This article features Mehrdad Sadeghzadeh Nazari, specially-appointed associate professor, one of the lecturers in GSEP.
What do you think about GSEP?
Global Scientists and Engineers Program (GSEP) is indeed an outstanding program in Tokyo Tech’s educational package. GSEP not only pioneers in offering English undergraduate courses to talented international students at Tokyo Tech, but it also provides the students with the opportunity to major in Trans-disciplinary Science and Engineering as one of the frontiers of knowledge. The graduates of this program will be equipped with world-class expertise in multiple skills varying from science and engineering to social sciences and language abilities. Apart from having broader future professional scopes, GSEP graduates will be able to address the needs of a modern sustainable society in which different disciplines should join to solve global problems and create innovative solutions beyond the limits of single disciplines. GSEP family including the faculty, staff, and most importantly the students, work hard and warmly together to realize memorable moments leading to the further progress of the society and their future success.
What is your role in the program?
In cooperation with other faculty members of the Department of Transdisciplinary Science and Engineering (TSE), I handle some GSEP administrative and academic activities. One of my main roles is giving lectures to students of TSE, especially GSEP students, and scientifically supporting them. The courses I teach include Solid Mechanics and Structure Engineering, Fluid Engineering, Engineering Measurement, Theory of Linear System, and Tokyo Tech Visionary Project. I am also involved in different administrative tasks pertaining to the progress of GSEP such as screening of new applicants, promotion activities, website management, organizing educational field trips for the students, etc.
I have studies and worked in Japan for some years. Having experienced a quite similar situation to what GSEP students are going through now, I hope I can also understand GSEP students and support their daily academic and social life issues, and somehow fill any gap between Senior professors and our young students.
What is your research about?
To put it simply, I mainly do research on novel techniques that make buildings, bridges, etc. more resistant to earthquakes. I majored in Civil Engineering with specialty in Earthquake Engineering. My research interests include developing innovative seismic structural or non-structural vibration control systems, with specific focus on Tuned Mass Dampers (TMDs) and vibration base isolators. Implementing most of these systems requires considering a combination of not only various hard (structural) disciplines, but also soft (social) issues.
I am currently working on improving a novel compact TMD system developed during my Doctoral and Post-doctoral research in Urban Earthquake Disaster Mitigation Engineering and Structural Dynamics laboratory of the University of Tokyo. The system may be applied to different structures from high-rise buildings and long-span bridges to non-structural equipment, in order to mitigate their unwanted vibrations due to earthquakes or wind. In collaboration with Inaba laboratory, I strive to make advantage of Mechanical engineering know-how to address Earthquake Engineering problems.
Your vision in your career
For most of those who peruse their graduate studies to doctoral and postdoctoral degrees, working in academia is one of the highest aspirations. While teaching activities enable you to exchange knowledge with younger generations, doing research provides you with the opportunity to stay up to date and learn from your seniors. There are not many professions that offer such a joyful and satisfying combination. I do my best in fulfilling my teaching and administrative roles in GSEP while continuously challenging myself with cutting edge research activities to further improve my skills and pave my way for the next steps.