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HIT addresses the following;

Research on regional disaster prevention, and maintenance and management of social systems, in the northern region of Northeast Japan (Kita-Tohoku), in light of the life cycle assessment (LCA)

1. Outline of the project

Preventing global warming is one of the most important social issues of the century. Measures against global warming in infrastructure development need to allow for the LCA of structures in the infrastructure development. The greatest contribution for improvement in the LCA with developing infrastructures is made by providing such infrastructures that are highly disaster-resistant and have longer life. The Kita-Tohoku area has a cold climate and has been repeatedly struck by earthquakes.
This project has conducted research centering on these four subjects.

(1) Construction and good use of ground information system to improve regional disaster prevention capability: This area has the geological feature of being abundant in peculiar volcanic cohesive soil. A seismic hazard has a close relation to the ground. So one of the subjects is to construct webGIS, which organizes information on the ground in the area appropriately and provides them for the local communities, and also studies the relationship between earthquake disasters and the ground using that system.

(2) Research on higher durability of structures in a cold area: Prevention of damage to concrete structures due to freezing or due to salt contained in an anti-freezing agent in this area with a view to prolonging their life and reduce the environmental load.

(3) Research on improvement of snow removal through snow drain and prolongation of the life of such structures: Another subject pertains to the theoretical elucidation of the physical condition of snow and water in mixture flows in snow drain in a cold, heavy snow area, and the mechanism of energy loss associated with velocity defects in flowing snow and water in mixture flows.

(4) Research for education and enlightenment of people to make towns much more resistant to disasters: For disaster prevention, the soft aspect by providing information for people, as well as the hard aspect, are important. So the subject involves enhancing local people's consciousness of prevention of earthquake disasters and the local capability against such disasters.

2. Cooperative organizations in the project

This project has been implemented by the Kita-Tohoku Regional Disaster Prevention Capability/Durability Improvement Study Group, which is headed by Professor Koji Kumagai and consists of 14 teachers of HIT and engineers from four local companies. Hachinohe City Government has also provided cooperation for the construction and use of a regional ground information database.

3. Financial support to the project

This project was subsidized by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology as a part of its Strategic Research Base Development Program for Private Universities for the three fiscal years of 2008-2010.

Ground information database Loading test on RC beam with
complex deterioration
Experiment on physical condition of snow water
flow in a mixed phase

2008 Program for Model Demonstration of Technical Seeds and Social System for Low-carbon Society: Construction of a model low-carbon area by introducing EVs/pHVs

In Aomori Prefecture, which is leading in introducing EVs/pHVs in the framework of the national government's "EV and pHV Town Concept." HIT has engaged in this model program to solve safety problems associated with automotive travel in winter or in silent EV/pHV traffic. HIT has constructed a system that clarifies the CO2 reduction by shifting from petroleum combustion vehicles to EVs/pHVs, and evaluates and supports the environmental contribution in the entire area to make a model for creation of a new, sustainable low-carbon area.

The output of this project is summarized as follows:

1. CO2 reduction effect visualized by analyzing company car travel data

- The comparison in CO2 emissions between EVs and petroleum vehicles shows that the former emit half of the CO2 gas that the latter does. The CO2 reduction rate by an EV is 0.1 kg of CO2 per km.
- The CO2 emission of an EV is twice as much when the heating equipment is used inside as when it is not used.

2. Construction of an area telecommunications network to improve the convenience of charging facilities

- The locations, and information on use of charging stations were made available on the Internet.
- It was confirmed that ZigBee (a set of wireless protocols used for data transfer) can be used as an area telecommunications network about charging stations.

3. Granting eco-points based on CO2 reduction and working with local systems

- HIT created an eco-point conversion tool that evaluated the CO2 reduction effect of an EV when it was used as an alternative to petroleum vehicles and converted it to an economic value (i.e., eco-points), and generated a file for external cooperation.
- HIT constructed a mechanism by which this project's eco-points were incorporated in Aomori City's eco-point system operated by SCS Aomori that was implemented, and enlightened on, environmental load reduction activities based on the local area.

4. Vehicle approach warning system between vehicles and pedestrians for solving a bottleneck to diffuse the use of EVs/pHVs

- HIT implemented an open experiment with participation of the public people, and a questionnaire survey.
- UWB communication (3.4-4.8 GHz) and specified small-power communication (429 MHz) were adopted for wireless systems.
- A receiving terminal and an approach warning system were constructed.

This project was commissioned by the Tohoku Bureau of Economy, Trade and Industry.
It was implemented by the Hachinohe Institute of Technology, Nihon Unisys, Ltd., and YRP Ubiquitous Networking Laboratory, in Aomori City, Aomori Prefecture.

Regional Co-creative Program for Raising "Glocal (Global + Local)" Engineers of Next Generation

Since the Lehman Shock in 2008, it is an important issue for local businesses that they need to change themselves from subcontractors to those that develop products for customers or end users beyond parties with which they had contracts in order to get out of economic dead end and revive the area. It is now that local institutions/organizations should nurture local engineers in the field of electric, electronic information technology (called "EEI") who will contribute to the revival of the area in a co-creative way with HIT, based on the area and looking to the global market.

Aomori Prefecture has a large proportion of the primary industry in the economy because of its local characteristics. However, promoting secondary industry is essential to regional revitalization to improve the employment environment in this area.
According to a proportion comparison of value of goods shipments by industry, that of the basic materials industry is large. From a global point of view, the processing/assembling industries are being taken over by East Asian countries with the advantage of low labor cost.
For Aomori, one of the ways to survive is to enhance added values in basic materials industries.

Under these circumstances, HIT is committed to educating/training engineers of local businesses and businesses that move into the area to raise them as "Glocal" engineers of next generation who are needed for the development of new EEI products/technologies.
HIT was conducting a program to form a Center for Creation of Human Resources for Regional Revival of MEXT, supported by its Special Coordination Funds for Promoting Science and Technology, for 2006-2010. With the experience that it had in that program, HIT began its own human resources fostering program in 2011. "Glocal" engineers of next generation in the field of EEI are those who would have sophisticated expertise in the field and engage in practical research and development by integrating various technologies.
HIT develops "Glocal" engineers of next generation who have the spirit of creating new businesses that match the conditions in this area.

For this program, students are selected from businesses, and educated/trained during one-year at the Problem Based Learning (PBL) Seminar, etc. They also can take lecture courses in the material processing field and practical training courses. Those courses consist of optics and semiconductor industries in which local businesses engage, and classes related to technological management.

Those efforts of HIT enable local businesses to develop new products/technologies, so that they will be revitalized. In addition, the invitation and attraction of businesses related to such products/technologies will be accelerated. Thus, this program will help revitalize the local industries and create jobs. It will be a great solution to many problems that this area is suffering, and revive the area.

Picture of schooling in lecture curriculum

At the Consumer Electronics Show in
Las Vegas for an overseas study class
88-1 Ohbiraki, Myo, Hachinohe, Aomori 031-8501, Japan
Phone: +81-178-25-8111
Mail. syomu_at_hi-tech.ac.jp 学事課(GAKUZI)