UCL News


UCL soil mechanics visit Japan

28 September 2006

Dr Béatrice Baudet, Dr Yi Pik Cheng and Dr Pedro Ferreira, members of the UCL Soil Mechanics group within UCL Civil & Environmental Engineering, went on a two-week visit to Japanese universities in Tokyo, Kobe and Yamaguchi in September 2006.

The visit was sponsored by EPSRC as part of the third 'Interact' scheme, designed to initiate collaboration between the UK and Japan.

The visit to Yamaguchi University went beyond a simple exchange of research ideas and results, as the group were treated as special guests from UCL in the context of the developing collaboration between the University of Yamaguchi and UCL.

The visit followed up the unveiling earlier this year of a memorial plate on the campus of the Yamaguchi University commemorating the Choshu Five. The Choshu Five were samurais from Yamaguchi Prefecture who came to study at UCL in 1863. They returned to Japan to play major roles in the Meiji restoration that ensued, with one of them (Mr Ito) going on to become the first Prime Minister of modern Japan. A similar plate was erected on the UCL main campus, sealing 150 years of good relations between Japan and UCL.

The UCL delegation met Professor Miura, Dean of Engineering, Professor Marumoto, President of Yamaguchi University, along with International Relations Officer, Mrs Susan Turale, in order to discuss possible avenues of collaboration.

The visit precedes that of Dr Marco Federighi, Tutor of UCL Faculty of Engineering Sciences, to Yamaguchi in October 2006, and of Professor Nick Tyler, Head of UCL Civil & Environmental Engineering, who will give the introductory lecture to the 3rd Choshu-London Memorial Symposium in January 2007. A highlight of the visit was a banquet at which the UCL Soil Mechanics group members were invited to sit at the top table with the Dean and President of the University and with Mr Fujita, Mayor of Ube town, which houses the Yamaguchi University campus of sciences and engineering.