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Interesting Lectures and Seminars

Environmental Geotechnics, a subject offered at the School of Creative Science and Engineering

Students take the initiative in thinking about how civil engineers should be

Daichi Ito / a junior in the School of Creative Science and Engineering
Yuri Shinozaki / a junior in the School of Creative Science and Engineering
Koji Koshimizu / a junior in the School of Creative Science and Engineering

One characteristic of the Environmental Geotechnics class is that Professor Hideo Komine engages in interactive discussions with his students during the class. It is designed to encourage students to learn by identifying issues to be addressed and solving them on their own initiative rather than passively learn by just attending class. In particular, in this class, students debate environmental issues from the viewpoint of geotechnics, a field of civil engineering that specializes mainly in soil. This allows students to obtain a clear understanding of various problems related to the ground from a broad and flexible perspective.

For example, when the topic of discussion is soil contamination, students discuss finding a solution from the standpoint of residents, businesses, or civil engineers. Residents' opinions are often reported in the news daily, but how should civil engineers regard and address these issues? Debating the issues provides a very good opportunity to find solutions.

We are students and civil engineers in the making. This class also allows students to learn what attitude they should assume when dealing with various problems in the future. We need to have the ability to explain things sufficiently and clearly in order to protect the lives of people. To that end, civil engineers have to clearly understand background of the problems they face. They should clarify the problem voluntarily and explain it properly based on their opinions. One of the advantages of Professor Komine’s Environmental Geotechnics class is that it allows students to experience this process, and this is what is needed to become a genuine civil engineer.

Professor Komine (second from the right) and students

Students debating