The Graduate School of Symbiotic Systems Science and Technology was established in April 2008 in response to the urgent need to train highly specialized professionals and researchers who can make practical contributions to a wide range of industries and fields of social activity. With the establishment of the Institute of Environmental Radioactivity (IER) as an affiliated research institute of the university, the Major in Environmental Radioactivity was added in April 2019, creating a two-major structure with the Major in Symbiotic Systems Science and Technology. The mission of the Graduate School is to apply its expertise to diverse fields, to deepen that expertise through the perspective of "coexistence," and to develop highly specialized professionals and researchers capable of building, developing, and carrying on new systems that can contribute practically to addressing various challenges that our society faces in the 21st century.
The Graduate School of Symbiotic Systems Science and Technology has two majors: the Major in Symbiotic Systems Science and Technology and the Major in Environmental Radioactivity. The Major in Symbiotic Systems Science and Technology offers four courses of study. In addition to high-level specializations in science and engineering, we conduct education and research within the framework of "symbiotic systems science," which takes a global and multidimensional perspective. Our aim is to build a new systems science that promotes coexistence among people, industries, and the environment, and to train skilled professionals and researchers who can contribute in practical ways to their communities. The Major in Environmental Radioactivity consists of one course of study, designed for students who have studied and aspire to excel in various academic fields, including ecology, biology, geochemistry, chemistry, physics, mechanical engineering, and electrical engineering.
With the challenges of the 21st century expanding and becoming more complex, there is a growing need for specialized knowledge in science and engineering as well as for teaching and research conducted under a "symbiotic systems science" framework that adopts a global and multidimensional perspective. For example, in order to tackle such issues as dealing with an advanced digital society, creating human support technologies and industries, realizing carbon neutrality, and understanding the relationships among the environment, natural disasters, global warming, and society, a seamless and all-encompassing view of natural science and engineering, science and technology, and nature and society is required. Talented persons in science and technology who hold such a view and possess a future-oriented sense of ethics can devise truly feasible solutions to such challenges. In Fukushima Prefecture, where the Great East Japan Earthquake and nuclear power plant accident have created a complex mix of natural and man-made problems that cannot be easily resolved, a long-term perspective that involves continuously engaging in education and research is needed. By putting such education and research into practice, this major is designed to contribute to addressing various global issues.
In mathematics, the ability to abstract, model, and solve real-world problems using mathematical methods and the ability to design algorithms. In information systems, the ability to design, develop, and operate software systems. In industrial engineering, the ability to solve various problems in the areas of product development, production, distribution, and services by making full use of a wide range of engineering approaches. These are the abilities that this course of study aims to develop in its students. The result is the creation of "software" human resources with a systematic and balanced perspective.
In this course of study we train researchers and developers who can create new "technologies" and "systems" that are useful to society. Based on physics, mechanical engineering, and electrical engineering, students are systematically trained to develop a wide range of solutions, from basic technologies and new measurement methods for devices with new functions, to control and numerical simulation technologies in robotics and bioengineering that make it possible to model things, people, and phenomena as systems and develop design concepts and production techniques needed for the manufacturing of products that improve people's lives.
Based on inorganic and organic chemistry, this course of study systematically trains students to discover new functions of substances and materials newly-created from small particles at the nano-level and bulk-level, to explore resource- and energy-saving manufacturing methods, to conduct innovative empirical research on energy technology, and to use high-precision analysis techniques for radioactive materials and contaminated soil based on analytical chemistry and spectroscopy.
Based on biology, psychology, geology, meteorology, hydrology, and planning, this course of study provides students with the theoretical and practical capabilities, including the possession of diverse specialized knowledge and fieldwork skills, needed to investigate and conserve biodiversity, explain human psychological and physiological mechanisms, predict and prevent natural disasters, elucidate the effect of human activities on the environment, and develop designs and plans that comprehensively capture the natural, social, and cultural elements that make up our environment.
The release of radioactive materials into the environment due to the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident has caused long-term radiation damage in a wide area centered on Fukushima Prefecture. It is particularly significant that the radioactive contamination caused by this accident occurred in Japan, a temperate zone with abundant rainfall. Previous research has shown that the behavior of radioactive materials released into such an environment differs significantly from that of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant accident, which occurred in an arid inland area with different topography and vegetation.
Many issues related to environmental radioactivity remain poorly understood, and responding to these issues will take decades, or even longer. In addition, nuclear power plants in operation around the world have a total installed capacity of approximately 400 million kilowatts, and more are being built. It is therefore essential to continuously accumulate and systematize academic knowledge about the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident, and to train people with the capabilities needed to respond quickly and appropriately to unforeseen accidents in the future.
Against this background, this program collaborates with numerous universities and research institutes around the world to develop human resources with expertise in the interdisciplinary academic field of environmental radioactivity.
This course of study develops researchers and professionals who are able to elucidate the dynamics of man-made and natural radionuclides in the environment and comprehensively engage with measurement, monitoring planning, control, prediction, and evaluation from a medium- to long-term perspective based on advanced expertise, thereby contributing to problem-solving and academic advancement in fields such as environmental protection, predictive evaluation, environmental restoration, the decommissioning of nuclear reactors, interim storage of radioactive materials, and cleanup of radioactivity contaminated areas.