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Overview on the “Tokyo Institute of Technology International Research Opportunities Program (TiROP)” - Season One: 2012

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2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Atlanta, Georgia

Publication Date

June 23, 2013

Start Date

June 23, 2013

End Date

June 26, 2013



Conference Session

Implementing Transfer, Exchange, Research Programs and Professional Development; in Asia and Far East

Tagged Division


Page Count


Page Numbers

23.954.1 - 23.954.10



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Paper Authors


Jeffrey S. Cross Tokyo Institute of Technology

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Jeffrey S. Cross received a Ph.D. in chemical engineering from Iowa State University in 1992. He has worked at a corporate research lab, government lab, and in academia for 20 years in or near Tokyo and speaks Japanese. He presently serves on numerous international program committees at Tokyo Institute of Technology involving student research exchanges and chairs the steering committee of the Asia Oceania Top University League on Engineering (AOTULE). In addition, he teaches technical communications for graduate students, researches biomass liquification and biosensors, and analyzes Japan’s energy policy. In 2013, Jeffrey received the Tokyo Institute of Technology "Best Teacher" award and the School of Engineering "Teacher of the Year" award.

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Kikuo Kishimoto Tokyo Institute of Technology

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Dr. Kikuo Kishimoto is currently a professor of the Department of Mechanical Sciences and Engineering and Dean of School of Engineering, Tokyo Institute of Technology. He received his B.S. degree in 1975, M.S. degree in 1977, and Doctor of Engineering degree in 1982 from Tokyo Institute of Technology. He worked as a Research Associate and Associate Professor at Tokyo Institute of Technology from 1977 to 1995. During this period, he was a Visiting Scholar at Cambridge University from 1987 to 1988.
He has published over 250 journal papers in the areas of applied mechanics, fracture mechanics, reliability of microelectronic devices, and others.
He is a fellow of Japan Society of Mechanical Engineers, a fellow of American Society of Mechanical Engineers and a member of Science Council of Japan. He has served and chaired on various scientific and technological committees promoting research and education. He is a vice-president of Japan Accreditation Board for Engineering Education.

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Hisakazu Mihara

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Masahiko Hara Tokyo Institute of Technology

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Overview of “Tokyo Institute of Technology International Research Opportunities Program (TiROP)” - Season One: 2012 Jeffrey S. Cross, Kikuo Kishimoto, Masahiko Hara, and Hisakazu MiharaIn the fall of 2011, the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) issued multimilliondollar awards to fund the establishment of programs between Japanese universities with Asianuniversities (Type A grant) and American/European (Type B grant) institutions under the “Re-inventing Japan Project”. The objective of the project is to create model programs thatultimately will increase the number Japanese students studying overseas because it hasdecreased by half over the past 10 years. Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) was one ofseven Japanese institutions that received a 5 year grant to promote bilateral student mobilitywith US/EU/Asian research universities under project entitled, “World-Class UniversityAlliance for Educating Techno-Scientific Leaders”. The timing of this grant was fortuitousbecause American students are showing greater interest in studying Japan. (For example,approximately 7000 American students study in Japan yearly with a 10%/yr growth rate.) Thegrant led to the formation of the Tokyo Tech International Research Opportunities Program(TiROP) within the international office. A 10 week summer program was created that consistedof special lectures, Japanese language instruction, off-campus activities such as factory tours,joining a faculty members’ laboratory to conduct a research project and orally presenting theresults of the research. The student’s travel, housing and living expenses were provided by thegrant. The first cohort of 15 summer exchange students came to Tokyo in June 2012. A website( and closed-group facebook page were launched to provideinformation as well as to serve as a program archive. Tokyo Tech’s Japanese and internationalgraduate students were assigned to host the exchange students and provide support. Theexchange students’ evaluation of the summer program revealed a high level of satisfaction butalso noted areas for improvement particularly a need for pre-arrival Japanese languageconversational ability, a need for joint activities with Japanese students, and more Japanesecultural activities. Japanese students that hosted the exchange students noted they need toimprove their English conversation ability. Simultaneously, 15 Tokyo Tech Japanese studentshave been dispatched to overseas universities in 2012. In this paper, the learning outcomes forthe 2012 program and plans for the 2013 program will be discussed.

Cross, J. S., & Kishimoto, K., & Mihara, H., & Hara, M. (2013, June), Overview on the “Tokyo Institute of Technology International Research Opportunities Program (TiROP)” - Season One: 2012 Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. 10.18260/1-2--22339

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