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Campus Now

Early Spring Issue (Apr. 2013)


Contributing to society through science and technology

Steady results from Waseda of Research

Development of information security technology by Waseda University, Tokai University, Hitachi, Ltd., NEC Corporation and KDDI R&D Laboratories

Following the Great East Japan Earthquake, there is heightened demand for using cloud services to realize low-cost administrative systems with a high level of disaster preparedness. At the same time, due to cloud service characteristics of sharing resources via an open network, there is heightened concern regarding information security such as information leaks. Therefore, in order to ensure a cloud service which contributes to support of disasters areas and its information security, joint development of information security technology was undertaken by Waseda University (Katto Laboratory, Faculty of Science and Engineering), Tokai University, Hitachi, Ltd., NEC Corporation, and KDDI R&D Laboratories. The developed technology enables municipalities to use cloud services to engage in fast and secure aid tasks following a disaster. The technology was developed as part of “Research and Development of Security Technology Promoting a Shift to Cloud Services to Prepare for Disaster,” entrusted research from the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications. The technology provides a foundation to encourage the provision of municipal services via a cloud and contributes to smooth relief for disaster victims.

New path to practical recycling of nuclear fuel through a fast breeder reactor using light-water cooling

Professor Yoshiaki Oka (Faculty of Science and Engineering) devised a new fuel assembly which closely packs fuel rods and is capable of reducing reactor coolant to a fraction of fuel volume without loss of sealing for radioactivity. Using this technology, Professor Oka was first in the world to succeed in high plutonium breeding by light-water cooling reactor through computational analysis. He devised a fast breeder reactor which uses Japan’s rich experience in light-watering cooling power technology. The research also paves the road for practical recycling of nuclear fuel as a method for disposing of spent nuclear material. Professor Oka’s work contributes to the peaceful usage and international expansion of nuclear power.

Figure: Fuel lattice and new fuel assembly

*In December 2012, these research results were published in the online version of the Journal of Nuclear Science and Technology as a thesis entitled “Plutonium breeding of lightwater cooled fast reactors.”

Research Institute for Science and Engineering starts the WINeST Exchange Meeting for Advanced Researchers

The Research Institute for Science and Engineering started the “WINeST Exchange Meeting for Advanced Researchers” (hereinafter referred to as “WINeST”). This event connects industry and academic while providing an opportunity for interaction between different fields and industries. The 1st general meeting and lecture event was held on November 26th, 2012. Over 120 people participated in the event including Waseda faculty and young researchers, as well as representatives from 30 major corporations who are corporate members and candidate members.

The general meeting started with speeches by Vice-President Shuji Hashimoto and Senior Dean Hiroshi Yamakawa (Faculty of Science and Engineering). Afterwards, speeches were given by distinguished guests Yuji Kudoh, Director of the MEXT’s Science and Technology Policy Bureau, and Fumihito Sato, Division chief at the METI’s Industrial Science and Policy Bureau. While reflecting on past industry-academia partnerships projects held by the two ministries, the speakers expressed their hopes for the new WINeST program.

In the WINeST, industry and Waseda University cooperate to consider national policy. Furthermore, through exchange between professionals, the network creates various forms of new value for contributing to society. Also, through cultivation of young professionals and further invigoration of research/education, the network contributes to the growth of industry and academia. Based on its slogan of a platform using “Weak Ties,” the network plans to implement the following activities.

1. Hub function for requests and proposals from industrial circles to Waseda University
2. Direct transmission of information from Waseda University in relation to industry
3. Construct a communication work between industrial circles and Waseda University
4. Mutual exchange between members of information/opinions on industry-academia partnerships
5. Unification of industry-academia to make strategic recommendations to society
6. Promotion of joint industry-academia projects

*WINeST: Waseda Innovation Network for Advanced Science and Technology

Clarifying theoretical limits which effect the roadmap of technology development

Figure: Random telegraph noise which is major noise of the device

A group headed by Professor Takanobu Watanabe (Faculty of Science and Engineering) and Assistant Researcher Takefumi Kamioka used a simulation to verify and clarify that the limits of high performance for semiconductor LSI are determined by intrinsic current noise resulting from the fact that electrons are diffuse particles. In an operation frequency domain from several dozen GHz to 100 GHz, the simulation predicts that normal operation will become impossible due to significant dispersion in the number of electrons flowing through LSI elements. Furthermore, noise cannot be essentially avoided due to fluctuation in the number of electrons. This is thought to determine the limit of operation frequency for LSI.

These results have clarified theoretical limits for increasing the speed and energy-saving properties of semiconductor devices. Such findings will impact the roadmap for future technological development of semiconductor integrated circuits. The research was conducted as part of CREST, a Strategic Basic Research Programs operated by the Japan Science and Technology Agency.