Bulletin of Keio University Faculty of Science and Technology
  kyurizukai interview  
08 Ryo Ohmura 3 I divert myself by jogging to renew my energy to  draw out students’ potentials.

Aside from your research work, what are you interested in, or what are your pursuits?
      I like to move my body. Jogging is a longtime pursuit. These days, I make it a rule to run a distance of about 16 kilometers daily, or one hour and 40 minutes. Since my home is in the Tsunashima area, my regular route is heading toward Shin-Yokohama along the Tsurumi River to the Nissan Stadium and back. When I have no afternoon engagement, I sometimes leave the campus (Hiyoshi) and go to the Tama River, enjoying a round trip to and from Denenchofu along the riverside promenade. It’s almost a habit rather than a hobby. While running, I can put my thinking in order, whereas being able to refresh myself when I have a problem and waver in my judgment.
      Occasionally I bench press and do other forms of muscle training. Our lab has a bench for bench press, with which we break a sweat two times a week jointly with members of the Mori lab. In bench press exercise, we compete with others not by the weight (more correctly, the mass) one can raise, but by an index obtained by dividing the mass with one’s body weight. We nicknamed this index the “Mori value.” Most lab members are striving to achieve 1 Mori value, the equivalent of one’s body weight. The maximum mass I can lift is 95kg. Given my body weight of 54kg, my Mori value comes to 1.76.
      Other than physical exercise, I enjoy veranda gardening. From summer to autumn, cultivation of herbs is in season. I’m also cherishing young lilac plants which were given as a souvenir when I visited Hokkaido. Tokyo’s summer heat was so terrible for the lilac plants that I moved them to a cooler place in the shade. It’s a small consideration but is indispensable in order to enjoy the flowers as a messenger that tells the arrival of spring.

Please tell us what you are doing consciously as a teacher to draw out and develop students’ potentials.
      “Always be logical,” I would say. I’m convinced that the ability to think logically is essential to make the best use of oneself in a given organization or society. Point 1: I think that sometimes it’s important to respect the rule prevalent in a given environment. It’s important because if you go out into the world, you have to prepare yourself to encounter realities beyond your control. Point 2: Make it a rule to think about things by putting yourself in the shoes of others. One tends to be self-assertive when one has a strong message to deliver to others. But it’s wise to restrain yourself. This holds true when it comes to research presentations. The greater your research achievement is, the less it can be communicated to the audience because it’s too great to be understood by others. If that’s the case, you should pull back one step and try to think how, as a person before discovery of that great achievement, you might have reacted to it. I’m trying to experience and prepare such environments through research activities and academic presentations.
      From a mechanical engineering point of view, I’d like my students to acquire the practical application ability based on the laws of physics, with which they can judge things correctly. For example, when it comes to a diet-related topic, such as “Whether it’s possible to remain slim even if you eat as much as you like,” I’d like them to view it from laws of physics and say “It’s against the law of energy conservation.” If in daily lives they become conscious of the laws of physics that govern the real world, they would be able to find physics interesting. I know that mechanics and thermodynamics are extremely hard to understand, but it’s true that these sciences are more useful than any other sciences once you have acquired such knowledge. I’d like to offer lectures in such a way as to make my students become aware that these sciences are indispensable for establishing the structure and systems of society.

photoJust a word from . . .
A student: In a single word, Dr. Ohmura is a man of knowledge. Not to mention his lectures, he has a wide range of topics to talk about, from history and culture as well as cooking, food ingredients, and wine. We are totally brought into his world before we know. Whenever we have a drinking party at our lab, Dr. Ohmura is kind enough to serve us tasty wine and cheese. His explanation of the wine’s origin and the winery’s characteristics is truly intriguing. We always look forward to listening to him. He is also good at sports. I’m sure his physical strength is greater than ours!

(Reporter & and text writer: Kaoru Watanabe)

 

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1 Father’s advice guided me to  choose the science and technology  course at university.
2 An encounter with Prof. Sloan  motivated me to begin serious  research into clathrate hydrates.
3 I divert myself by jogging to  renew my energy to draw out  students’ potentials.
Profile Ryo Ohmura Dr. Ohmura’s specialties are thermodynamics and physical chemistry. His current research projects are physical chemistry of clathrate hydrates and the development of energy- and environment-related technologies. His activities range widely from basic research to applied research for practical application. After acquisition of a doctor’s degree (engineering) in 2000, he visited France to participate in a hydrate research project. For four years from 2002, he served as a research scientist at the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST). In 2006, he arrived at his post as an assistant professor of Keio University Faculty of Science and Technology, and then he was promoted to his current post as an associate professor in 2009.
 
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