Tuesday, February 14, 2012

choosing the place - part 2

Both of us (me and my husband) work at the same place, in same department and we usually taught same subjects. We graduated together and have the same major for master degree. The difference was only our bachelor where I am pure civil engineer graduate where else my husband graduated with major in civil-environmental engineering.

The problem with same major is how do distinguish each other specialization. Of course he is way better than me in terms of experiences because he was working in the industry for several years before joining the lecturing wagon. So how did we ended up decided Japan as our study place?

Most university in the world, especially in civil engineering area, researchers are well inter-connected with each other. Meaning, for a single department, most research are relatively similar and projects are done together with a group of lecturers. Therefore the research theme is limited in certain area and less variance in choices.

In Japan, research are based on single Professor with specific theme and small research team. Usually the research are very specific and it is very hard to find 2 laboratory with the same research team. Of course labs can do join research by combining specialties but usually each lab move on their own. This is the biggest advantage for both of us to diversify our specialization. Here we managed to bring the gap for our research. He is currently researching into land contamination while I am into earthquake-induced landslides. There you have it. A very large gap of specialization.

top mine, bottom his - picture google

Even though we are now in different laboratories, but we still managed to speak the same language because of our background. Thus I can say that whatever kind of research you wanted to do, you have to have a strong background of understanding your basic knowledge. In our example civil engineering. The good thing about civil engineering is that we can diversify our research from the sky to earth. It can be good but sometimes you just have to work plain hard to achieve the success.

next entry will be how did we prepare to enter Kyoto University and why we choose this university.

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