Course/Employment Situation

Course/Employment Situation

Corporations and Organizations Hiring AIS Graduates

INTEC Inc., Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), Oki Electric Industry Co., Ltd., CORE Corporation, Kowa Company, Ltd., National Center of Neurology and Psychiatry (NCNP), The National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), Shiseido Co., Ltd., Johns Hopkins University, Johnson Controls, Inc., The Scripps Research Institute, Chugai Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd., University of Electronic Science and Technology of China, Tokyo Institute of Technology, The University of Tokyo (Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology, Graduate School of Engineering, Graduate School of Information Science and Technology, etc.), GlyTech, Inc., Toshiba Corporation, Development Bank of Japan Inc., NEC Corporation, NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corporation), Hakuhodo Inc., University of Bordeaux, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation, Mitsubishi Electric Corporation, The Institute of Science & Engineering of Ritsumeikan University
(March 2011, September 2013 Graduates)

Occupations (in random order)

University faculty, corporate researcher, manufacturing engineer, information processing engineer, telecommunications engineer, clerical worker, etc.

Comments from Graduates

Yoshiro Okazaki

Graduate of the Department of Advanced Interdisciplinary Studies, Graduate School of Engineering, Iwabuchi Lab.

After completing the master's degree program at Hiroshima University, Yoshiro Okazaki joined Fuji Photo Film. Co. Ltd. He volunteered at facilities in India and Nepal before joining Olympus Corporation, where he was engaged in medical device research and development. In April 2014, he joined the doctoral program of AIS (Innovator Course).

I've broadened my narrow work-centered perspectives

After leaving Fujifilm, I travelled overseas for two and a half years, during which time I volunteered at facilities for people with disabilities. This is what sparked my interest in medical welfare. After returning to Japan I conducted medical device research and development, but I also wanted to do something about the difficulties encountered by people who could not afford high-cost, specialized medical care. When I found out that RCAST's barrier-free studies worked with advanced technologies while also conducting research focused on their social implementation, I called on them, wishing to join.

RCAST includes not only researchers with disabilities, but also members outside the engineering field, such as doctors, psychologists, and artists, so the discussions one hears there are truly borderless. One can study directly under world-class researchers in various fields there. I had a narrow perspective that only extended to my company work and small slivers of society, but RCAST's free and diverse environment truly broadened my perspective. The wise words, "Don't be afraid to make waves" are still etched into my memory.

My doctoral thesis was in an inter-disciplinary field between engineering and medicine (ophthalmology). In the Leadership Talent Growth program, the so-called “PPP education program,” I chose an area which was similar to but did not overlap with my research, and wrote an experimental psychology proposal regarding eyestrain. I learned how to use psychological indices, and I applied those methods to my doctoral thesis.

When working with overseas researchers, something I found people paid more attention to those researchers with PhD degrees. I was motivated to further advance my education by my desire to sit down and focus on my research, and I am very happy to have been able to earn my doctorate while enjoying conducting research in this free and open research environment. From now on, I will solve problems of people with disabilities or diseases and try to develop medical devices with considerate details which can extend to the bottom of their hearts. I would like to thank all instructors who have guided me beyond their own fields and my supervisors at the company who have paid full consideration to my work-study balance.

Ayami Tanabe

Graduate of the Department of Advanced Interdisciplinary Studies, Graduate School of Engineering, Okada Lab.

I graduated from the Department of Advanced Interdisciplinary Studies, at the Graduate School of Engineering (AIS) in March 2012, and now work at the Smart Energy Research Center at Nippon Electric Company (NEC). At RCAST, I did research concerning semiconductor crystals for optical communication. Moreover, I not only obtained the basic ability for research, but also had opportunities to meet with many people and broaden my horizons. Through this experience, I came to think that I wanted to make something that could be of use in society and so now I do research to develop a better functioning power storage.

What it means to work towards your goal

I was studying at Tsukuba University, but because my supervisor, Professor Yoshitaka Okada, moved to RCAST, I also decided to enter AIS. There, I researched semiconductor crystals called quantum dots, which are about ten nanometers in size. To make high density and high quality quantum dots, I investigated the mechanism for InAs (indium and arsenic) related quantum dots and developed a technology to control that process under Mr. Okada's supervision.

At the research center, I repeated the process of making semiconductor crystals and analyzing them. Looking at the data and tackling each obstacle to realize my goal was a slow process, but I believe this experience taught me how to conduct research and have patience.

The privilege of meeting many people thanks to RCAST

RCAST provided me with bountiful equipment and concentration time. However, I also learned a lot from and was supported by the people who surrounded me there. There are people from numerous specialties and different positions at RCAST. The cooperation research center where I was had an open lab, and scholars from all over the world gathered. I was able to exchange opinions
with both engineers and biologists, which allowed me to expand my research and point it towards solutions to the obstacles that I faced. Through these experiences, I learned that it was important to talk with people from various interests. I appreciate the support I received from the many people I met.

I want to make something that will be useful in society

At RCAST, I did research on materials used in technology but at NEC I do research from a technological perspective. I did this because I wanted to change my views on research. When I was job hunting, I was told, "Don't just think of what you can do. Rather, utilize your method of research you have nurtured." These words left a strong impression in me.

Having changed my research field, there are many things that I don't know, such as electric systems or circuits. However, by learning from other people, I keep on working to reach my goal to make something that would be useful in society. Koji Kajitani, the chief researcher who is also my boss tells me, "Research at corporations tends to be short and you need to cope with
the constant change. Having many experiences will help you to do this so I want you not only to do work that contributes to the company, but also do work that you enjoy and realize your dream with a healthy balance." I want to utilize my experience at RCAST and continue my research.

Making RCAST a chance to broaden your world

At AIS, there was a course to learn the basics in research called proposal and presentation. Presentation is where we do a presentation about our research in English, and proposal is where you make a research proposal.

I didn't take the proposal course at that time because I thought it would be too hard, but now I painfully realize how the ability to write a proposal is vital for a researcher and regret that I didn't take the course. I recommend to those of you who will be studying at RCAST to take these courses. There are many other opportunities at RCAST to increase your chances. I hope you grab these wonderful opportunities there and broaden your world.

Masashi Tabuchi

Graduate of the Department of Advanced Interdisciplinary Studies, Graduate School of Engineering, Kanzaki Lab.

After I got my degree at AIS, I have been working as a research scientist at John Hopkins University in the United States since April, 2013. During my time at RCAST, I did research under Professor Ryohei Kanzaki, and my theme for the doctoral thesis was “The Physiological Study of Optogenetics and Nerves Relating to the Olfactory System Function Network of Silkworm Moths”. The neural network for olfactory systems has a research model with an established efficacy to learn about the brain’s information processing mechanism. However, because smell was the form of stimulus used, it was difficult to make a time-based analysis. Therefore, I began to think that it might be possible to solve the problem if I could use a stimulus with a higher time resolution such as light, and so started my research. To be more specific, I incorporated a nervous activity’s light control system called optogenetics into the olfactory system of the silkworm moth and established a method of research in olfactory senses using light. By applying this method in my research, I found that there were neural mechanisms that could be integrated at certain time periods by adding a smell stimulus at different timings.

I was able to present this accomplishment to the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a peer reviewed international magazine. My research was full of continuous failures and there were only a handful of successes. What’s more, I had to painstakingly analyze the experimental data from various aspects, compile them into a thesis, and do additional experiments that were sometimes absurd so as to satisfy the desires of the peer reviewers. The whole process until the publication finished was hard. However, once I experienced the accomplishment of a thesis publication, I strongly thought that I wanted to experience it many times again and continue to do research throughout my life. I believe that those of you who will join the course will also experience the same fulfillment while you work on your research for your doctoral thesis here.

Sachiko Masuda

Graduate of the Department of Advanced Interdisciplinary Studies,Graduate School of Engineering, Tamai Lab.

In 2003, I quit the chemical corporation that I was working at and decided to restart as a full-time graduate student at RCAST. It has already been ten years since then and now, I do research in social pharmacy at the Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, where I graduated.

Having a background as a patent agent at a corporation, the research life at RCAST was very stimulating. It differed from the times I had to create intellectual property strategies for the benefit of a single company. Rather, I was privileged with the opportunities to seriously think as to why there was a law for intellectual property, and think about the justifications to give exclusive rights to specific people especially in medicine and medical areas. Although it wasn't an independent administrative corporation yet at that time, RCAST was zealous in patent systems and education concerning venture businesses. There were many teachers who started their own businesses so I was able to see and learn from the long process of the university's research accomplishments being used for real. In my first year of the doctoral course, I went to Boston for three weeks during my summer vacation to study about industry-university collaboration and technology transfer. My six months after that was spent in Illinoi University in the United States to participate in an overseas survey on technology transfer. From these experiences, I wrote a doctoral thesis on "The Protection of Intellectual Property Rights in the Pharmaceutical Industry" and now I do my research aiming to create a medical and social system that can strike the right balance between innovation and public health.

At the time I started my life at graduate school, I didn't think about what I would do once I got a Ph.D. and thought that I would probably become a patent agent working at some company again. However, in my third year, a professor of the medical department at Harvard University told me, "A person who's doing research like you should come to the States and broaden your perspectives." Having mingled with scholars researching areas in public health as a research scientist, I decided to continue being a scholar.

Many of my peers were to be scholars at RCAST. However, I believe no one had the same research field. In the same way that I was a mixture of pharmacy and the law of intellectual property, many of them had research themes that wouldn't fit in a single field. Spending time with them was a great joy. I strongly recommend AIS for people who want to make a difference from others.