The partnership between Japan and the United States is longstanding and significant. It allows the best of both country’s higher education institutions to develop strategies and solutions to promote interdisciplinary problem-solving for global grand challenges. The University of Tennessee (UT) will lead the collaboration between Japan and the USA in an academic, interdisciplinary platform called EXCET (U.S-Japan Exchange Program for Green Growth Collaboration through Clean Energy Technologies). The purpose of EXCET is to encourage communication and collaboration with researchers on issues of renewable energy, green energy, and environmental and energy justice issues. EXCET will make policy recommendations and identify concrete strategies to promote sustainable, economic, and social development in Japan and the U.S. The UT team and their Japanese counterparts will work together to host workshops, visits, and student and faculty exchanges that will further EXCET’s goals of idea generation through collaboration. Experts from Japan and the US will connect to generate ideas from the perspectives of social science and engineering fields to find many different solutions.
“The EXCET program will expand and deepen UT’s long-term partnership with Japanese universities. The focus on promoting clean energy transitions for climate change and social justice is timely and a significant priority for UT and our Japanese partners. We are thrilled to receive support from the State Department for this work,” says Dr. Gretchen Neisler, UT Vice Provost for International Affairs and Director of the Center for Global Engagement.
The UT team is Drs. Mingzhou Jin, Chien-fei Chen, and Keven Tomsovic. Dr. Jin (PI) is the John D. Tickle professor and department head of Industrial and Systems Engineering and director of the Institute for Secure and Sustainable Environment (ISSE). Dr. Chen (Co-PI) is a research associate professor and the director of energy and environmental justice at ISSE. She has led numerous interdisciplinary projects focusing on social justice and worked closely with Japanese researchers on building sustainability and green energy technology. Dr. Tomsovic (Co-PI) is the CTI Chancellor’s Professor of Electrical Engineering and directs the Center for Ultra Wide Area Resilient Electric Energy Transmission (CURENT). He co-hosted the 2015 JST-NSF-DFT-RCN Workshop, which was supported by Japan Science Technology (JST) and U.S. NSF. The Global Research Office at UT’s Center for Global Engagement will support the implementation of the EXCET program.
The key Japanese partners of EXCET are professors Yasuhiro Hayashi and Hideo Ishii at Waseda University and Osaka University assistant professors Shinya Yoshizawa and Yohei Yamaguchi. Professor Yasuhiro Hayashi and Professor Hideo Ishii specialize in energy management, multi-energy networks, and clean energy have led large-scale projects on research about sustainable energy at Waseda. Professor Shinya Yoshizawa studies the functioning of power systems and can provide excellent insight. Professor Yohei Yamaguchi focuses on sustainable energy and urban energy system.
EXCET activities will be discussed with the embassies, keeping in mind both countries’ barriers, strategies, points of view, and strengths from different backgrounds and disciplines. Long-term collaboration between these countries may serve as a model to support faculty at UT and Japanese universities.