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Five Students and Faculty from Northeast Normal University in China Visit TUS to Conduct Collaborative Research into Photocatalysts as Part of the JST-led Sakura Exchange Program in Science
For three weeks from October 21st to November 10th, two faculty members and three graduate students from Northeast Normal University in China were hosted by the Photocatalysis International Research Center (PIRC) at the Tokyo University of Science (TUS) Noda Campus to undertake collaborative research supported by the Japan-Asian Youth Exchange Program in Science (Sakura Exchange Program in Science) operated by the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST).
Japan is proudly situated at the forefront of photocatalysis science and technology, and the aim of inviting faculty and students to collaborate on photocatalysis-related research as part of the Collaborative Research Activity Course of the Sakura Exchange Program in Science is to help them acquire a foundation of photocatalysis-related knowledge and skills, as well as to develop an understanding of the scope to which photocatalysis can be applied. Additionally, in order to motivate these visitors to return to Japan in the future, they are provided with opportunities to experience wonderful examples of Japanese state-of-the-art technology and Japanese culture.
Since this year was also the third year for the program, its start was marked by a celebratory reunion. The program participants and PIRC students then undertook collaborative research on "activation of visible light-responsive photocatalysis via in-liquid plasma treatment" and "photoelectrochemical water splitting using photocatalytic electrodes." Moreover, participants had the opportunity to discuss the results of collaborative research which they continued at Northeast Normal University following the conclusion of the Sakura Exchange Program in Science in previous years.
Apart from research, the Chinese and Japanese students had opportunities for casual conversation and interaction via luncheons and dinners organized by the students themselves and at a dinner party hosted by PIRC Director Fujishima. On weekends the participants visited Japan's National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation and went sightseeing around the city.
The opportunity which the Sakura Exchange Program in Science has afforded TUS, as a whole, to engage in academic and cultural exchange with the best and brightest students in China over the course of three years has been tremendously stimulating. It appears that the results of the collaborative research conducted prior to this year are being compiled into academic papers set to be released in the near future. And it is hoped that, after they return to China, the participants will continue this year's collaborative research with TUS students so that academic papers can also be produced from their results.
Although this year marks the end of the Sakura Exchange Program in Science, TUS is committed to building programs and systems that will enable this sort of exchange amongst universities to continue. Finally, TUS is extremely grateful to JST for having made these wonderful opportunities possible.
Student participants with Professor Zhang
Engaging in collaborative research TUS students (center)
Visiting the National Museum of
Emerging Science and Innovation
Group photo with PIRC Director Fujishima