for yourself, your community, and the world?