As part of the Japan Science & Technology Agency Sakura Exchange Program, 10 students from the Biomedical Science (DBS), Biotechnology (DBT) and Applied Chemistry with Materials Science (DACM) courses, accompanied by senior lecturer Koh Siok Im, went on a two-week Learning Journey (23 November to 6 December 2014). Students stayed with different host families, attended classes along with local students from Waseda University (WU), Tokyo, and visited several industries and research centres in addition to cultural sites – in short, a snap shot of studying and living in Japan.
Highlights of the industry visits included Dowa High Tech where the precious metals (silver and gold) are extracted from electronic wastes (used PC circuit boards; mobiles; etc); Akagi Nyugyo Ice Candy factory where stringent GMPs are in place; the Tokyo Women’s Medical University – Waseda University Joint Institution for Advanced Biomedical Sciences (TWIns), the Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) and the Centre of Advanced Biomedical Sciences where huge amount of human’s motion sensor data are being gathered to design and customise products for everyday living – some examples of these products are sport shoes, furniture, car seats, household utensils, children’s toys and child-safe gadgets. There was also the Tissue Factory (T-factory) where 3D printer and T-factory chamber are used to produce artificial hearts and organs for tissue transplantation.
The culmination of the Learning Journey for students was a rare opportunity for students to share their reflections and learning at the Advanced Materials Symposium, jointly organised by WU and SP’s Department for Technology, Innovation and Enterprise.