Takeshi Ohkuma
Graduate School of Chemical Sciences and Engineering

Chemistry is a broad discipline that covers both fundamental research to elucidate atomic and molecular phenomena and applied research to develop functional materials essential for day-to-day life, such as pharmaceuticals, plastics, ceramics, and luminescent materials. In recent years, chemistry has taken on greater importance in efforts to address environmental and energy issues and also in life and health sciences. Accordingly, chemistry is expected to make profound contributions to the future of humanity. To meet these social needs, Hokkaido University (HU) established the Graduate School of Chemical Sciences and Engineering in 2010 as Japan’s first national graduate school to bring together the fields of scientific and engineering chemistry.

As its name suggests, the Graduate School of Chemical Sciences and Engineering offers a comprehensive, world-class curriculum that allows students to acquire knowledge and skills that range from chemical theories to practical application. The school’s Division of Chemical Sciences and Engineering offers three options: the Molecular Chemistry and Engineering Course, the Materials Chemistry and Engineering Course, and the Biological Chemistry and Engineering Course. These areas of study cover three major fields of modern chemistry:

  • Molecular-level control and analysis of reactions, catalyst development for efficient reactions, and the development of reaction chains that will lead to related chemical process development and process design
  • Development of organic polymers, inorganic materials, metallic materials, nanomaterials and other types of matter with novel functions stemming from a hierarchical assembly of molecules and atoms, and related composite materials
  • Artificial control of biological systems based on the chemical analysis of the structures and functions of cells and organisms, and the design of medical and medical-related materials with various biological functions

To support these courses, researchers from the National Institute for Materials Science (NIMS), the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), RIKEN, and the National Cerebral and Cardiovascular Center (NCVC) serve as instructors for collaborative programs/chairs along with faculty members from HU’s Faculty of Engineering, Faculty of Science, Institute for Catalysis, Research Institute for Electronic Science, and Institute for Genetic Medicine. The support provided by these various organizations is another of the school’s defining characteristics..

As part of HU’s efforts to develop future leaders for global roles as demanded by society, the Graduate School of Chemical Sciences and Engineering collaborates with the Frontier Chemistry Center and other organizations in actively promoting programs offered in English to enable HU students to learn together with overseas students at HU or its overseas partner institutions. These include the Hokkaido Summer Institute Program and the Learning Satellite Program. Through its Ph.D. Program, the school has helped internationalize university education with the establishment of the Advanced Graduate School of Chemistry and Materials Science (AGS) program, which is offered in English to Japanese and international students.

Based on HU’s four philosophies (i.e., Frontier Spirit, Global Perspectives, All-round Education and Practical Learning), the school is committed to producing future generations of outstanding leaders in chemistry and a wide range of related disciplines.