President of Osaka City University
SiMS General Director
Located in the city of Osaka, Osaka City University (OCU) is Japan’s largest public comprehensive university and celebrated its 134th anniversary in 2014. With its international, enterprising spirit, OCU has nurtured people who can take on leadership roles in society through liberal and original research and education based on such research. However, we are now coming up against various tough challenges that the humanities have never faced, making the future more uncertain. For this reason, the times are putting pressure on universities to play a role as bases of intelligence to support the sustainable development of society. To positively address the demand of the times, OCU is moving ahead with reforms. As part of the reforms, Osaka Prefecture University (Graduate School of Engineering, Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences and Graduate School of Science) and Osaka City University (Graduate School of Engineering) jointly submitted their plan for the “Graduate Course for System-inspired Leaders in Material Science (SiMS)” to apply for the “Program for Leading Graduate Schools: Composite Category (Material) in fiscal 2013” funded by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, and it was successfully adopted. This demonstrates how highly acclaimed are our educational research, academic-industrial cooperation and international activities; the fact that this is the result of OCU’s sustained efforts is of great satisfaction to us. We hope that this course will cultivate a new phase in high-level human resources development—impossible with traditional education in graduate schools—and have a ripple effect on reforms in graduate schools.
“Graduate Course for System-inspired Leaders in Material Science (SiMS)” is a five-year consistent doctoral program aiming at nurturing global leaders in material science who will be a driving force in the industrial world. In OCU, three departments—Mechanical & Physical Engineering, Physical Electronics & Informatics and Applied Chemistry & Bioengineering at the Graduate School of Engineering—participate in this course. Recently, the deterioration of Japan’s industrial force has become a major issue. SiMS presents a human resources development system to address this issue and improve our international competitiveness to achieve sustainable development of our industries. Specifically, we aim at nurturing high-level research leaders who can build innovative, system-inspired research development strategies in which the idea of “koto,” or systems is directly integrated into the development of “mono,” or material things, and each subdivided area ranging from raw materials, functional molecules/devices to the systems controlling all of them is highly integrated. We also aim to create innovation that could never be achieved from the viewpoint of a single, subdivided and closed area in electronics, energy or life science. We hope that highly motivated students will participate positively in SiMS and grow into excellent leaders who will make an important contribution in the future.
Finally, in addition to the universities’ efforts, this graduate course will not accomplish its aim without a close relationship between the universities and the industrial world. We would like to ask the industrial world for their understanding and support.