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IAC News No.26, December 2014

Japan Society of Civil Engineers  International Activities Center Dec. 1, 2014 IAC News No.26 

Large ship passing through the Gatun Lock ASCE Global Engineering Conference 2014 in Panama




Report on Attendance at ASCE Global Engineering Conference 2014

To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Panama Canal, the annual conference of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) was held in Panama City, Republic of Panama, from October 7th to October 10th, 2014. Thirteen members of the Japan Society of Civil Engineers (JSCE) attended the conference, including Masahiko Isobe (JSCE President), Kotaro Hashimoto (immediate past president of JSCE), Yumio Ishii (former President), and Hirofumi Ohnishi (Executive Director). Their aims were to strengthen the relationship between the ASCE and JSCE and promote cooperation between the two societies’ 100th anniversary projects.

ASCE President Randall S. Over opened the conference with a report on the previous year’s activities and projects. Mr. Jorge L. Quijano, CEO of the Panama Canal Authority, gave a keynote speech reviewing the Panama Canal Extension Project. During the subsequent reception, the JSCE team members met with and talked to many of the other participants.

Before the opening ceremony, the JSCE team visited the Panama Interoceanic Canal Museum. At the museum, they viewed a special exhibit on Mr. Akira Aoyama, the JSCE’s 23th President, who participated in the construction of the canal. Later, members from the ASCE and JSCE exchanged information on recent projects and other topics. At the conference, they discussed how to more effectively share information, such as survey reports of natural disasters and report cards for infrastructure.


Akira Aoyama Special Exhibit


On the 2nd day, the team made a nearly daylong rail tour of the approx. 80-km route along the Panama Canal. The tour started at Gatun Lock on the Caribbean Sea side of the canal. This was the lock on which Mr. Aoyama had worked. We watched large ships pass through the lock and head toward the Caribbean Sea. Next, the team went to the Pedro Miguel Lock and then to Panama City. The visitor center officials explained the Panama Canal and the extension project. We observed construction work for the new lock extension, including installation work for the huge 3,300-ton water gate (sliding gate).

New Gatun Lock construction site on the Atlantic Ocean side

Large ship passing through the Gatun Lock

On October 9th, the team visited the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) to exchange opinions on the Panama Canal Extension Project with Mr. Jorge L. Quijano, CEO of the ACP. Subsequently, we went to the adjoining library, the Technical Resources Center of the Panama Canal Authority, and looked at design drawings, photos of the construction work, and other valuable documents and materials. On the last day, October 10th, as part of the ASCE’s and JSCE’s mutual cooperation for their 100th anniversary projects, President Isobe gave a speech on the contributions of Mr. Akira Aoyama to the Panama Canal Project.

The topics included Mr. Aoyama’s dedication to the canal’s construction and how he brought back to Japan technical knowledge that was applied to the construction of the Arakawa Discharge Channel and the renovation of the Okozu Diversion Canal. A video of Mr. Aoyama’s work on the Panama Canal, the Arakawa Discharge Channel, etc. was shown prior to the speech. The session was considered a great success. The participants promised to meet again at the next conference in New York City.


Report on KSCE 2014 Conference

Korean Society of Civil Engineering (KSCE) 2014 Conference was held in Daegu-Gwangyeoksi from October 22-24. JSCE sent the delegation of 7 members consisting of Masahiko Isobe, JSCE President, Prof. Katsuchi Hiroshi, Yokohama National University, Asao Yamakawa, International Communication Group Leader, Mr. Oshima Masahiro, Kanto branch manager, Mr. Takeshi Kageyama, Kanto branch PR manager, Mr. Takashi Kikuchi, IAC officer, and I myself.

On October 22 after arriving in Korea, we had a lunch meeting with Japanese engineers working in Korea with the support of Japanese Embassy and exchanged ideas and opinions on the situation of construction industry in Korea. We heard that Korean major construction companies are accelerating overseas expansion due to the Korea’s economic condition. What’s interesting is that the Korean government launches a nationwide effort to support companies to get orders for overseas projects.In the evening, we arrived at Daegu-Gwangyeoksi and participated in the Welcome Reception. The Reception was opened by KSCE President, Prof. Myung-Pil Shim with his remarks, followed by the speech of Masahiko Isobe, JSCE President representing international guests.

On October 23, RTM by the representatives of participating societies overseas was held in the morning. Under the theme of maintenance of long-span bridges, Prof. Katsuchi delivered a presentation and there was a discussion. In the afternoon, JSCE Kanto branch introduced its activities at KSCE’s branch meeting. Mr. Oshima, Kanto branch manager reported the branch’s major activities, and Mr. Kageyama, Kanto branch PR manager delivered a presentation about the branch’s PR activities including ’Doboku cafe’ , which can be example cases to enhance activities of branches in Korea.

Greetings form President Isobe

Prof. Katsuchi delivers a presentation.

On October 24, we went on a technical tour which only designed for international guests to visit the weir in Nakdong-gang, one of the Four Major Rivers Restoration Project, and the ARC River Culture Pavilion, which was designed by a famous architect and serves as both a museum of rivers project and a tourist attraction. The weir was reconstructed as a multipurpose weir with the aim of flood protection, irrigation and hydroelectric power generation.

At the end, we observed a railway yard for monorail in Daegu-Gwangyeoksi guided by Dr. Dong-Uk LEE, Chair of JSCE Korea Section. The vehicles of the first monorail were made by Hitachi, Ltd., and there was also a Japanese engineer at the site working as an advisor of operation.It was a fast three days, but I learned a lot of things from the fulfilled contents during the visit.



The 3rd Special Summer Program on the Management of Civil Structures, 2014

Committee on Structural Engineering held the Special Summer Program on the Management of Civil Structures as one of its activities for international contribution and educating social infrastructure engineers on September 1 and 2. This program for international students of Japanese graduate schools included lectures by university teachers and technical site tours. 23 students from various regions in Japan participated.

On the first day, Prof. Mitsuyoshi Akiyama (Waseda University), Assc.Prof.Shingo Asamoto (Saitama University), Assc. Prof. Yasuo Kitane (Nagoya University) and Dr. Su Di (The University of Tokyo) provided lectures on the deterioration cause of concrete structures and structures made of copper, the cases of damage due to deterioration, countermeasure and repairing method for those, the monitoring technology for detecting deteriorated or damaged parts and life cycle assessment of civil structures in future, etc.. Various views were exchanged in the lectures including the Q&A session. At night, networking party was held at a tavern and they deepen exchanges between students or between student and teacher.

On the second day, they observed the Center for Advanced Computational Engineering Institute of Technology Shimizu Corporation in the morning. Mr. Yoshida, Director of the Center guided the visitors to their technology development facilities such as the laboratory using base isolation method, the wind tunnel experiment facility and the centrifugal experiment facility.

In the afternoon, a site tour to the Owada phase of Tokyo-Gaikan Expressway was conducted. The participants visited the construction sites in an open-cut method (the under construction of excavation sites and other sites where concrete case bodies were laid already) guided by Mr. Adachi, Vise President, Owada Work Office. This construction section has junctions of many main roads, and is adjacent to residential area and educational facilities. Therefore, the construction work is carried out giving the highest priority to safety and considering the effect of surrounding environment. There were some female engineers at the Owada phase and it was a good opportunity for female students to interact with them.

This Summer Program was held in 2009 and 2010, but was postponed since 2011 from the effects of the 2011 off the Pacific coast of Tohoku Earthquake until this summer. Many of the participants commented that this program offered a good opportunity for them to communicate with other universities’ students, because they interacted actively among international students of the same university but hardly meet other universities’ students. We will continue to provide international students in Japan with not only education programs for social infrastructure engineers but also a place to interact each other.

Finally, we would like to thank Mr. Fujita, Civil Engineering Technology Division, Design Department Shimizu Corporation for organizing the tours on the second day.

【Reported by Chairman Prof. Mitsuyoshi Akiyama, Vice Chairman Assc. Prof. Yukihide Kajita, The Task Committee of the International Education for Structural Engineering Committee on Structural Engineering】


EIT-JSCE Joint International Symposium on International Human Resource Development for Disaster-Resilient Countries 2014 implementation report

Recently, the Japan Society of Civil Engineers (Rock Mechanics committee) held the “EIT-JSCE Joint International Symposium on International Human Resource Development for Disaster-Resilient Countries 2014” in cooperation with the EIT (Engineering Institute of Thailand) which is a sister organization of Japan Society of Civil Engineers. They received aid from “a charitable trust called the Japan Society of Civil Engineers Academic Exchange Fund”. The purpose is exchange of rock engineering technology and other related fields between Japan and Thailand.

The symposium was held in the following ways.
  1) Lecture meeting (General session)
  The dates : Mon., August 25, 2014.
  Venue : Imperial Queen's Park Hotel (Bangkok in Thailand)
 2) Lecture meeting (Young Engineer and Student Session)
  The dates : Wed., August 26, 2014.
  Venue : Imperial Queen's Park Hotel (Bangkok in Thailand)
 3) Field trip
   The dates : Thu., August 27, 2014.
   Visit place : Maintenance and repair field of Outer Ring   Road at Bangkok

In this event, 42 persons from the Japanese side, including 19 students, and 20 persons from the Thai side participated. On the 1st day, we held a general lecture. The 2nd day, we held a student and the young engineer session which offers the opportunity of the presentation in English for the participants. The 3rd day, we held a field trip to the maintenance and repair field of Outer Ring Road, the Bangkok National Route 9, including an introduction of the counter measure against flooding by suffers of the Bangkok deluge damage in 2011. At the lecture meeting (general session) of the 1st day, although we discussed various results of research about rock mechanics, the research presentation was focused on the following three things. The 1st theme was a shallow-seated landslide resulting from the rain of a weathered rock slope. In response to the influence of climate change not only in Japan but also in other Asian countries, we argued about slope disasters occurring frequently with the increase in the occurrence of torrential rainfall. We have a renewed sense of importance after sharing the knowledge. The 2nd theme was the seismic hazard which occurred in northern Thailand and near the Myanmar border in March, 2011 and May, 2014. Conventionally, the importance of the seismic design has not been recognized in the Indo-China area since there is almost no occurrence of earthquakes. However, generating of liquefaction was also checked in addition to the slope disaster caused by the earthquake in Thailand. We also argued about the necessity for technical cooperation from Japan. The 3rd theme was a road building project including the large-scale slope in Nepal by an ODA (yen loan) from Japan. In the report of this project, gratitude for Japan's assistance with the development of the country was shown by a foreign student from Nepal in Thailand. Finally, we discussed how to show the necessity for the infrastructure construction enterprise by an ODA from Japan and the state of things in the future.

At the lecture meeting (student session) of the 2nd day, the presentation in English was conducted in collaboration with of Thai students (Asian Institute of Technology, a Kasetsart university, Suranaree University of technology, etc.) and the Japanese students, as well as the young researchers who study rock engineering and related field research. It was the 8th time this year since the session has been held in 2007. During the first two to three years of making presentations in English, Japanese students were clearly inferior compared to Thai students. But as the time goes by, Japanese students' English capability has remarkably improved. Although their student’s English presentation skill has improved, it has been seen that many students cannot answer at all in a questions and answers time. However, remarkable Japanese students manage to deal with questions and answers this year. Although the necessity for internationalization of university education had been made a point (said) these days, we realized that continuing to offer such a place and becoming a policy will be the most effective for a student's linguistic capability. While having a new appreciation of a common research task increasing in Thailand and Japan throughout this event, we can see the developmental process about educational internationalization. We were sure that it contributes to development of civil engineering in Japan including the rock mechanics field to practice such a measure in the future.

【Hiroyasu Ohtsu, Kyoto University, Graduate School of Engineering】


What's Happening

●2014/12/3・・・・・・IAC Japanese Civil Engineers the Global Leaders Symposium Series No.3
“Pahang-Selangor Raw Water Transfer Project”(JSCE HQ, Tokyo)
●2014/12/6~7・・・・・2014 CICHE Annual Meeting(Kaohsiung, Taiwan)


●The summary of feature articles in the JSCE Magazine is available on the JSCE website.
●Concrete Committee International Newsletter No. 38
●Journal of JSCE
The Journal of JSCE is the collection of research papers which can be viewed on the JSCE website.
●JSCE 100th Anniversary Postal Stamp was released in September, 2014.
http://jsce100.com/node/250(Japanese Only)

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Editor's postscript


The autumn is rapidly passing away.  Have you fully enjoyed the crisp color season of this country?  Winter snow has started to fall in the northern region.  Many of us might say, “Fresh green of spring and bright red & yellow colors of autumn are nice, but not so with hot summer and cold winter ”.  Dislike the half of a year? That’s ‘mottainai’!  A poet once wrote, ‘On a rainy day walk in the rain, and on a windy day walk in the wind’.  Enjoy cold winter, and if you do so, you will find yourself enjoying hot summer, too.  When you love and enjoy four seasons, what else do you need?