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IAC News No.1,July 4,2012

Japan Society of Civil Engineers International Activities Center July 4, 2012 IAC News No. 1

The Launch of IAC to Achieve a Great-Leap Forward Towards Internationalizing JSCE

JSCE has worked with “Internationalization Strategy Committee” chaired by Prof. Shigeru Morichi (the 92nd JSCE President, Director of Policy Research Center, National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies), which was set up in response to growing demand for its global visibility and contribution in 2011. Based on the discussions made by the Committee, JSCE has formed “International Affairs Center (IAC)” after dissolved the International Affairs Committee, and with the IAC under the leadership of Prof. Tamon Ueda, IAC Senior Director (JSCE Int’l Division Board of Director, Hokkaido Univ.) is making a start, aiming to achieve an “internationalized JSCE.”

JSCE is Launching IAC to enhance its function and contribution to civil engineering progress and society

Civil engineering professionals, participating in academic, public and private sectors, have been making contribution to the development of international activity and overseas business. However, seeing the progress of globalization and the growth of Asia’s rapidly developing economies, those professionals have realized the weak international competitiveness of the country and slow progress towards seamless communication between engineering experts. It is certain that during the rapid economic growth period, those experts made significant achievements in their own fields, but nowadays such conventional vertical sectionalism is too poor and insufficient to survive increasing fierce competitions between countries. It is vital to create strategies to win those competitions, and based on the strategies, to promote an effective academia-industry-public cooperation/ collaboration, which can facilitate mutual knowledge, skills and information sharing.

Moreover, in order to respond those globalization-induced challenges, an organization which picks up a baton and leads the civil engineering community should have been formed, but have not been done yet. JSCE, a professional society linking civil engineers in academia, government and industry which has been promoting international activities, is convinced that taking up a leadership is its rightful duty and responsibility as a public interest incorporated association, and further strengthening the international activities is its priority as well.

First, what we need to do is to collect and visualize plenty of data and information accumulated by experts in narrow specializations and then to create a firm base to build up activities efficiently and systematically. Then, we will reaffirm our commitment and cooperation with that community and undertake activities as we can fulfill a leadership role in tackling those challenges.

IAC’s Operation

  • IAC’s leadership role and project-focused, goal-oriented operation Acting quickly and responsibly. Unlike the conventional committee-based activity planning, each working-group leader takes initiative, makes decisions and undertakes projects his/her working group.
  • Comprehensive approaches to the IAC operation, considering the needs of civil engineering community Working in tandem with the civil engineering community. More human and financial resources and a communication network will be needed to carry out projects and to achieve targets than ever. We will seek for and work hard to obtain support and assistance not only within JSCE but also from the civil engineering community.

Activity Targets

1) A long-term target

Aiming to enhance international activities qualitatively and quantitatively like the domestic activities have been done, we will work to obtain national and international recognition for the IAC as “a mecca” for civil engineering professionals.

2) A mid-term (3-5 years) target
  • a. Establishing a sustainable management system
    • Establishing financial stability with support and collaboration with JSCE peer organizations
    • Hiring a full-time Senior Director and staff members
    • Forming a tentative “Civil Engineering Forum on Globalization” to realize sustainable activities
  • b. Establishing a sustainable system to enable to build and maintain human and information networks and to provide quality professional education/ training programs
    • Systematizing information collection and dissemination: translating into English and local languages, publishing journals/ periodicals, communicating online
    • Networking among foreign students/ researchers working or have worked in Japan, and maintaining and utilizing their networks to expand IAC’s activities
    • Developing practical professional education and training programs to enable engineers to preparing for careers in a global civil engineering market.
3) FY 2012 Target
  • Major goal: scheduling and detailing IAC’s projects from a practical viewpoint
    • Selecting and appointing IAC Executive Council members and creating efficient management systems
    • Appointing group leaders and members, drawing and implement a project blueprint of each group
    • Launching an information sharing system within JSCE in which every international activity undertaken by sections and committees will be known.
    • Starting monthly “IAC News” and IAC HP
    • Selecting members and drafting a detailed bilateral communication strategy and plans for each target country
  • Along with the above items,
    • Carrying out free discussions on creating the above forum in order to make it function and maintain as we aim to without failure.
    • Then, acquiring an approval and cooperation from the peer organizations

IAC Organization

The Launch of IAC to Achieve a Great-Leap Forward Towards Internationalizing JSCE

The challenges and solutions that we have identified to get on the right track. We would appreciate if you give us advice and suggestions.

Challenges: Creating the environment which allows IAC to do what it is trying to do and increasing the visibitiiy of IAC/JSCE and its projects

Little noticed and recognized what projects and achievements have been made so far. No clear-cut idea about “international activities done”even within JSCE, except disaster-response activities and the ones done by Concrete Committee and some committees and disaster-response. They have produced steadily significants results, and been recongnized for their contribtuion to JSCE and civil engineering progress accordingly.

Challenge (1): Integrating information

“Lack of information integration and management system” -> “Lack of long-term, consistent project planning and management” => Necessary to systematize information collection & sharing and facilitate to retrieve collected/ integrated information so as to realize project planning and implementations with a broad and long-term strategic perspective

Challenge (2): Continuity

“Lack of long-term, consistent project planning and management” → “Lack of continuity, recognition, and development of projects => Necessary to systematize project implementation and management so as to minimize the negative impact of any changes on a project, such as project team members, timeline and scope.

Challenge (3): Publicity

“Lack of promotional activity” → “Lack of recognition, understanding and support” => In addition to the above two solutions, necessary to build a system to widely publicize activities/projects at home and abroad.

Step-by-Step Solutions: 1st phase ( - Sept 2012)

Tackling the above challenges, and also strengthenning and maintining JSCE’s international communication and collabroation

1) Building a strong, stable management
Revewing the conventional management, and forming a strong, stable mangement body to ensure consistent and continuous operation
Setting up “Information Group” which will be in charge of focus on collecting, maintaining and sharing the data/information of each working group
Then, based on the collected informaiton, creating project plans with a long-range, comprehensive prespective of JSCE’s international activity with the International Strategy Committee
2) Executing promtioinal activities
Reviewing the conventional “Newsletter,” and creating a newsletter of which content will be interesting, timely and useful for readers
Upgrading and expanding the conventional communication means, channels and manners, such as JSCE websites in Japanese and English, Facebook and Twitter.
The Launch of IAC to Achieve a Great-Leap Forward Towards Internationalizing JSCE
3) Enhancing international exchange, communication and cooperation
Setting up International Communication and Exchange Group, and building sustainable international communication and cooperation
Promoting the communication among Taiwan, Korea and Japan and strengthening their mutual ties Building a foundation for communication and collaboration with Vietnam

IAC Staff’s Mumbling

As the IAC has started up, all of us are pulling their socks up and ready to begin serious work. We would like to make the topics in the IAC News interesting, informative and enjoyable for you. In exploring a way to go, we may sometimes get lost, or wander around. But, working with you, we will be able to get back on the right. So, we ask your patience and understanding and do appreciate your warm support and advice. “A good work environment, and a great job,” we believe that. We will make work fun.

【Comments and Questions】 Please let us know of any comments, ideas and suggestions you have for improving this news. We look forward to hearing from you. JSCE IAC: iac-news@jsce.or.jp