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IAC News No.11, August 2013

Japan Society of Civil Engineers  International Activities Center July 19, 2013 IAC News No.11

【The 1st MES-JSCE Joint Symposium in Yangon, Myanmar 】

Republic of the Union of Myanmar has recently been regarded as the final frontier of economic growth in Asia, and is ready to attract huge investment. However, significant lack of infrastructures may limit the potential to enjoy the benefit of expected growth. It is important to cultivate local civil engineers, as well as to expect technology and financial assistance by foreign countries, in order to develop various infrastructures such as sea ports, roads, railways and electric power plants in short time and in efficient way.

Japan Society of Civil Engineers (JSCE) set up “Myanmar Group” in International Activity Center (IAC) in 2013 to contribute to cultivation of civil engineers in Myanmar. The group is now seeking the opportunity to build cooperative relationships with Myanmar Engineering Society (MES) which is central academic society for engineers in Myanmar. The first MES-JSCE Joint Symposium was held on July 26th, 2013 in Yangon as the first step of this trial. Fifteen JSCE members including President Kotaro Hashimoto, Ex-president Shigeru Morichi, Prof. Tamon Ueda, Senior Director of IAC and Mr. Asao Yamakawa, Director of IAC were dispatched to the symposium. Prior to the symposium, Memorandum of Understandings between MES and JSCE for future cooperation was signed up by MES President Mr. Win Khaing and the JSCE President in a ceremony. Mr. Kyaw Lwin, Minister of Construction and Mr. Han Zaw, a former MES President who won JSCE International Award in 2009, participated in the ceremony.

There were around 230 participants in the symposium. The symposium started by greetings from Minister of Construction, MES President and JSCE President, and consisted of three technical sessions dealing “Development of Technical Standards”, “Cultivation of Civil Engineers” and “Emerging Technologies in Civil Engineering”, with eleven presentations, six from MES and five from JSCE. We realized that level of bridge construction technology is relatively high compared with other infrastructure development technologies. On the contrary, we also realized that lack of original technical standards is emerging issue to be solved immediately. Besides, role of higher educational institution has not been large in infrastructure development. Development of curriculum on cultivation of civil engineers and scheme on cultivation of academic scholars is also inevitable to increase the role. We will hold the next symposiums regularly. We would appreciate great assistance by JSCE members to propose solutions to these problems. 

Mr. Hashimoto delivers a speech.

The Symposium audience U Han Zaw a former MES president at the front row

 Joint Company Information Session in Civil Engineering for International Students

International Students Network Group, JSCE, held a Joint Company Information Session in Civil Engineering for International Students at the JSCE headquarter in Tokyo on 6th July. It aimed to provide international students with information on Japanese construction companies and job opportunities. 13 construction companies participated and  8 out of them gave a presentation to introduce their business activities. Also, those companies set up their booths to meet the international students. Total 55 international students attended mainly from universities in the Kanto region (area near Tokyo).

The companies participated:

In the first session, a lecture was given by Dr. Phan Huu Duy Quoc who came from Vietnam as an international student and got a Ph.D. Now he works at SHIMIZU CORPORATION. He talked his experience in school and his work in Japan. He emphasized the advantage of studying and working in Japan where he could relate to the latest technologies and big projects. Students gave questions and received useful information from the presentations and at the company booths.

It was the first event for the JSCE to hold the Joint Company Information Session. Although it has been recognized that the globalization of Japanese construction companies is indispensable and many companies are interested in employing international students, there are few opportunities that construction companies and international students directly meet and discuss with each other. Many companies in other industries have started hiring international students actively, and there are many job forums nowadays. The International Students Network Group first conducted a questionnaire survey to construction companies to see their interests in the event, and then decided to hold it. Also, some international students wanted to get information or job in Japanese construction companies.

Therefore, it was a nice opportunity for both those international students and companies. However, the information of Japanese companies such as international business activities, job information, and required Japanese language levels for working is not well given to the international students.
JSCE will hold the session annually to provide international students and construction companies with the chance to learn and talk with each other.

A company rep talks his company activity.

Int’l students meet company reps.


IAC Current News

There are five working-groups- Information Networking Gr., International Cooperation and Collaboration (ICC) Gr., International Student Network Gr., Professional Education & Education Program Gr., and task-based groups in the IAC, headed by Prof. Tamon Ueda, the IAC Senior Director.

The Information Networking Gr. is responsible for collecting and disseminating information within Japan and abroad, and is expected to fulfill this responsibility, making positing influences upon the JSCE and its members’ activities. The International Student Network Gr. is developing an international students network to create a social platform, hosting the annual International Summer Symposium, and will be able to link to the networks which colleges, universities and other educational institutes have not so long before.

And the ICC Gr., under the leadership of Mr. Asao Yamakawa, the group leader, takes a major role in developing JSCE’s international activity with eleven subgroups which members consist of experts from the academic, public and private sectors.  The ICC Gr. also works closely with nine International Sections which are placed in Korea, Taiwan, Mongolia, Indonesia and others.

As one of the international activities, JSCE works with the international organization Asian Civil Engineering Coordinating Council (ACECC) as one member. The ACECC, being consisted of ten civil engineering related organizations, promotes cross-border collaborations in that region, and currently is inviting Cambodian Society of Civil Engineers as an observer. The ACECC hold triennale Civil Engineering Conference in the Asian Region (CECAR). The 6th CECAR was held in Jakarta in this August.

In sum, we have to strengthen and maintain the firm cooperation among the ICC Gr., subgroups, International Sections, the ACECC members, the networks of international students, civil engineers dispatched to work on overseas projects, and foreign embassies. That is essential for us to enhance the cooperation with overseas civil engineering professional organizations.

I would like to add that the 1st joint symposium between Myanmar Engineering Society and JSCE was successfully held in Yangon this July. Prof. Shigeru Morichi (the 92nd JSCE President), Prof. Ueda, Mr. Yamakawa, and two Myanmar Gr. members Prof. Tetsuo Shimizu (Tokyo Metropolitan University) and Mr. Shinri Sone (National Institute of Land and Infrastructure Management, MLIT), and I myself represented the JSCE and engaged in discussion with H.E. U Kyaw Lwin Minister of Construction, U Win Myint Deputy Minister of Construction, U Win Khaing MES President, U Han Zaw MES Immediate-Past President and other significant figures in Myanmar.

One more thing. Mongolian Association of Civil Engineers (MACE) held its annual meeting in June. Prof. Eiki Yamaguchi (Kyushu Institute of Technology), Mongolia Group Leader, attended and made the exchanges of information, ideas and opinions with MACE members.

These are a few examples of the IAC’s international exchange activities. We do hope that the IAC will make more effort to further develop the communication and cooperation between JSCE and its overseas counterparts.

Thank you very much.

The JSCE delegation visits a bridge construction site.

The JSCE delegation and project members of MoT for the bridge construction.

2013 JSCE Directors in charge of International Affairs Division

Tamio SHIMOGAMI, Chief Director,
Chairman, Kinki Construction Association
Shinich HINO
Kyushu University
Kiyohiro IKEDA
Tohoku University


What's Happening

・ Oct. 9-12 : ASCE 143rd Annual Civil Engineering Conference (Charlotte, N.C) :
・ Oct. 23-25 : KSCE Annual Meeting at High 1 Resort, Gangwon-do


The summary of feature articles in the JSCE Magazine is available on the JSCE website.
Concrete Committee International Newsletter No. 34

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Staff's Mumbling

An extremely hot summer is gradually fading into autumn, and it is getting cooler in the mornings and evenings. In this issue, there are two reports: the joint symposium in Myanmar and the other on joint company session. I read in them that keeping our efforts to hold those events in the future time is necessary, and am aware of being true for the IAC News as well. We promise that we will not fail the readers, and make this newsletter interesting and useful to attract more readers. Thank you.