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IAC News No.138, April 2024

Japan Society of Civil Engineers  International Activities Center April 2, 2024 IAC News No.138

The IAC News introduces significant and unique international projects, technologies, symposium, communication undertaken by JSCE IAC, International Section, ACECC, and Research & Development Section with over 30 committees, state-of-art- civil engineering technologies and projects, great and interesting achievements of civil engineer and researcher once a month. 

This month’s issue features the visiting lecture at Kyushu University, which is one of the main activities of the IAC Professional Development and Education Program Group. That group started the visiting lecture at Hokkaido University, Shibaura Institute of Technology, and Kyoto University, and then this year Kyushu University. That group has sent professional civil engineers and consultants as lectures who has extensive experience with overseas projects. FY2022 JSCE President Project has entered the 2nd phase: “the Subcommittee for Making Civil Engineers More Internationally-Minded looks back on its activities in the 1st year and has determined to develop them. Another is a report about the efforts of JICA. The JICA has released the JICA Global Agenda, comprising 20-issue strategies the development strategies and been implementing those strategies by setting up 5 clusters: one of them is Transportation Safety Cluster. This cluster participated in Asia Pacific Road Safety Observatory (APRSO) 2023.

We are happy to receive your interests, requests and feedbacks anytime. Thank you

Visiting Lecture at Kyushu University

Since 2019, the JSCE International Activities Center (IAC), Professional Development and Education Program Group have been using a lecture slot at universities and so forth to provide a visiting lecture to inform young people, the bearers of Japan’s future, about the significance of our overseas projects and how we undertake work abroad.

The visiting lecture introduced international organizations as well as work at consultancy firms and general contractors overseas. Then, through a Q&A session with the lecturer, attendees gained a deeper understanding of project management abroad.

This year, which marked the fifth year since the initiative began, visiting lectures were conducted at Kyoto University, the Shibaura Institute of Technology, and Hokkaido University. In January 19, 2024, Dr. Shu Takahashi (General Manager of the HR Planning Department at Nippon Koei Business Partners Co., Ltd.) gave a visiting lecture to approximately 80 second-year students at the Kyushu University Faculty of Engineering by using a lecture slot generously offered by Associate Professor Yasuyuki Maruya for the Civil Engineering and Society Seminar.

On the theme of young engineers forging a career as construction consultants, this lecture shone the focused on young civil engineering consultants working overseas. The lecture introduced the following topics:

(1)  What makes a promising engineer and forging a career as an engineer: This topic covered the skills and qualities needed as a construction consultant and how to go about establishing a career as one. The VSOP (Vision, Strategy Setting, Objective Sharing, and Passion)  model was also discussed.
(2)  Career as an engineer and Japan’s Professional Engineer certification: This topic covered growing as an engineer and gaining certification as a professional engineer.
(3)  On-the-job (OJT) and Off-the-Job Training (Off-JT): This topic covered the importance of on-the-job training and off-the-job training. A training program aimed to improve the career awareness and skills of young engineers to support their growth was discussed.
(4)  Civil engineering consultant jobs in international cooperation: This topic discussed that construction consultant is a sought after role in overseas projects and international cooperation efforts. This section also covered ODA projects, social infrastructure establishment, the Design-Bid-Build delivery method, and projects of tangible and intangible assets. 
(5) Anecdotes on leveling up skills and career as a civil engineering consultant: This topic gave examples of success stories and tips on how to climb the ladder as a civil engineering consultant.

There were lots of questions from the students about what one enjoyed most about being involved in overseas projects and what makes being a civil engineering consultant a satisfying job. Meanwhile, there were also questions about what Japan’s Professional Engineer qualification means in the rest of the world, as well as the working environment of a civil engineering consultant. These questions could possibly indicate that although the students understood the efforts and motivation of a civil engineering consultant position overseas, there are concerns over the working environment. Consequently, I feel that in order to make being a civil engineering consultant an appealing occupation and industry for young engineers to pursue as a career path, it is necessary to promote the importance and potential of participation in overseas construction projects and international cooperation projects, as well as take further steps in terms of workstyle reform efforts.

The JSCE International Activities Center plans to expand its reach to work with even more universities and colleges going forward to deliver visiting lectures.

Civil Engineering and Society Seminar at Kyushu University

Visiting Lecture by Dr. Shu Takahashi



【Reported by Professional Development and Education Program Group, IAC】


The Ongoing Efforts of the Subcommittee for Making Civil Engineers More Internationally-Minded

Keitaro Konuma
(Chairperson of
 Subcommittee for
 Making Civil
 Engineers More

The Subcommittee for Making Civil Engineers More Internationally-Minded, which was established as part of the JSCE president project in fiscal 2022, moved under the umbrella of the International Activities Center in fiscal 2023 and continues to undertake efforts. Tackling the long-standing challenge of developing human resources who can succeed on the global stage, the subcommittee is a forum for members to motivate each other and engage in concrete activities in pursuit of making inroads for overseas expansion.

The most important part of what we do as a subcommittee is the “Making” aspect, as highlighted by the name. That is, not just stopping at identifying challenges by researching past case studies and drawing up solutions, but going beyond that by taking concrete action. This process is just like a civil engineering project in the sense that when moving from the survey and design phase to the construction phase, sometimes unexpected situations occur that were not initially foreseen, and the project team has to overcome these situations in order to complete the construction. Furthermore, with the subcommittee’s goal of making civil engineers “More Internationally-Minded,” in a broad sense, it feels like we are engaged in project management in pursuit of achieving this objective.

During Fiscal Year 2023, we engaged in a wide variety of activities, including holding a symposium that focused on the deployment of overseas projects and passing on engineering expertise to future generations, dispatching a research team to international conferences, introducing maintenance technologies to visiting research teams of JICA collaborative engineering projects, undertaking mock applications for PPP solar power projects publicly announced overseas, and networking with overseas subcommittees. These activities did not remain unchanged as they were planned at the outset, but were modified or conceived from scratch. As the chairperson, I enjoyed this unexpected nature of what we do. I wonder what we will create this year? I hope that as many people as possible will join this intense and enjoyable group, and use the group to gain experience and contacts that will prove useful in the future. Naturally, we will keep pushing forward with our efforts.

We are always looking for new members, so if you are interested, please take a look at our subcommittee webpage and apply.

In January 2024, we held an event in which we reported on the activities we undertook during fiscal 2022. A video of this is available on YouTube, so please check it out.

・Subcommittee Webpage: https://committees.jsce.or.jp/kokusai14/node/7 .

 ・JSCEtv: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c3RrkQAfh5U .

Civil Engineering Globalization General Committee Discussion "Globalization Initiatives in the Civil Engineering Industry"


【Reported by Keitaro Konuma (Chairperson of Subcommittee for Making Civil Engineers More Internationally-Minded, 
International Activities Center, Pacific Consultants Co., Ltd.)】

Participation in Asia Pacific Road Safety Observatory (APRSO) 2023 Annual Meeting

Ryuhei Kondo

Based on its Transportation Global Agenda1 in 2021, JICA set up a Road Transportation Safety Cluster to primarily support efforts to ensure safe roads, road safety education, and take measures against road accidents in developing countries. Currently, experts have been dispatched to Thailand, Cambodia, Bangladesh, and Uzbekistan. In the Knowledge Co-Creation Program (KCCP) for road safety, over 80 trainees from 33 countries have taken lectures and participated in field trips to learn from Japan, a country that has overcome circumstances that once saw it suffer a high number of deaths from traffic accidents. In the past, a team of volunteers was also dispatched to Nepal provide ongoing support.

The Asia-Pacific Road Safety Observatory (APRSO)2  2023 annual meeting3 was held in Manila, the Philippines, across three days from Tuesday, December 5 to Thursday, December 7, 2023. JICA participated in the event for the first time in order to introduce its efforts in the area of road safety through a panel discussion, collect information on road safety trends around the world, and to build a network with other organizations.

APRSO is a regional forum set up in 2021 by organizations such as the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and World Bank (WB) to assist efforts to reduce the number of road accidents in Asia-Pacific countries. This was the third annual APRSO meeting, with approximately 230 attendees from over 50 countries. The audience mainly consisted of personnel from government ministries responsible for road safety in APRSO member countries. There were also attendees from international aid organizations and agencies (including NGOs), academic institutions, and private enterprises, with lots of visitors from India and Bangladesh.

The annual meeting focused on the themes of reducing speeding, bicycle accidents, and the number of fatalities of young individuals4. I learned that each participating country has a strong interest in the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goal 3.6, which is to halve the number of global deaths and injuries from road traffic accidents by 2030. JICA also introduced its road safety initiatives, with APRSO 2023 proving to be a great opportunity to share information with a wide audience. Through the presentations at the annual meeting, it reaffirmed my belief that reducing road traffic fatalities, especially in developing countries, is seen as a pressing issue and that there are high hopes for assistance in the field of road safety.

The likes of anti-lock braking systems (ABS) were introduced as the latest technologies, and although some of the technologies have already been made compulsory in Japan and there were no groundbreaking technologies on show, there were innovative initiatives in collecting accident data and so on using probe data*, smartphone, and satellite image analysis. During a workshop, the introduction of musical roads (an audible rumbling generated when a vehicle drives over grooves in the road) as a means of curbing speeding in Japan drew great interest from the moderator and audience.

JICA will continue to provide support in the road safety field in developing countries. Thank you for your continued support and cooperation!

*probe data: the data generated by monitoring the position of individual vehicles over space and time.

1 https://www.jica.go.jp/activities/issues/transport/index.html
2 https://www.aprso.org/
3 https://adb.eventsair.com/aprsomeeting-roadsafetyevent/
4 Road accidents are the number one cause of death among five to 29-year-olds, exceeding those of tuberculosis and diarrhea. WHO, Global status report on road safety 2023

Panel Discussion

APRSO Participants


【Reported by Ryuhei Kondo, Japan International Cooperation Agency】



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◆The 12th East Asian Dam Conference (EADC):https://confit.atlas.jp/guide/event/eadc2024/top
◆The 10th World Water Forum:https://worldwaterforum.org/


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