Japan-Asia Youth Exchange Program in Science
21st – 29th July 2018
An exchange program was held between Universiti Malaysia Pahang and Okayama University for a collaborative research in science. The program was held for one week from 21st July until 29th July 2018 in Okayama University, Okayama Prefecture, Japan. A group of 4 students led by Dr. Mohd Mawardi Saari participated in this program. The students are Mohd Aufa Hadi Putera bin Zaini, Nazatul Sharreena binti Suhaimi, Nurul A’in binti Nadzri and Syamimi binti Abdul Ghani. All participants are from the Faculty of Electrical and Electronic Engineering in Universiti Malaysia Pahang, Pekan campus. The aim of this program is to do a collaborative research between the two universities and experience the cultural differences between the Japanese and Malaysian people.
All participants (one lecturer and four students) gathered at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) at 7.00 pm. We prepared ourselves at the airport before boarding the flight. At 10.00 pm, we boarded the flight Malaysia Airlines (MAS) MH52 from KLIA to Kansai International Airport (KIX). It took about 7 hours to reach Kansai Airport. On the plane, we were given three meals, one heavy meal and two light meals.
At around 6.00 am (5.00 am MYT), we arrived at KIX. After going through all the immigration and customs procedures, we took a rest at the airport before taking a bus to Okayama city that are scheduled at 8.45 am. The journey from KIX to Okayama city took about 3 hours. Then, at approximately 12.45 am, we arrived at the Okayama Station. We then went to Toyoko Inn Hotel to check in by walking since the hotel and the station is only side by side. However, since the check in time is at 4.00 pm, we decided to leave our bags at the hotel to be kept by the hotel staffs and went for sightseeing around Okayama Station. It should be noted that there are a lot of facilities such as shopping mall and convenience stores that can be accessed just by walking since those facilities are quite near with the station. One of the facilities is the Aeon Mall. We decided to go to Aeon Mall for lunch. Then, at 4.00 pm, we went back to the hotel to check in. We took a rest and cleaned ourselves before taking another walk around the Okayama Station. Later that day, we took another walk and decided to have some food from the convenience store as our dinner.
We had our breakfast at the hotel at 8.00 am. At 8.45 am, we went to Okayama Station to take a bus to go to Okayama University. Then, at the university, we went on to meet Dr. Kenji Sakai at the Department of Electrical and Communication Engineering for briefing session. At the briefing session, we were introduced to this exchange program, Japan-Asia Youth Exchange Program in Science organized by the Sakura Science Program. We were also told about the education system of the university related to research. The students and lecturers are divided by laboratory groups. Each group are led by a Professor, an Associate Professor and an Assistant Professor. And there are a number of students (including Ph.D, Master and Undergraduate student) under this lab group. For our program, we are hosted by the lab group led by Dr Keiji Tsukada, Dr Toshihiko Kiwa and Dr Kenji Sakai.
toLater on, we met the students under this lab group. Then, we went on to visit the Terahertz Lab. There, the students showed some of the experiments and research done in the Terahertz Lab. We went to the university cafeteria to have Udon for lunch. Then, we went to the SQUID Lab to see a demonstration relating to DC Magnetic measurement of MNP using a DC magnetometer that used SQUID (Superconducting Quantum Interference Device) sensor in High-Tc SQUID system. Then, at around 5.00 pm, we were brought by Dr Sakai to a laboratory outside the university campus. The laboratory is known as the Microsensor Lab. There, we were introduced to the hydrogen sensor and the process to fabricate the sensor itself inside the Clean Room in the lab. After that, Dr Sakai sent us back to the hotel. We had Naan Cheese for dinner later that night at an Indian food restaurant.
On this day, we still followed the same schedule as day 3 before going to the university. At the university, we went to the SQUID lab to carry out the DC Measurement experiment by applying the Magnetic Nanoparticles (MNPs) that were brought from UMP. First, the MNPs were prepared and put in a custom case. Then, the MNPs is put on the actuator of the DC High-Tc SQUID magnetometer. The SQUID is then set first before it can be used via Flux-Locked Loop (FLL) method. Only then the measurement can be carried out. A full loop magnetization measurement was performed within -500 mT to 500 mT.
In the afternoon break, we went to the cafeteria to have lunch. But, on this day, we had Bento as our lunch meal. Then, we went back to SQUID lab to continue with the measurement. During the measurement, there was a troubleshooting process on the SQUID sensor where we learnt on how the SQUID’s operation. Then, we went on to measure the AC Magnetic response of the MNPs. The measurement was carried out after calibrating the AC magnetometer first. Then, that night we continued to have dinner with the lecturers (Dr Tsukada, Dr Kiwa and Dr Sakai) at Sushimaru, a sushi restaurant located in the Okayama city.
Following the day before, we went on to the university by bus. And then we continued to perform the AC measurement while learning some system troubleshooting from laboratory members. Dr Tsukada himself came to demonstrate and guiding the measurement processes. On the other hand, there was also another experiment conducted in the lab using a SQUID based AC magnetometer system. Compare to the one using induction coil, this one uses SQUID sensor as its detection sensor. Also, the induction coil magnetometer is different compared to the SQUID sensor magnetometer for which the induction coil magnetometer is used to see the effect of frequency on the magnetic response of the AC magnetometer, while, the SQUID sensor magnetometer is used to see the effect of binding time of the MNPs with other substance such as antibody toward the MNPs magnetic response.
Then, we went on to have lunch again at the university cafeteria. But, this time around, we were having Turkish Kebaab as lunch. Then, we went back to the lab to continue with the experiment until 5.00 pm.
The next day, we were headed to Kurashiki which is a town within the Okayama prefecture. It is located a few kilometers away from the city center of Okayama and it requires a one hour drive to reach there. Kurashiki is known for the centuries-old buildings and shops of the Bikan Historical Quarter. Before we are headed to the town for the historical buildings, we went to a science museum which is located not far from the Kurashiki town. The science museum is known as Life Park Kurashiki Science Center which has over 100 exhibits on display at this museum. There are also many activities which can be played inside the museum which is fun for all ages. It is definitely an easier approach for people to understand science better. Besides that, we also went to the planetarium show which showcases the history of the planets and stars with an interactive and beautiful show inside the museum hall.
Around 1.00 pm, we went to the tourism place of Kurashiki which is the Bikan Historical Quarter. It is a historic area with classic architecture situated along a canal with shops, eateries and galleries. Firstly, we went to a restaurant for lunch located within the Bikan area. It was a traditional Japanese restaurant which serves traditional Japanese food – also known as Washoku. Next, we strolled around the area for some sightseeing and shopping. We walked along the canal and the view was remarkable. Despite the heat from the weather, the area was very peaceful and pleasing. Besides shops, there are also traditional Japanese houses along the way. We also sighted a temple within the area. Since the place is a tourist attraction, there are many shops selling souvenirs in the town. We took the chance and did some shopping as well.
It was our last day in Okayama University. We resumed our usual routine and took the bus to Okayama University. We entered a different lab today which is the Nondestructive Testing (NDT) lab to continue with our experiments. Firstly, we were introduced to the NDT using a magnetic flux leakage method. The method uses two AMR magnetic sensors as its probe. The experiment gives out the result in vector method which is a combination of the magnitude and phase output of the sample. The method was tested using our sample that we brought as well and the result came out as we expected. In addition, we also did an NDT experiment using eddy current method whereby they used TMR sensors for its probe. The result also came out as per expected.
At 2.30pm, we held a presentation on our summary of the exchange program in Japan and also regarding our respective researches in Malaysia. The presentation was attended by Dr Kiwa, Dr Sakai and also the lab students. After the presentation, a small ceremony of giving certificate to the exchange students was held at the same room. Tokens of appreciations from UMP were also given towards the Okayama University for hosting the program. Next, we went to the postgraduate room to give some snacks that we brought from Malaysia to the Japanese students and foreigners there. Later that evening, a party was held at an event space inside the university as a farewell dinner to us. There are halal Japanese foods being served. We get to eat and socialize with the Japanese students and foreigners for the last time before we bid farewell to the university.
We packed our bags and checked out from the hotel at 9.00am. We went to Okayama station and waited for our bus. The bus from Okayama Station to Osaka leaves at 9.20am. The journey took about 3 to 4 hours and we reached Namba station at 1.30pm. We took the subway to Osaka-Uehommachi Station to check in our hotel. The hotel is located about 5-minute walk from the station. Once we checked in, we went out for our lunch at an Indian restaurant located just a few miles away from the hotel. After getting fully recharged, we went to our first destination which is the Osaka Castle. The castle was quite far from the station but it was worth the walk. The castle was majestic and we also get to see the Nishinomaru Garden which is located just next to it. Then, we went to the Kyocera Dome Osaka which is a baseball stadium famous for its unique structure and building. We could not enter the stadium due to an event inside. Next, we went to Dotonbori and Shinsaibashi which is also a tourist spot famous for its shops and eateries. We took some pictures with the popular Glico Man sign and went on for our last-minute shopping since it was our last night in Japan. We walked a few miles to a halal ramen restaurant within the Namba area for our dinner that night.
We immediately checked out at 5.00 am and went for the earliest bus ride to the airport from Osaka-Uehonmachi Station. We arrived at Kansai airport at 6.30 am. Our flight was scheduled at 9.30am but it was delayed due to the typhoon in Japan. We roamed around the airport while waiting for the boarding time. We boarded at around 12.30 pm (11.30 am MYT). We safely arrived in KLIA at 5.00pm Malaysia time. We went through the immigration and everything was all right. We took one last group photo at the airport and parted ways at 6.00 pm.
This one-week exchange program has become very beneficial to the participants. The participants may not only gain knowledge but also experiences while traveling to a different country. In conclusion, participants managed to obtain the result of the sample that was brought from the lab in Universiti Malaysia Pahang. Participants also get to experience some experiments and research that was done in different laboratories in Okayama University. Besides that, participants get to share the cultural differences between the Japanese and Malaysian people. The manners and etiquettes of the Japanese culture can be learned and experienced firsthand.
Experiment and Results
DC Magnetic Measurement
Figure 1: The sample is Figure 1: The sample is prepared beforehand to put in a customized casing for the DC magnetometer.
Figure 2: The sample is placed inside the DC magnetometer (on the actuator).
Figure 3: The instruments used for the DC magnetometer.
AC Magnetic Measurement
Figure 4: The configuration of the AC Magnetometer.
Figure 5: Measurement of NDT using Magnetic Flux Leakage method
Figure 6: Equipment of NDT using Magnetic Flux Leakage method
Figure 7: Equipment of NDT using Eddy Current method
Figure 1: Clock tower of Okayama University
Figure 2: Entrance of Okayama University
Figure 3: First-day introduction with Japanese students
Figure 4: Kurashiki Science Center
Figure 5: Collaborative Research Center Laboratory of Okayama University
Figure 6: Okayama University Graduate Schools
Figure 7: Kurashiki Bikan Historical Quarter
Figure 8: Postgraduate Room with Okayama University students
Figure 9: Presentation day
Figure 10: Farewell dinner party
Figure 11: Osaka Museum of History
Figure 12: Osaka Castle
Figure 13: Kyocera Dome Osaka
Figure 14: Dotonbori
Figure 15: Arrival at KLIA