The Masters students, from nine different universities in Japan, spent the last four weeks in the North-east of Scotland as part of the Nippon Foundation Ocean Innovation Consortium Summer School 2019, studying modules led by RGU staff on subsea engineering, oil and gas, and renewable energy.
The end of the programme was marked with a special graduation ceremony at RGU, where the students were presented with certificates by Professor John Harper, Principal of RGU, and Head of the Office of Offshore Development at the Nippon Foundation, Nagayuki Suzuki.
Speaking at the ceremony, student representative, Tomohiro Shimiya, thanked everyone involved in the programme and highlighted the warm reception the people of Scotland, and particularly the North-east, had given the group during their stay.
“I came here one month ago to study ocean innovation and to become a leader of the future generation. When I arrived in Aberdeen I was excited, but also a little bit scared because this my first long stay in a foreign country. However, I gradually got accustomed to life in Aberdeen and the people we met were very kind.
“Now, I am sad to say this is our graduation, which means the end of the summer school. But, we have tried our very best to meet our objectives and after returning to Japan we will confront many problems, but we will never give up because of our great experience in Aberdeen.”
During their time in Aberdeen, the group went sailing from Aberdeen Harbour to view Vattenfall’s Aberdeen Offshore Windfarm (EOWDC), were put through an intensive three days BOSIET training course and experienced RGU’s state of the art drilling simulator and virtual reality technology suite. The students also attended this year’s SPE Offshore Europe Conference at P&J Live.
As part of the programme, the group enjoyed a packed cultural itinerary which will saw them visit the Glen Garioch Distillery, Castle Fraser, the Braemar Highland Gathering and even experience climbing a Munro.
Professor Harper commented: “The fourth Nippon Summer School has been a huge success and credit must go to all the students for the way they have embraced not only the learning, but also the culture here in Aberdeen and Scotland.
“They’ve learned new knowledge and skills, but there is also a degree of personal development which comes from taking part in this Summer School. Our goal at RGU is to create graduates who are ready to enter a workplace which is changing at an ever greater pace. We hope that by joining us here in Aberdeen for the last few weeks, we have helped the students develop the skillsets needed to thrive in their future careers.”
The Nippon Foundation, a social innovation grant organisation, is leading the effort to enhance capacity building in offshore engineering in Japan and both the students and RGU faced a competitive selection to be involved in the initiative when the scheme began in 2016.
The subsea industry in Japan is rapidly developing and the country is increasingly looking to Aberdeen as a centre for subsea excellence.
Nagayuki Suzuki added: “I hope that the Nippon Foundation Summer School students consider how they might best support the future development of the Japanese offshore industry and that Japan and Scotland can further collaborate on ocean development."