Find a field you can fall in love with! Introduction to Research for High School Students
There is a lot of original and creative research going on in the Faculty of Science and Engineering at Iwate University. Here are just a few examples of cutting-edge research and its appeal. We hope you will enjoy reading about what kind of research you can do at the Faculty of Science and Engineering while imagining your own future. The pamphlet introduces in detail the most interesting research. Please check out the research and courses that you feel are appropriate for you.
Sustainable chemicals production by green processes that is friendly to the environment and human body
Many substances related to daily life, such as plastics, clothing, and medicines, are synthesized from petroleum, which is a limited resource. For sustainable chemical synthesis, it is required to develop new technology using biomass and recycled plastics, which are renewable resources, and for efficient use of petroleum. Furthermore, technology needs to reduce the burdens on the human body and the environment. In the current chemical industry process, chemical substances such as organic solvents and inorganic acid-bases are used to efficiently produce chemicals; however, environmental and health damages by the chemical substances have become a problem. Our group studies the production of chemicals from biomass and plastics as raw materials by green technology using water and carbon dioxide as alternatives to organic solvents and mineral acids.
A modern-day "Noah's Ark" made possible by freeze-drying technology
Freeze-drying preservation is a method of long-term preservation using freeze-drying technology. By using this technology to dry animal sperm, it is possible to preserve them for a long period of time even at room temperature. This allows for safe preservation in the event of a disaster or power outage. Perhaps it could play the role of "Noah's Ark. This research can also contribute to the artificial breeding of endangered animals.
Creating a computer that does not make mistakes in calculations
Computers can make mistakes in calculations. When a computer solves a mathematical problem, it takes the approach that "if a procedure is repeated an infinite number of times, the true result will be obtained. However, it is impossible to repeat the procedure an infinite number of times, so it stops in the middle of the procedure. We are studying what kind of calculation methods can be used to obtain more reliable results.
Using magnetic nanoparticles to kill cancer cells
We are focusing on magnetic nanoparticles for biomedical application such as hyperthermia. When a very high frequency alternating magnetic field is applied to magnetic nanoparticles, heat is generated by the rotation of the atomic magnets and the particles as a whole. The idea is to use this heat to kill cancer cells. Treatment using magnetic nanoparticles has significant advantages over conventional treatments such as surgery and radiotherapy, including fewer side effects and less burden on the body.
Changing the future of agriculture with pulsed power
The huge power obtained by compressing electrical energy over time is called pulsed power. The pulsed power can use in many industrial fields, not only in engineering but in agriculture. For example, when artificial lightning (which is pulsed power) strikes, mushrooms growth is promoted. Lightning breaks the mycelium. This break works as stress of the mushrooms, causing them to shift from vegetative growth to reproductive growth. Our research goal is to expand pulsed power applications from engineering to the agricultural and food fields.
Algorithms make our life more convenient
Smartphones and their apps play an important role in our life. Everyday, we use apps to get information, communicate with friends, and so on. Apps consist of many programs. The performance of programs determines the one of apps. The performance of programs highly depends on algorithms, which are procedures and methods to solve problems. We can say that algorithms are the heart of apps. In my laboratory, we are trying to design high-speed algorithms for many problems.
High-performance engines make air travel comfortable and safe
We develop highly efficient engines with good fuel economy. The challenge is how to make them function efficiently by applying fluid dynamics and analyzing the movement of air inside the compressor and turbine through experiments and numerical simulations. If the fuel efficiency of aero engines can be improved through higher efficiency, it will lead to lower airfares and allow people to travel overseas more easily than now.
Turning sewage treatment plants into resource supply stations
Organic matter, phosphorus, and other useful substances in the sludge generated at sewage treatment plants can be used as a source of energy or raw materials for fertilizers. Since imports of phosphorus and potassium are expected to become more difficult in the future, efficient recovery and recycling is an issue. To address this issue, we are researching a recovery system that takes advantage of sewage and sludge treatment facilities, polyphosphate accumulating organisms, and electrodialysis technology. If realized, sewage treatment plants may become supply stations for energy and phosphorus resources.