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Education given by the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering covers such wide range as the civil engineering, disaster-prevention engineering and environmental engineering. The first area deals with theory and practice to construct highways, bridges, harbors etc. and urban planning; the second subject covers securing method of human life from natural disasters such as tsunami, earthquake, falling rocks, etc., and the last area treats environmental problems around daily activity of people.
The civil engineering, which is the center core of our education, has aimed to keep up better conditions for human life by planning, constructing and maintaining infrastructures or by preserving environments around us. Namely, it has been a comprehensive engineering field to create basic conditions for wealthy and cultural social life of mankind. Its history goes back to ancient time whose one example was construction of the Pyramid in Egypt, and since then it has continuously progressed by researches and actual implementation of various projects, which were demanded by social and historical necessity at the time.
Structures which are subjects of our study vary widely as bridges (one good example: Akashi-kaikyo), dams (4th Kurobe), tunnels (Seikan Undersea), expressways (Tomei), Shinkansen (Toukaidou), airports (Narita), harbors (Yokohama), off-shore structures for crude oil drilling, life-lines of gas, electricity, waterworks and sewage and so on. All these structures are sole and custom-made, and exist for public, not for individual person, which fact means that the structure must not only fulfill required performance and economical demand but also have harmony with surrounding environment. Especially in recent years, the recognition that good environment shall be maintained or improved has become common sense of many people, and thus we changed the name of our department in 2000 from the previous "Civil Engineering" to "Civil and Environmental Engineering" in order to express our educational attitude.
As for the history of our department, the class of civil engineering was founded in 1952 as one of the basic indispensable fields for cadet education when the precursor of National Defense Academy was established, and since then until March 2007, about 1400 students have been graduated as future young officers for three branches of the service.
In our department as mentioned before, wide range of education covering civil engineering, disaster-prevention engineering and environmental engineering is done, namely comprehensive studies regarding structures, soil, water and environment are given to let the students obtain necessary knowledge and skill which are needed to construct wealthy society without spoiling natural and social environments. During these studies, curriculum is well devised through excursions to factories and construction sites for the students to have better understanding about relationship between what they are learning and how real works are being implemented. And, in the graduate research which is a total finish of 4 years study, students seek scientific truth and engineering solutions for various problems with the teachers, and they complete their theses.
The students graduating from our department flourish in many fields in three branches of the service, namely Ground Self-Defense Force, Maritime Self-Defense Force and Air Self-Defense Force. Generally speaking, we find no direct linkage between what major study a student learns and what kind of service he will do after the appointment. However, enhancement in our education is placed to give the student not only engineering knowledge but also human endowment because technical service has been expected especially in after-disaster aid operations or international peace keeping operations. We have thus intended to give the students thinking ability to solve various problems, sense to distinguish importance from unimportance, tender-heart to understand people's mind and nature at a place, and so on, which have been emphasized in the civil engineering education.
|Dept. of Civil and Environ Eng., National Defense Academy, 1-10-20 Hashirimizu, Yokosuka, Kanagawa 239-8686, Japan|