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IAC News No.102, April 2021

Japan Society of Civil Engineers  International Activities Center April 1, 2021  IAC News No.102

IAC’s Activities in the COVID-19 Pandemic

Hitoshi Tanaka

(Senior Director, IAC)

The COVID-19 pandemic caused enormous influence to IAC’s activities, since it disabled us to traffic to and from oversea countries. In JSCE, IAC is probably the most affected department by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, this difficult situation resulted in promotion of online communication with both domestic and oversea JSCE members by equipping of information infrastructures in JSCE. Here, let me introduce a few activities during this pandemic period.

A cerebration party for awardees of JSCE International Lifetime Contribution Award and JSCE Continuing International Contribution Award had been held every year one day before a JSCE General Assembly in each year. The 2020 party was the first one that has been held online, by inviting all awardees from oversea countries as well as from Japan.

Meanwhile, although an annual meeting of oversea branches had been organized during a JSCE Annual Meeting, the meeting in 2020 was cancelled. However, online facility enabled us to have more frequent and substantial discussions with overseas colleagues. I jointed a meeting with Vietnamese branch in September, 2020, in which very fruitful and straightforward discussions have been made on important issues, such as a symposium that was going to be held in Hanoi supported by International Scientific Exchange Fund. In addition, we received strong requests from the branch in order to promote their activities in the branch.

For the 2020 JSCE Annual Meeting in Nagoya, international activities have been prepared by IAC such as International Roundtable Meeting, International Section Meeting, and International Summer Symposium. During the past JSCE Annual Meetings, such international activities has been incidental to main events for Japanese participants, and accordingly, these international events has been held in parallel with other events for Japanese participants. Considering the importance of international activities and also the necessity of international exchange, JSCE decided to organize an international panel discussion targeting both Japanese and non-Japanese during the 2020 JSCE Annual Meeting in Nagoya. However, except the Summer Symposium, these international events cannot be organized in 2020. We are now preparing similar international events during the 2021 JSCE Annual Meeting in Shonan Campus, Tokai University, in September. Looking forward to meeting you all at the meeting!


FY2019 JSCE Awards Celebration Online


JSCE-PII-MCA Joint Seminar (Online)
- Recent Advances and Practices of Concrete Materials, Structures, and Constructions in Indonesia, Japan, and Mongolia -

The Joint Seminar of JSCE, PII (the Institution of Engineers Indonesia – PERSATUAN INSINYUR INDONESIA), and MCA (Mongolian Concrete Association) was held on March 2nd and 3rd, 2021. In the past several years, joints seminars between JSCE and PII, and JSCE and MCA, were held in Indonesia and Mongolia, respectively. This joint seminar is the first tripartite seminar of the three countries and also the first online one organized by our committee. ITS (Sepuluh Nopember Institute of Technology), fib-Indonesia, and MACE (Mongolia Association of Civil Engineers) were the co-organizers. Zoom was mainly used for the speakers’ presentation, while listeners could participate either by Zoom or watch the live video from YouTube. The presenters and their presentation titles of this seminar are shown in Table-1.


Table-1 Speakers and Presentation Titles


The title of the joint seminar is Recent Advances and Practices of Concrete Materials, Structures, and Constructions in Indonesia, Japan, and Mongolia. It was determined according to the current conditions and demand of the industries in the field of cement, concrete, and constructions after discussing with researchers and engineers from Indonesia and Mongolia. At present, both Indonesia and Mongolia are achieving faster economic growth, leading to high demands for infrastructure development. It is highly valuable and helpful that JSCE could share the experience and recent advances in Japan with our counterparts of Indonesia and Mongolia in the fields of concrete materials, structures, and constructions. In addition, it is also important for Japanese researchers and engineers to learn about the recent advances and practices in Indonesia and Mongolia for the sake of further improvement of technologies and international communications in Japan. We hope that the technical communication and cooperation of Japan, Indonesia, and Mongolia can be strengthened and improved through this joint seminar.

In the seminar, five presenters from Japan, three speakers from Indonesia, and one speaker from Mongolia, made their presentations. Prof. Hikaru Nakamura, Nagoya University, introduced the health report of JSCE for the infrastructures in Japan and the work of taking actions to get understanding and cooperation of citizens. Mr. Toshimitsu Kobayashi, Shimizu Corporation, is currently working in the construction project of a hydraulic power plant in Asahan Regency, Indonesia. He introduced the outline of the project as well as the technologies and management during the construction. Dr. Yao Luan, Saitama University, introduced his current research on the hydration and chloride binding properties of slag blended cement. Dr. Yasutaka Sagawa, Kyusyu University, introduced the recent guidelines and technical recommendations in Japan relating to the utilization of mineral admixtures, such as blast furnace slag powder and sand, fly ash, and copper sand. Mr. Takeshi Torichigai, Kajima Corporation, introduced a dam construction project in Japan involving the application of fly ash blended cement concrete. Dr. Fadhilah Muslim, Universitas Indonesia, introduced her current research on the influence of reinforcement spacers on concrete durability and microstructure. Prof. Han Ay Lie, Diponegoro University, introduced the experimental strengthening technique of concrete structures using FRP and its application in Indonesia. Dr. Januarti Jaya Ekaputri from ITS introduced the combination of microbes, fly ash and bottom ash for high volume coal ash concrete. Dr. Batmunkh Narantuya from MUST introduced the current utilization of low-quality recycled aggregates in concrete in Mongolia.

The joint seminar gained a lot of attentions from Japan, Indonesia, and Mongolia. More than 450 listeners from universities, institutes, and construction companies attended the seminar via Zoom for the two days. Some others watched the live videos on YouTube. The listeners expressed great interest in the presented topics. In the Q&A session, they asked a lot of questions ranging from material compositions, practical construction work, quality control, and durability. The presenters had a warm discussion with the listeners. It can be said that the joint seminar is successful. More and deeper technical communications are expected in the future.

※This joint seminar is founded by International Scientific Exchange Fund.

Zoom Online Webinar

Prof. Hamada Addresses Opening Remarks


Prof. Nakamura Delivers the Presentation

Prof. Han Delivers the Presentaito


【Reported by Reported by JSCE Concrete Committee】


8th Joint Company Information Session for International Students (Online)

Ji Dang

(International Student Network Group, IAC)

Since 2013, the International Student Network Group of the International Activities Center held a Joint Company Information Session for international students studying in Japan for the purpose of providing information on the businesses of Japanese civil engineering-related companies, overseas projects, and recruitment. The event has been held every year in Tokyo and every other year in the Kansai area. It is the eighth Joint Company Information Session this time. It was originally planned to be held in person in Tokyo as usual, however, in consideration of circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, it was instead held online on Saturday, December 12, 2020. It was the first time we held the event online.

By holding the event online, those located a good distance from Tokyo could now participate, with the number of international students participating increasing from 54 last year to 84 this year from 19 universities in Japan. The number of different nationalities taking part this year was 23. The participating companies showed a similar trend, with 9 participating last year increasing to 13 companies this time. The fact that both the number of participating companies and the number of international students increased amid the COVID-19 pandemic is no doubt due to the fact that the event was held online.

【Participating Companies】
Eight-Japan Engineering Consultants Inc., HAZAMA ANDO CORPORATION,
Matsuzawa Kawaraten Co., Ltd., Nippon Koei Co., Ltd., Obayashi Corporation, Oriental Consultants Global Co., Ltd., PENTA-OCEAN CONSTRUCTION CO., LTD.,

The event was made up of two parts. In Part 1, the purpose of the event was explained at the beginning. This was followed by Ms. Luisa Santa Spitia (HAZAMA ANDO CORPORATION), who plays an active part at a Japanese company, giving a lecture entitled “Your Senior's Experience” in which she talked about research activities at a Japanese university, job hunting efforts in Japan, and her work at a Japanese company (Photo 1).

This was followed by a “1-minute pitch” segment where the representatives of each participating company gave an outline of their company and the contents of their company session held in Part 2 (Photo 2).

Part 2, the company sessions, then got underway. From 14:00 to 17:15, each company held 4 sessions (1 session, 20 minutes), with international students able to participate in up to 8 sessions. By notifying the international students of the company session timetable and the links to each company session beforehand, the international students could enter and leave company sessions smoothly, where they participated in the sessions of the companies they were interested in to gain more information. Although the number of participants fluctuated depending on the time of day, there were participants in all of the sessions right up to the end at 17:15 (Table 1)


Table 1 The Timetable of Company Sessions and Senpai Sessions

At the same time as the company sessions, 4 former international students consisting of Ms. Santa (mentioned above), Mr. Zuo (Kawakin Core-Tech Co., Ltd.), Mr. Amir (Nishimatsu Construction Co., Ltd.), and Mr. Shi (JAPAN-CHINA CONSULTANT CO., LTD.) held “Senpai Session.” They answered questions from international students, explained their experiences looking for a job in Japan, skills necessary for getting a job, and work at a Japanese company. They also actively talked back and forth sharing views with the international students.

When deciding to hold the event online, we had concerns that it would be difficult to enter and leave the online conference rooms and carry out proper time management, but on the day, we were able to manage the running of the event a lot smoother than we initially anticipated. Also, there were a lot more international students than we had expected. By posting company profiles and videos on the web page before the event, participants were able to research the companies they were interested in and actively participate in the company sessions.

Although it was decided to change the original in-person format of the event to it being held online instead, the participating companies prepared carefully, the international students took a great interest in the Japanese companies, and the event proved to be a useful communication opportunity for both the companies and students involved. To end, I would like to take this opportunity to express my appreciation to the lecturers, participating companies, and participants for support in this Joint Company Information Session.


Photo 1 Senpai’s Speak from Ms. Luisa Santa Spitia (HAZAMA ANDO CORPORATION)

Photo 2 Company Representatives Giving a 1-Minute Company Pitch
and the Participants

【Reported by Ji Dang, International Student Network Group (Saitama University)】




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