How can we foster globally minded young researchers in the field of aerospace engineering?


Future aircraft are required to be environmentally friendly, fuel efficient, and have a high degree of safety. Researchers engaged in developing new aircraft, therefore, must be acquainted with a wide range of new technologies, such as materials science and production engineering. Additionally, since the development of aircraft incurs large costs and occurs over a long period of time, it is impossible to carry out this development in a single country, and international cooperation is indispensable.

In this workshop, the challenge was to develop globally minded young researchers in the field of aerospace engineering. This workshop met this challenge by offering different programmes that helped participants widen their range of technology, understand different opinions and approaches, and work with researchers from different countries.


  1. To study the latest production technologies of aircraft and their instrumentation by attending lectures given by invited speakers and visiting representative factories.
  2. To understand the latest technologies in composite materials, in which field Japan is a leading contributor, and to study their application to aircraft.
  3. To understand the research conducted and the facilities available at the Department of Aerospace Engineering, Nagoya University.
  4. To improve debate and communication skills by discussing with students and researchers from other universities and other countries.
  5. To establish an international human network between young researchers from member universities that will extend to research collaboration and exchange.
  6. To improve understanding of Japanese history and culture.


During the first part of the Japan-UK joint workshop on aerospace engineering, the following events were held at Nagoya University on 4-8 August, 2014.

  1. Lectures by invited speakers: Three leading researchers gave lectures entitled:
    1) International Collaboration of the Aircraft Industry in Japan and an Introduction to Mitsubishi Regional Jet (MRJ),
    2) Development and Application of Composite Materials to Aircraft, and
    3) Integration of Computational Fluid Dynamics with Experimental Fluid Dynamics.
  2. Factory Visits:
    1) Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI, Production of commercial aeroplanes and H-IIA rockets),
    2) Shimadzu Corporation (production of aircraft equipment),
    3) National Composites Center (NCC, composite materials research),
    4) Kakamigahara Aerospace Science Museum.
  3. Visit to laboratories at the Department of Aerospace Engineering, Nagoya University.
  4. Group discussions and joint experiments.
  5. Lectures about university-industry collaboration at Nagoya University.
  6. Study of Japanese culture and visits to cultural sites including Kinkakuji Temple.


This workshop had three major outcomes. The first was that the participants could better understand the latest technology of the Japanese aircraft industry. Japanese manufacturers, who lead the field of composite materials technology, are making wings and fuselages for aircraft like the Boeing 787. In addition, MHI has developed a regional jet called MRJ, which has excellent energy efficiency. The participants were able to learn about current state-of-the-art Japanese aircraft engineering through lectures from leading researchers at MHI, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and NCC. In addition, the visits to MHI, NCC, and Shimadzu Corporation were a valuable experience for participants.

The second outcome was that the participants could better understand the research conducted and the facilities available at the Department of Aerospace Engineering, Nagoya University. Participants visited laboratories and conducted experiments in small groups. Since participants had this rare opportunity to visit other laboratories that have a different history and a unique research style, this experience will likely contribute to their future research activity. UK participants commented that they were impressed to know that Japanese students have easy access to research facilities to conduct experiments from the beginning of their research.

The third outcome was to establish an international human network, which will develop into collaborative research, between young Japanese and UK researchers. 7 participants from the UK and 13 participants from Japan attended the workshop. The group study and discussions in which they took part will contribute to forging a stronger international human network in the future.


  • Nagoya University
  • University of Southampton
  • University of Bristol