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Best of the East: The Tokyo University of Science and its Amazing Space Research

One of Japan's oldest private universities is leading space research that might transform life on earth for the better.
BY Skendha Singh |   25-06-2020

Tokyo University of Science
Image courtesy: Tokyo University of Science

Science is one of the most popular choices for international students. But traditionally, students have opted for a 'look west' policy when it comes to picking their study destinations, especially if they are keen on STEM degrees. BrainGain Magazine suggests that it's the right time to start to look east for study abroad options. So, we are starting with a Look East series which will showcase great options for higher studies from countries in East and South-East Asia.

This instalment is dedicated to one of the foremost private universities in Japan, founded in 1881, the Tokyo University of Science.

Committed to delivering strong foundations in science – TUS has also emerged as one of Japan’s largest R&D universities with 7 faculties and 31 departments including Science and Technology, Management, Pharmaceutical Sciences, and Engineering. The university offers courses at both the undergraduate and postgraduate levels. However, TUS emphasizes cross-disciplinary research in collaboration with international institutions.

One of its centers for excellence is The Research Centre for Space Colony which is working on making human life possible in space. The Centre's main goals include: providing necessary energy for living, reusing water and air, and becoming self-sufficient in food production. Teams dedicated to Space Quality of Life and Systems Design, Space Agricultural Technology, Water and Air Recycling, Energy Creation and Storage Technology conduct the research. The great advantage of centers such as these is that many of the technologies currently under development will fuel not just space exploration and inhabitation but also improve the quality of life on terra firma.

An example is the Space Agri Technology team’s effort in using light to split water into Hydrogen and Oxygen. The study proposes the use of liquid plasma, at room temperature, and in a normal atmosphere, for generating Hydrogen. According to one of the researchers, this makes the process easier to manipulate and scale, thus opening up new possibilities for generating Hydrogen in great quantities in the future as a clean option to fossil fuels. Given the current situation - with global warming, climate change, pollution, and fast depleting fossil fuels, this could potentially usher in a clean fuel economy.

Prof Terashima, who lead the study, said, "If efficient hydrogen energy can be produced using sunlight and water, two of the most abundant resources on earth, a dream clean society could be realized."

TUS’ Research Centre is also a member of an academic alliance that includes universities such as Kyoto University, Jikei University, MIT, and Stanford. The Times Higher Education Alma Mater Index 2017 ranked TUS 3rd in Japan for its alumni successes.

Ready to look east and find out more about the university? Go here.

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