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New agreements signed
Dec 24th, 2002

by Karmen Dowling

Bottom row (L-R): Professors Slobodan Simonovic and Irikura Kojiro . Top row (L-R): Professors Ikebuchi Shuichi and Kojiri Toshiharu
Two recently signed agreements between Western and Kyoto University in Japan, will include student exchange opportunities in Engineering as well as research collaboration in disaster prevention.

The student exchange agreement previously included the Faculty of Science at Western, but the expanded agreement has broadened the scope to include Engineering.

“Our Faculty of Engineering is very pleased to partner with the leading university in Japan,” says Slobodan Simonovic, Professor in Engineering and Research Chair at Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction (ICLR). Simonovic and Professor Toshiharu Kojiri, Kyoto University, both experts in water resources management, were initiators of the agreement expansion.

Under the recently signed agreement a first-year Japanese student has been accepted at Western. Junpei Nakatsuka is taking courses in Civil Engineering (water resources) at Western and working at the same time towards his M.Sc. degree in Engineering at Kyoto University.

The new Research Collaborative Agreement with ICLR and the Disaster Prevention Research Institute - DPRI (Kyoto University) is the first international agreement signed by the ICLR. Simonovic also initiated this agreement during his stay as a Center of Excellence Visiting Professor at the DPRI in 2001.

DPRI at Kyoto University was established in 1951 as a part of Kyoto University for the scientific study of natural disasters. The institute has a strong commitment to academic study and is actively involved in undergraduate and graduate education. The institute has approximately 150 graduate students, including about 50 foreign students.

“The smaller size of ICLR and its different role within the University of Western Ontario offers multiple benefits to this collaboration,” adds Simonovic. “Our plan is to have exchange of researchers (some history is already in place - Wind Tunnel collaboration with the DPRI), graduate students, natural disaster data and information and scientific publications. We will be looking for opportunities for joint collaboration on projects and joint participation and organization of scientific meetings and conferences in management of natural disasters.”

For more information about Simonovic and his work in Engineering and ICLR, please visit:

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