Dean's Welcome Message

Prof. Dr. TSURUTA Kenji Dean of Graduate School of Natural Science and Technology, Okayama University

The Graduate School of Natural Science and Technology, Okayama University was inaugurated in April 1987 as a doctoral program. Since 2005, reorganization was done to integrate independent master’s and doctoral  courses into postgraduate courses, transforming our postgraduate organization into a graduate school comprising the first- and second-phase doctoral programs. Since then, the Graduate School has been instrumental in accomplishing the purpose of Okayama University, namely, “Building up a new paradigm for a sustainable world.” In April 2018, part of this Graduate School was spun off to become the Graduate School of Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering in Health Systems, which aims to establish a discipline of engineering that is effectively applicable to medical science. Also, the Division of Interdisciplinary Science was newly established in the doctoral course based on the Research Institute for Interdisciplinary Science, in order to pursue a wide variety of cutting-edge fundamental sciences transcending disciplinary boundaries. As a result, our research and education organization currently consists of seven divisions in the master’s course, five divisions in the doctoral course, and one five-year Ph.D. course.

Ever since the Industrial Revolution, science and technology have developed remarkably, making our everyday lives more convenient and comfortable. On the other hand, however, we are now confronting an increasing number of challenges, including energy and environmental problems. The major mission of our university is to nurture human resources capable of resolving these emerging problems by exercising their scientific and engineering capabilities. In other words, we should develop individuals who combine solid expertise to lead the world in making pioneering discoveries and significant scientific progress, with the flexibility to manage urgent and complex problems based on multifaceted knowledge. With this view, the Graduate School of Natural Science and Technology focuses on fundamental science and applied engineering, both of which drive scientific and engineering advancement, so as to keep on “deepening” knowledge in each discipline and produce synergistic effects through the “integration” of science and engineering. In addition, the Graduate School is an educational and research organization that makes both “functional specialization” and “cooperation” possible to cultivate researchers, engineers, and school teachers who can play an active role in the international arena, capitalizing on comprehensive and interdisciplinary competencies. Furthermore, as an education and research organization responding to society and ranked as a world-leading university, this Graduate School disseminates worldwide prominent research results and aims at training personnel who can play active roles in global society and are able to solve problems independently at the highest level of education. At the same time, we have set up an interdisciplinary sub-major course, the “Flex BMD Course,” in cooperation with the Graduate School of Environmental and Life Science, to provide education integrating different fields of specialization, and ensure a smooth connection between doctoral, master’s and undergraduate courses.

Science and technology human resources play a crucial role in achieving the sustainable development of humanity. In this respect, I believe that the Graduate School of Natural Science and Technology, whose objective is to cultivate such personnel, assumes an extremely grave responsibility. The Graduate School is working to evolve Okayama University into a distinctive “academic capital,” as a postgraduate institute that is committed to prominent education and research by implementing the aforementioned “deepening” and “integration” initiatives. The Graduate School also strives to greatly contribute to scientific and technological globalization, and to the revitalization of Japanese industries, local communities and society as a whole—toward the creation of “Society 5.0,” while helping achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) advocated by United Nations.

As stated above, the Graduate School is one of the core units of Okayama University, functioning as an advanced education and research organization. Needless to say, our faculty members should continue their tireless efforts with great enthusiasm for education and research, so as to produce the world’s highest-level research results and human resources. To this end, our university must also strengthen cooperation with industries and government. We encourage those involved with our university to proactively take advantage of its education, research and human resources. I sincerely hope that, in so doing, the Graduate School of Natural Science and Technology, Okayama University will continue to develop, through sharing a common goal with our stakeholders, that is, the realization of a dream-inspiring and sustainable society.