The Course of Science and Engineering at the National Defense Academy comprises a first half and a second half, which correspond respectively to a masterfs course and doctoral course at a general education university.
The first half, which takes two years to complete, was started in April 1962 with the objective of allowing candidates who have completed courses at the NDA and other candidates designated by the Ministry of Defense to gain proficiency in knowledge of advanced theories and application relating to the science and engineering that are necessary for the Self-Defense Forces in the discharge of their duties, and in the ability to conduct research relating to said knowledge. To date, more than 1,600 graduates of the NDA have gone on to join the Japan Land Self-Defense Force, the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force and the Japan Air Self-Defense Force, the Technical Research and Development Institute and others.
The second half, which takes three years to complete, was established in April 2001 with the objective of allowing candidates to gain proficiency in specialist, advanced research capabilities and the wide range of knowledge that forms a foundation for such capabilities, in order to develop human resources with the ability to conduct independent research and development in the fields of defense equipment and technologies which are becoming ever more advanced and technological in nature.
The curriculum for each half follows the Standards for the Establishment of Graduate Schools, with the first half comprising seven specialisms/16 majors, and the second half comprising three specialisms/12 education and research fields. The courses and fields of study for students who have completed the Mechanical Systems Engineering course are described below.
This course is composed of the three majors set out below, with the aim of providing students with high-level knowledge in mechanical engineering, and developing human resources who possess the basic elements required for resolving multiple technical issues and are able to handle research and development for the equipment of the future.
Comprising three areas of education and research-mechanical materials, solid mechanics and precision engineering -the course aims to instruct students in specialized knowledge pertaining to the processes for strengthening and creating materials such as ferrous materials, heat-resistant alloys, amorphous materials and advanced composite materials which are used as elements of machinery, in the theory and practice of strength-related areas which are required for measuring the strength of machine structures including areas such as elastic-plastic dynamics, buckling fatigue and fractures, in precision machining for the design and production of precision instruments, in measurement and positioning control systems, and in surface characteristics and tribology, while helping students develop their research and development capabilities.
Comprising three education and research fields-energy engineering, fluid mechanics, naval architecture and ocean engineering -this course cultivates high levels of specialized expertise in students by instructing them in the basic principles and application of thermodynamics, fluid dynamics and heat-transfer engineering which constitute the foundation engineering for power machinery and energy conversation, in the fluid dynamics and structural dynamics for large-scale and high-speed fluid machinery, ships and offshore structures, and in elements such as design methodology for integrating all of the above areas together.
Comprising three education and research fields-mechanical dynamics, automatic control , and vehicle engineering-this course allows students to gain proficiency in analysis, numerical simulations and design methodology for kinetic performance for movement, vibration and control in various types of devices, robots, motor vehicles and structures, while also cultivating the high levels of specialized expertise required for researching, developing, designing, manufacturing and managing dynamic systems which apply new engineering sciences such as mechatronics, software engineering and ergonomics.
This major comprises four educational fields; the two fields which are relevant to students who have completed the Mechanical Systems Engineering course are described below.
To ensure that equipment systems such as ships, motor vehicles and intelligent machines are able to perform at the maximum level, it is essential to create designs with superb levels of basic performance, operability and maintainability. This requires improved levels of functionality, performance and reliability in terms of thermodynamics and fluid dynamics, strength evaluation and motion characteristics and in the control systems used for controlling these. Education and research aimed at proficiency in and development of advanced theories in these domains is being undertaken in this field.
Incorporating domains such as structural materials, fracture mechanics, elastic-plastic dynamics, instrumentation engineering and processing, this course undertakes education and research from the perspective of industrial engineering into the creation of high-strength components and composite materials etc., macro-level analysis of strength, reliability and durability in materials, analysis of ultrafast deformation and impact fracture mechanisms in materials, investigation of deformation behaviors at the atomic level, and development of ultraprecision machining methods and measurement/machining systems, with the aim of realizing improved levels of functionality, precision and reliability in defense equipment.