Message from the Dean


Message from the Dean

Tatsuya Okubo

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Faculty of Engineering Homepage] Engineering Opens up the Future Tatsuya Okubo, Faculty of Engineering Dean

Japan first stepped into modernization with the Meiji Restoration. That was the era when Japan aimed for 'Clouds Above the Hill' with the introduction of Western knowledge, institutions and technology. The Faculty of Engineering at the University of Tokyo was first established as the Technical College of the Imperial University when the Faculty of Industrial Arts at the University of Tokyo merged with the Imperial College of Engineering in 1886 (Meiji 19). It was the first model in the world for establishing an engineering department at a university, which is now internationally a common practice. It was the core of an era of ‘industry promotion’ during which Western science and technology were introduced, talented individuals were nurtured. The end of the Second World War ushered in modern Japan. The Faculty of Engineering drove the ‘postwar reconstruction’ and ‘rapid growth’ eras with technological developments and by fostering talented individuals. In response to energy and environmental issues that emerged during these eras, world-acclaimed energy-saving technologies and environmental technologies have been developed. Today, engineering is applied to energy, the environment, information, intelligence, health and medicine and the like. Initially, engineering was the academic field for manufacturing, but we can see that engineering has subsequently spread from making ‘objects’ to forming ‘ideas’.

The United Nations Sustainable Development Summit 2015 adopted a sustainable development agenda and settled on 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with 169 associated targets to be achieved by 2030. None of these goals can be achieved without the contribution of engineering. Today, engineering is expected to address ‘society’ and its ‘future’ as well.

Engineering has a vast academic system that deals with issues ranging from basic science issues through to overall science and technology and issues spanning society as a whole. Thus, those who learn engineering become able to tackle various issues. The challenges of modern society are complex and involve many fields. For example, issues such as energy, the environment, resources, water, food and so on are entwined and have complex aspects. Examples of one control technology that causes other issues are too numerous to list. Both a strong expertise and a broad perspective are indispensable for tackling these challenges.

The Faculty of Engineering consists of diverse and varied fields such as those that lead the development and deepening of basic science, those that strengthen industry and lead innovation, as well as those that open up new multidisciplinary, cross-disciplinary, and interdisciplinary fields. We deepen individual academic disciplines and work closely with each other on various issues arising in the natural world and society. In the sixteen Faculty of Engineering departments, systematic education cultivates strong expertise and broad perspectives based on the respective departmental characteristics.

In addition, at the Faculty of Engineering, various interdepartmental programs offer opportunities for acquiring international communication skills and the solid training required in the real world.

We hope that everyone who has learned engineering will play a prominent, active role in opening up the future.