"Introducing students from Tokyo University to the MIT Practice School station at the Mitsubishi Chemical Company (MCC) changed the course of history for our institution. Tokyo University has now started a pilot program based on the Practice School model we witnessed at MCC where we will focus on research and development of functionalized materials, including models of reaction and diffusion."
Department of Chemical System Engineering
University of Tokyo
Practice School International Opportunities
Graduates entering today's increasingly global chemical industry not only require strong technical skills and the ability to apply those skills successfully to solve practical problems, they also need to work effectively under very different cultural constraints from those to which they are accustomed. Recognizing that chemical engineering practice is becoming increasingly global in nature, the Practice School began in 1997 to include an international component to student training by establishing Practice School sites in Japan, France, and Germany. This effort was built on the same foundation as the Practice School philosophy of education, which has evolved over the years into an extremely successful model that cultivates chemical engineers who are in great demand by industry.
The Practice School in Mizushima, Japan at Mitsubishi Chemical Company
The first international station, hosted in 1997 by Mitsubishi Chemical Company in Mizushima, Japan, continues to be an excellent example of collaboration. Projects are technically challenging and have ambitious objectives. The Company provides students with topics of genuine interest, and the students are required to use engineering science, mathematical modeling, and modern simulation tools in their work. Students quickly realize that MCC will make executive decisions and budget for funds based on their recommendations.
The Mitsubishi Practice School station has been very successful. Shinji Isogai, of Mitsubishi's R&D Center, reports that over 75% of MCC project sponsors cited technical progress and educational benefits. Furthermore, 30% of MCC project sponsors cited actual breakthroughs. Mr. Isogai attributed this success to clear targets, demanding sponsors, and careful, thorough preparation of data and experimental methods. When asked how he prepares his staff for the anticipated language barrier, Mr. Isogai replied, "We prepare nothing special. Each sponsor does it in his own style. Although we have a little language barrier, we think communication in a foreign language is very good training for us, as well as students." Communication can prove challenging, but it is all part of the global experience that the Practice School presents to its students.
"I loved my Practice School experience in Japan. I worked with excellent people - both students and clients - on real industrial problems. There was even time to learn about Japan and its people."
Nuria de Mas
MIT Ph.D. candidate
If you would like to explore the costs and benefits of hosting an MIT Practice School station, please contact the Director of the Practice School by calling +1.617.253.6600 or by Email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
International host companies for Practice School stations in recent years include:
Mitsubishi Chemical Company, Mizushima, Okayama, JAPAN
Rhone-Poulenc Industrialisation, Decines, Lyon, FRANCE
Bayer AG, Leverkusen, Köln, GERMANY
BP Chemicals, Saltend, Hull, UNITED KINGDOM USA Host Companies