On the 28th of January 2019, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Professor Andrew J. Whittle paid a courtesy visit to President Shinji Harada.
Professor Jun Otani, IROAST Vice Director and Professor of the Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering Department, invited Professor Whittle to Kumamoto University through the IROAST Researcher Invitation Program. Professor Whittle is an Edmund K. Turner Professor in Civil Engineering at MIT and his research interests are in the development of constitutive models for soil behavior and their application in predicting the performance of foundations and underground construction projects. He has also carried out extensive research on wireless sensor networks for monitoring underground infrastructure, notably in the detection and localization of leaks in water pipe networks. During his stay in Kumamoto, Professor Whittle gave a talk entitled “Building a Better Mousetrap－The Continuing Quest for More Reliable Models of Clay Behavior” at the 50th IROAST Seminar on January 29th, and met with Professor Otani to discuss research collaboration possibilities.
During their meeting, Professor Whittle and President Harada discussed the state of Japanese and US universities, both in general and for their respective institutions, regarding globalization, research funding, student admissions, and several other topics. As a result of this visit, future exchanges between MIT and Kumamoto University are expected.
MIT is ranked among the top universities in the world. The 2019 Times Higher Education World University Rankings place it at number four among more than 1,250 universities, and the 2019 QS World University Rankings place it at number one out of a pool of 1,000. The Institute has five schools: the School of Engineering; the School of Science; the School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences; the Sloan School of Management; and the School of Architecture and Planning. It has produced many prominent graduates, including 89 Nobel Laureates, 58 National Medal of Science winners and 29 National Medal of Technology and Innovation winners.*
*MIT official website information as of 02/05/2019
(From left) Prof. Otani, Prof. Whittle, President Harada, IROAST Director Hiyama, IROAST Chief Kumagai
(From left) Prof. Otani, Prof. Whittle, President Harada, IROAST Director Hiyama