Bulletin of Keio University Faculty of Science and Technology
  kyurizukai interview  
08 Ryo Ohmura Logical thinking is essential for persuasive research. I’d like to address vis-à-vis what I feel is interesting.

Dr. Ohmura has been tackling research on clathrate hydrates ever since he was an undergraduate. While he continues to pursue his career as a researcher, he also devotes his energies to fostering the next generation. When it comes to thermodynamics, his specialty, he smiles and jokingly says, “For students, this must be one of the toughest and ‘worst’ subjects to deal with.” Contrary to his self criticism, his students favorably comment on Dr. Ohmura’s lectures as being easy to understand. Some say that the study of physics has become interesting thanks to Dr. Ohmura.

 

1 Father’s advice guided me to choose the science  and technology course at university.

What was the impetus for you to choose the science and technology course at a university?
      I’m now a teacher of mechanical engineering at Keio’s Faculty of Science and Technology. It may surprise you to say that mathematics and physics were my weakest points as a high school student. My favorites were social-study subjects, such as politics, economics, ethics, and history.
      Why did a liberal arts-oriented boy like me choose to study science and technology at a university? It was because of my father’s advice. When I was pondering which subjects to choose at university, my father said, “A university can offer great opportunities because you can meet good teachers who are specialists in their respective science and technology fields. Why don’t you learn your weak subjects from them?” He also added, “You can study liberal arts subjects on your own, but it’s difficult to learn scientific subjects alone.” His remark touched my heart, which made me feel persuaded. Fortunately, my scores in entrance exam mathematics and physics tests were passable, so I decided to choose the science and technology course and went on to the Department of Mechanical Engineering of Keio University’s Faculty of Science and Technology.

How did you manage your weak points – scientific subjects?
      Although my perception of mathematics as being my weak point remained unchanged, my impression of physics totally changed immediately after admission to Keio. My teachers in charge of lectures on mechanics and thermodynamics were so professional that I was truly impressed by the fact that those teachers with thorough knowledge could make lectures so exciting.
photo      At the university, I could learn everything about physical phenomena and machine functions through lectures and experiments – why is it so and why does it move like that? – from their principles through to mechanisms. Since every one of the teachers had involvement with the industrial world in one way or other, they had practical knowledge of how mechanics and thermodynamics could be useful for various applications. Given such backgrounds, their lectures were very persuasive and they could respond to students’ questions with substantial answers supported by their own practical experiences. These lectures were totally different from my high school physic class where I studied while asking myself “What on earth would this study be useful for?”

 

 

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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