Kotaro Mori

Work experience
Apr. 2017 - Present Department of Electronic and Mechanical Engineering, National Institute of Technology, Yuge College
Apr. 2009 - Jul. 2013 Yanmar Co., Ltd.

Apr. 2014 - Mar. 2017 Department of Advanced Engineering, Doctoral course, The University of Shiga Prefecture
Apr. 2007 - Mar. 2009 Department of Mechanical Systems Engineering, Master's course, The University of Shiga Prefecture

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National Institute of Technology, Yuge College


Assistant Professor




Case studies of laboratories using the concept of "remote island engineering" to motivate students to research and solve local problems
Kotaro Mori, TAKESHI ITO

Kamijima Town, where the National Institute of Technology, Yuge College (NITYC) is located, is a municipality consisting of remote islands in the Seto Inland Sea. We propose the concept of "remote island engineering”. This concept is to solve island problems through an engineering approach, making full use of the island's resources and human resources, as well as the technical capabilities of the NITYC. At the NITYC, this concept of "remote island engineering" has been spreading from faculty to students over the past few years. Our laboratory involves 5th-year students, sometimes with lower-level students and local residents, in helping to solve regional issues as part of their graduation research.
For example, there are many abandoned bamboo forests in Kamijima Town, which are not well managed due to the aging of the population. Therefore, our laboratory proposed the "cascade use of bamboo” and came up with a method of using it in stages. As the primary use, bamboo houses designed by students are built, and as the secondary use, bamboo charcoal is made from the bamboo used in the bamboo houses. They also conducted an experiment to use the bamboo charcoal as a fishing reef by sinking it in the sea. Furthermore, remote islands are likely to be isolated in the event of a disaster due to the disruption of lifelines. For this reason, the company is actively involved in themes of disaster prevention and mitigation. One such theme is the "development of portable power generation equipment”. This is a combination of a rocket stove, which attracted attention after the Great East Japan Earthquake, and a Stirling engine, an external combustion engine, mounted on a cart so that it can be carried by human power. The students were responsible for all the design and manufacturing for this development.
This paper shows that laboratory management based on "remote island engineering" produces the educational outcomes of "independent spirit" and "cooperation with others" when students work on their own initiative and take responsibility for their own research. Students can experience the practice of the "PDCA cycle," in which they identify issues, set goals, gain new knowledge through experiments and observations, and present their findings at regular meetings to confirm the direction of the project. By having the students experience this cycle for one year, they were able to spend more time in the laboratory and conduct high-quality graduation research.

Education Research and Practice
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