Tokyo Institute of Technology: 1st Energy & Informatics International Forum held

The Tokyo Tech Academy of Energy and Informatics hosted its first Energy & Informatics International Forum from December 15 to 18, 2021. The hybrid event, which consisted of student presentation sessions, workshops, special lectures, and interviews with mentors, attracting over 100 in-person and online participants from Tokyo Tech and the Institute’s partner companies and universities both at home and abroad.

All affiliations in this article were accurate at the time of the event.

Student presentation sessions
Student presentation sessions
Presentations by students from the Academy of Energy and Informatics and oversea partner institutions were held on three topics — materials and devices for energy, reactions for energy, and systems and data science for energy. These presentations were spread out across eight sessions on Days One and Two to ensure that participants from Japan, Europe, and the US could join despite the time differences. Each presentation was followed by a lively Q&A portion and exchange of opinions.

Each presentation was evaluated by Tokyo Tech faculty members, partner company employees, and partner institution members who participated in each respective session. One Gold Medal award and seven Silver Medal awards were announced at a later date.

Gold Medal award
The value of in-reservoir energy storage for flexible operation of geothermal systems
Wilson A Ricks, Princeton University

Other medal winners can be viewed on the academy’s websiteouter.

Student workshops
Student workshops were also held throughout the four-day forum to allow students from both Europe and the US to participate at appropriate times of the day. Each group, consisting of 3-4 students from different research fields and nationalities, engaged in lively discussions and collaborative research on the potential of big data science in energy society and innovative proposals regarding solutions for global warming. The groups utilized various tools such as Zoom, Miro, and oVice to conduct their work with their colleagues across the globe and gave group presentations on the last day of the forum.

Hybrid group presentations on final day
Hybrid group presentations on final dayParticipants meeting on oVice virtual office
Participants meeting on oVice virtual office
At the end of this session, the Best Collaboration Award was presented to two groups.

Best Collaboration Award winners
Group 4
Decision making with big data science to tackle global warming
David L. Simeroth, Georgia Institute of Technology
Taichi Watanabe, 1st-year doctoral student, Electrical and Electronic Engineering
Yiwei Zhang, 1st-year doctoral student, Chemical Science and Engineering
Natsuki Otoshi, 2nd-year master’s student, Chemical Science and Engineering

Group 1
Developing the optimal roadmap towards carbon neutrality
Daichi Sakakibara, 2nd-year master’s student, Materials Science and Engineering
Kexin Chen, 1st-year doctoral student, Chemical Science and Engineering
Abraham Castro Garcia, 1st-year doctoral student, Transdisciplinary Science and Engineering

Mentor interviews
Mentor interview
Mentor interview
The corporate and international mentoring system of the Tokyo Tech Academy of Energy and Informatics is designed to help students develop a multifaceted perspective through guidance and interviews with mentors selected from the InfoSyEnergy Research and Education Consortium’s domestic and international partners, which include both companies and world-leading universities. During the 1st Energy & Informatics International Forum, time was also set aside for online and in-person mentor interviews so students could gauge their knowledge and abilities, and build on their strengths.

Online technical tours
The 1st Energy & Informatics International Forum also initially included visits to energy-related facilities and learning sessions about the energy situation in the host country. However, due to the hybrid nature of the event, these tours were moved online.

Virtual tour 1 – State of Hawaii
Virtual tour 1 – State of Hawaii
In the first tour, participants learned about the State of Hawaii’s bold goal of achieving 100 percent carbon neutrality and 100 percent renewable electricity by 2045. Melissa Miyashiro, executive director of the NPO Blue Planet Foundation, spoke about the organization’s work in achieving this goal and the latest trends in renewable energy in Hawaii.

Virtual tour 2 – Obama Onsen and binary cycle power generation in Nagasaki Prefecture
During the second tour, participants heard from the Obama Spring Tourism Association about the local hot springs and carbonate springs in the Obama area, and received an introduction to the binary cycle power methods and facilities of New Energy Development Co., Ltd.

Virtual tour 3 – Fukushima Renewable Energy Institute, AIST (FREA)
The third virtual tour was an introduction to the Fukushima Renewable Energy Laboratory (FREA) in Koriyama City, Fukushima Prefecture, which was established by the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST).

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