Department of Mechanical and Aerospace EngineeringNEWS & EVENTS
01 Feb 2017
Student Exhange Visit to Japan in December 2016
A group of 22 engineering students and two MAE faculty members have travelled to Japan during 20-23 December 2016 for a four-day exchange visit, giving an insight into the aviation industry in Japan.This tour was organized by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Student Chapter at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) and co-sponsored by the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering (MAE), the Department of Electronic and Computer Engineering (ECE) and the Department of Industrial Engineering and Logistics Management (IELM).

The tour began in Tokyo where the group visited the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), followed by the Japan Airlines Safety Promotion Center, and Tokyo Institute of Technology.  The tour then continued to Nagoya with visits to Japan Railway Company’s SCMaglev and Railway Park, Toyota’s Kaikan factory, and Nagoya University.  

Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)
The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency is Japan’s equivalent to America’s National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) with research into disciplines in both aeronautics and space exploration.  The group first had the opportunity to understand the research conducted at JAXA, followed by a brief introduction to topics such as combustion and computational fluid dynamics.  
Japan Airlines Safety Promotion Center
As part of Japan Airlines’ effort to promote safer skies for the travelling public, Japan Airlines created a Safety Promotion Center for employees to highlight notable accidents and the lessons learnt in an effort to reduce the possibility of same errors occurring in the future.

The tour at the Safety Promotion Center first introduced the various accidents that company has had in its recent history and then discussed the Japan Air 123 crash in detail.  The wreckage, investigative tools, such as the “black boxes”, notable personal items of passengers and the final report were on display.

Tokyo Institute of Technology
The group had the opportunity to visit the Tokyo Institute of Technology where student-led aircraft engineering projects such as model aircraft were on display.

SCMaglev and Railway Park
In an effort to educate and promote Japan’s efficient railway system, JR opened up the SCMaglev and Railway Park.  Students and faculty alike had the opportunity to view a series of different bullet trains and local locomotives from different eras.

Nagoya University
Students had the opportunity to visit Nagoya University (an HKUST partner university) to view their facilities and research areas in the realm of autonomous navigation and other vehicles.  The group also had the opportunity to visit laboratories specializing in jet engines and combustion.

Toyota Kaikan Factory
To learn about the ‘JustInTime’ concept, the group travelled to the Toyota Kaikan Factory to see a production line in motion.  Different models of the Toyota and Lexus brands were on display.

Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)

JAXA - Notable projects and exhibits included the FJR710 turbofan engine, which led to the development of the popular IAE V2500 engine, commonly seen on Airbus A320 aircraft.

Tokyo Institute of Technology - Laboratories where robotic mechanisms were being tested and trialed were also available for display.

Toyota Kaikan Factory