Tackling issues from companies and local communities for 9 days with multinational multi-disciplinary teams

Project teams were comprised of students from overseas and domestic agreement universities for 9 days from 6th to 14th December 2018. This Global PBL (Project Based Learning) project, which took place on SIT’s Omiya campus, was designed to propose solutions for the problems provided by companies and local communities. Working in 6-person teams, 77 students from 21 universities in 11 countries such as Thailand, Mongolia and Ireland gathered to work on these issues.


Topics provided by companies and local communities:
- Toshiba Elevator Co., Ltd. “Proposal for future elevators”
- RICOH Co., Ltd. “Palm Oil Recycling Method for Industrial Waste”
- Kane Package Co., Ltd. “Package Design Proposal of for Robot Protector”
-Tochigi Prefecture
“What types of information dissemination methods and tourist information are most effective to motivate individual travelers to visit the prefecture? And also, which approach is most appealing depending on country, gender, age, etc.”


Participating Universities: 77 students 21universities from 11 countries (TA included)

Country participants University
JAPAN 40 Shibaura Institute of Technology 35, Ehime University 4, Tokyo Denki University 1
CHINA 3 China University of Geosciences, Wuhan University of Technology
GERMANY 1 Clausthal University of Technology
INDIA 1 K.L.S. Gogte Institute of Technology
INDONESIA 3 Institut Teknologi Sepuluh Nopember
IRELAND 1 Waterford Institute of Technology
MALAYSIA 3 Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Universiti Utara Malaysia
MONGOLIA 2 Mongol Koosen college of Technology
TAIWAN 2 Ming Chi University of Technology, Tamkang University
THAILAND 16 King Mongkut's University of Technology Thonburi, Suranaree University of Technology, Thai-Nichi Institute of Technology, Nakhon Ratchasima Rajabhat University
VIETNAM 5 Hanoi University of Science and Technology, Ho Chi Minh University of Technology, Posts and Telecommunications Institute of Technology


Mr. Murakami (President of S.I.T) kicked off the opening ceremony with a cheerful message for the participants that included information about the history and purpose of the program. During an ice breaking exercise, students had fun and asked questions to make many friends.
Students then divided into groups and had their first meeting with the person in charge of the theme that would form the basis of their final presentation.


Opening ceremony
Ice breaking
First meeting

Group working

Students discussed ideas for each given theme and conducted group work every day. On the third day, they also tried out prototypes with the companies as well as intermediate presentations.


Field trip

On the 4th day and 5th day, students visited Nikko Toshogu, a world heritage site that is also Japan’s most lavishly decorated shrine. Here, some of the Southeast Asian student participants were surprised to see snow for the first time. In addition, they visited hot springs and zoos in groups, with the dream of someday engaging in field work to investigate the charm of Nasu from an international student perspective. They also visited the Saitama City Sakura Environmental Center to see how local waste was collected and processed. While viewing Japan's 3R (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle) process first hand, they got a chance to observe some of Japan's advanced technology.


Final presentation

On the 8th day, the final presentations were made (10 minutes for each presentation, followed by a 5 minute Q & A session per group). The presentation titles were "Proposal of palm oil industrial waste into individuals, oil and water to establish recycling paths of fibers, fertilizers, lubricants, etc." and "Proposal of applications that indicate the waiting time of each elevator using IoT ". In addition, the a group which was charged with creating its own original ideas, proposed a "smart wrist band which senses temperature and notifies parents through smartphone for prevention of lost child and heat stroke in hosting the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games". Participants asked many questions and offered constructive comments on the content of each group's presentation.


Participant’s Comments

ALI NADERIVARANDI-san(Clausthal University of Technology, Germany)
It was a good program. I will recommend it to my friends in Germany and Iran. In this program, you can not only learning something new but also make a new friendships.


NGO THI BICH VAN-san(Posts and Telecommunications Institute of Technology, Vietnam)
It was a great time to spend with friends all over the world, more than 20 universities. At gPBL 2018, it wasn’t only about studying new things, we also had a great chance to explore Japan. Thank you to all professors, TAs and staffs who always supported us. Much love from Vietnam.


DHIYA ALDIFA ULHAQ-san(Institut Teknologi Sepuluh Nopember , Indonesia)
This program was fun, innovative and really helped me to improve my thinking methods. I hope to join the same program again!


Sayaka Tochihara-san (S.I.T. Department of Electronic Information Systems, 4th year)
I had participated in a language program in California before so wanted tohave another opportunity before graduation.
To be honest, although I was not able to speak in English much, my teammates from Brazil, Thailand and Malaysia were very friendly and always tried to communicate with me because they were already very interested in Japan before coming here. I was so appreciative!!


Syunsuke Tsutsumi-san(S.I.T. Department of Machinery and Control Systems, 3rd year)
Through the 9-days program, I felt the difference in communication and cultural differences the most. It means that I have to express my own opinion properly. It was a very good opportunity to learn a positive attitude. I encourage all students to participate in this program!



Planning and Public Relations Section

3-9-14 Shibaura, Minato-ku, Tokyo 108-8548, Japan (2F Shibaura campus)