This year marks the 5th year that RGU have collaborated with the Nippon Foundation Ocean Innovation Consortium to deliver the Nippon Foundation Summer School. The month long programme focusing on offshore energy, will enhance capacity building in offshore engineering in Japan.
We spoke to four of the students undertaking the programme to find out more about their trip and what they have learned at the Nippon Foundation Summer School.
Can you tell us more about yourselves?
Seira: My name is Seira. I come from Saitama, North of Tokyo. I study geology, in particular metamorphic rocks. Right now, I study land metamorphic rocks, but in the future I would like to study marine ones.
Nana: I’m from Japan, Miyagi Prefecture. I study drilling, it’s about geothermal and oil and gas development.
Kaho: My name is Kaho. I’m from the Nara Prefecture in Japan but I live in the Aichi Prefecture at the moment because I attend Nagoya University. I study ecology.
Tamaki: My name is Tamaki. I am from Tokyo and I study geophysics at university. My research examines the structure under the sea bed. In Japan, there are a lot of earthquakes so I research what structure relate to big earthquakes.
How did you feel about travelling to Scotland?
Seira: I was excited about arriving and going sightseeing, but I was worried about losing my luggage on the way over!
Nana: I was also excited because this is an opportunity to learn more about my subject. I wasn’t too nervous about having to speak English because I like doing it.
Kaho: Before I came to Scotland, I was nervous about having to speak English every day. I have never had that experience before. But since I’ve arrived in Aberdeen, I have been very happy.
Tamaki: I was nervous because this is my first trip abroad. I had never been to another country before so I didn’t have any experience speaking in English. I still find it difficult to speak English but everyone in Scotland is so kind and make an effort to understand me.
What activities have you been taking part in as part of the Nippon Foundation Summer School?
Seira: In Aberdeen, we visited the National Subsea Centre and the Scottish Marine Academy. We also visited Aberdeen City Centre, traditional castles and went to Edinburgh. The streets there look straight out of a fantasy world. It was like the world of Harry Potter, I wanted to stay there forever.
Nana: I have been to many places. But the one that left the greatest impression on me was Orkney. We saw a huge oyster there, I was very surprised.
Kaho: We visited several places about marine technology or renewable energy such as the National Subsea Centre. Tomaki and I also went to the Maritime Museum in the city centre. I liked discovering Edinburgh Castle and Crathes Castle. The castle was like a house inside and all the decoration was very lovely.
Tamaki: We went to some sites to learn more about our university subject such as the Maritime Museum. I operated a robot arm, which was a new experience for me. We also went to Crathes Castle and Edinburgh. I was surprised by the scenery and traditional buildings. When we visited Crathes Castle, I heard that there was a ghost there. I was very surprised, and a bit scared!
What has been your favourite part of the trip?
Seira: Crathes Castle was my favourite thing to visit, but I also love all the granite buildings in Aberdeen. I really like granite so I feel very happy here.
Tamaki: My favourite part of the trip was travelling to Orkney. I enjoyed going somewhere more remote. There, I learned that the island is a pioneer in renewable energy and saw tidal energy devices.
What have you learned during your time at the Nippon Foundation Summer School?
Seira: First, I learned about tidal waves. I also learned about Health and Safety and Environment (HSE), which I didn’t know about before arriving in Scotland. So I’m embracing all this new knowledge.
Nana: We learned a lot about renewable energy, including about wind turbines and the regeneration system.
Kaho: I learned a lot about renewable energy such as solar panels and tidal waves. I also learned more about the oil and gas industry. Before coming here, I already had a broad understanding of oil and gas so I was looking forward to learning about renewable energy. I was glad to have had that opportunity at RGU. I began to be interested in tidal wave energy because there is a big potential for that in Japan so I want to study them more now.
Tamaki: We studied renewable energy in this class. I know how the energy industry works in the UK and learned about the difference in the situation in Japan and the UK. I also learned how engineers at the National Subsea Centre are trained in RGU, which I found inspiring.
How was your visit to the National Subsea Centre?
Seira: There, we learned about Integrated Power Generation, which means combining different forms of renewable energy such as wind and solar for example. I was really interested in this subject.
Nana: At the National Subsea Centre we discussed renewable energies in groups. It was great to get some advice and feedback on our ideas.
Kaho: I was excited to operate the robot arm. That was a new experience for me. It was interesting to conduct a drilling simulation.
What learnings will you bring back to Japan?
Seira: I want to bring back systematic understanding of the ocean development. That’s because in Japan the field of marine development is not very common. But there are opportunities there to learn more about renewable energy or HSE. That’s what I want to develop in Japan.
Nana: I have learned a lot about renewable energy and I would like to bring this technology back to Japan and contribute to the country’s technological development.
Kaho: I learned a lot about renewable energy such as solar panels and tidal waves. I also learned more about the oil and gas industry. Before coming here, I already had a broad understanding of oil and gas so I was looking forward to learning about renewable energy. I was glad to have had that opportunity at RGU. I began to be interested in tidal wave energy because there is a big potential for that in Japan so I want to study that more now.