Visiting Kajima Technical Research Institute and social gathering (November meeting) - report

On November 22, 2022, the 2022 Atsumi scholars visited the Kajima Technical Research Institute in Nishi Choufu. Executive Director Naoki Atsumi also joined us for this tour.

After a brief overview of the Kajima Technical Research Institute, we had a look at the W-Decker, a high performance 3-dimensional shaking table that simulates earthquakes. We were then given a tour as well as explanation of the seismically isolated buildings that the Kajima Corporation had built. Next, we visited the test building for large structures. In this building, models of actual buildings were constructed, and experiments conducted to see what would happen and where cracks would appear if a part of the building was destroyed. From these three areas, we learned about the Kajima Corporation's research on earthquakes and the related issues of safety, as well as how they have been incorporating this into their work.

Following this we visited the concrete exhibition corner and concrete research room. The concrete exhibition corner was interesting, and I learnt about how the Kajima Corporation has been developing and using concrete that is environmentally friendly. Jeon Jin-hwan, a former Atsumi fellow and senpai, had a big role to play in the development of this concrete, and we had the honor of visiting his research room and listening to his explanation.

To end, we went to the electromagnetic test laboratory where we got to board a machine and experience what an earthquake feels like. Data from past earthquakes in Japan was entered into this machine, making it possible to experience many different earthquakes. Of course, the purpose of this machine is not just to experience earthquakes, but to compare the amount of shaking one experiences in a seismically isolated building and a non-seismically isolated building. Furthermore, in this test laboratory I got to try a simulation program in which I could see what a finished building would look like by holding up a tablet to its architectural model.

After the tour we had a dinner party. Jong-san participating in the dinner and honestly sharing his experiences of working at the Kajima Corporation was particularly memorable for me. From this experience I learned about the emphasis that the Kajima Corporation places on the environment and safety, and about the measures and programs in place to work towards this. It was also a special opportunity to learn about what types of information technology are used at construction sites as well as the changes occurring in industries. I was able to see up close the workings of an actual company, and this was a learning experience that I would like to make use of in developing my research.

Text: Park Joon-hee
Translation: Sonja Dale

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