A Message from the President on the occasion of the 2020 Academic Year Doctoral Degree Conferral Ceremony of the Kyoto Institute of Technology Graduate School of Science and Technology


On behalf of everyone at Kyoto Institute of Technology, congratulations! You have completed the doctoral program of the Graduate School of Science and Technology and received a Doctor of Science or Doctor of Engineering degree today. We empathize with what must have been a very difficult journey for you, completing your research and compiling your thesis during a time such as the past year, with numerous restrictions unlike anything you experienced before. I would like to express my heartfelt admiration for all of your effort and extend to you my heartiest compliments.

Last year, to prevent the spread of novel coronavirus infection, we did not hold a degree conferral ceremony. Instead, we asked each PhD graduate to enter this hall one by one to receive his or her degree. This year, living with the concerns of COVID-19 contagion has become the “new normal” and I am glad to finally be holding a degree conferral ceremony with you all today. However, as you are aware, we had to ask your family, friends, the faculty members who have been your mentors and all the other persons involved in your pursuit of a degree, to refrain from attending the ceremony. As president, I would like to ask that you convey my gratitude and best wishes to them. To keep today’s proceedings as short as possible, we will be handing your degree certificates to representatives. I appreciate your understanding in this regard.

We have conferred 1186 Kyoto Institute of Technology doctoral degrees since the Graduate School of Science and Technology was established in 1988. Today, we confer the Doctor of Philosophy degrees 980 to 1007, and “doctoral degree by way of dissertation” 208. Your research findings will be added to the intellectual property of this university, and the dissertations you submit will be available to the public. They will undoubtedly further development in your respective fields, spur technological innovation and inspire industrial creation. Your work will also become a valuable resource as the foundation for your successors’ explorations in your field. As your president, I am truly pleased and proud of you.

This year, the National University Corporation Kyoto Institute of Technology with a history and tradition of 120 years since the establishment of its predecessor institutions, and 70 years as a national university, has adopted a new motto. Some of you may have already noticed it when it appeared in our 2021 New Year’s greetings in the newspaper or on panels at Kyoto Station advertising our university.

As you are well aware, Kyoto Institute of Technology is an international engineering university located in Kyoto, a historical and cultural city known throughout the world. Our Kyoto location is significant as this city is the birthplace of the essence of Japanese culture. What is more, Kyoto is a center for manufacturing. It has produced and refined many “things.” The traditional craftsmanship known as Takumi no Gijutsu has not only been handed down from generation to generation, but has been further refined and gained credibility both in Japan and abroad through the constant creation of new technologies and overcoming challenges through innovation. This has been accomplished in Kyoto through pride in having been a miyako capital and by continuous social innovation undertaken with an eye to the betterment of people’s lives. This is our mission, as well. We are calling it “KYOTO Thinking” and are applying the power of Kyoto, a place that has nurtured this spirit of creative challenge, to engineering research and education.

In addition, we have adopted three key slogans that describe the principles of “KYOTO Thinking”.

The first is “ART x SCIENCE.” Art is a conceptual level higher than design. It flows from passion and dreams that move the heart. We aim to create new value by looking to scientific fantasy thinking for breakthrough ideas for innovation. In other words, we are exposing thinking that imagines things that are not currently possible, to precise analytical thinking.

The second is “LOCAL x GLOBAL,” in other words, in addition to the way of thinking we are attributing to Kyoto, which goes hand in hand with its high quality manufacturing and culture of trust, we aim to create new value by addressing global issues and understanding internationally accepted values.

The third is “TRADITION x INNOVATION,” which aims to create new value by combining a deep understanding of Kyoto’s history and culture, a commitment to its trust-based value system, and its unrivaled craftsmanship.

The “by” or “multiplication” symbol used in these expressions also represents a “vector product,” in other words, the creation of new spaces and fields with different qualities. Our “KYOTO Thinking” motto and the three key slogans were devised this year by the Future Investment Team of the Future Planning Working Group, which is comprised of young faculty members. I believe that they represent an exciting future for our university.

You have all conducted your research and written your dissertation at KIT, in Kyoto. I believe that even if you were unaware of it, “KYOTO Thinking” has been at the root of your work. As doctoral degree recipients of Kyoto Institute of Technology, I would like you to recall “KYOTO Thinking” at various times throughout your life and tap into it as a vital force for your thinking and actions.

Here, I will end by congratulating you once again, and looking forward to hearing of the great contributions you make to the world in science, industry, and culture in the 21st century.

March 25, 2021
Dr. Kiyotaka Morisako
Kyoto Institute of Technology