President’s Address at the AY 2023 Graduate Program Fall Commencement Ceremony

 Congratulations to all of you who have received your master’s or doctoral degrees today. I would like to offer my heartfelt congratulations to you on behalf of Kyoto Institute of Technology. It is with great joy and pleasure that we are able to hold this degree awarding ceremony with you today. I also extend my congratulations and gratitude to all of the family members who supported you, other people who helped you, and the faculty members who guided you in your research. Over the last three years, only people who were being awarded a degree were able to attend this ceremony to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, so I am especially delighted that I can congratulate you directly here and now.

 This ceremony will see 40 people awarded master’s degrees and 12 people awarded doctoral degrees, including one person who achieved this through submitting an academic paper. Since the establishment of the Graduate School of Science and Technology in 1988, 12,542 students have received master’s degrees and 1,319 students have been awarded doctoral degrees, including those awarded today. You have all become degree-holders as a Master of Engineering, Master of Agriculture, Doctor of Philosophy or Doctor of Engineering, and many of you who have completed your studies also have the potential to become a master’s level or doctoral level TECH LEADER.

 I will talk about the education and research objective of Kyoto Institute of Technology’s Graduate School of Science and Technology, as noted in the School’s Course Guide, and about TECH LEADERS, to once again confirm this information with the people who have finished here.
 The education and research objective of our Graduate School of Science and Technology is to foster highly specialized professionals, including highly specialized engineers and researchers in the international science and technology field who will create the industries and culture of the 21st century, to respond to the progress of science and technology and the demands of society. TECH LEADERS are these highly specialized engineers in the international science and technology field. Our master’s programs aim to cultivate people who have higher level specialist knowledge and abilities than people at the undergraduate stage and can apply these in a flexible manner, and who are equipped with practical foreign language abilities. Our doctoral programs aim to foster people who have excellent research and development abilities with an abundance of creativity, as well as international experience. I’m sure that you will all be able to become researchers or TECH LEADERS at master’s or doctoral level through research presentations at conferences, international workshops, the creation of academic papers for degree review, production and design, study abroad, internships, and more.

 Now, I believe the world is currently experiencing a particularly difficult period for humanity. The likelihood of disasters related to global warming and the occurrence of unknown infectious diseases is increasing, there are issues of disparity and conflict connected to the activities of human society—there are a heap of issues that make us worry about the future. Great change is also occurring within the science and technology that humanity has obtained. The development of IT from the second half of the 20th century has been remarkable, and while this has the positive effect of creating new techniques in research and technology, the information that floods Internet society stirs up anxiety in human society, and this negative effect is very noticeable. Challenges concerning IT are also arising in reality.
 When it comes to the challenges that humanity faces, I think that expectations toward those of you who have a master’s or doctoral degree, one type of credential for highly specialized professionals, are growing. But I have to say it is probably still impossible to solve the challenges faced by humanity and the challenges anticipated by society immediately, just through our fields of expertise.

 I believe that people with degrees from completing graduate school are people who have developed the processes of investigation, research and experiments, prototypes, and improvements so they can take on a challenge and a mindset of tenacious thinking in different situations, and who have experience with presentations and academic papers that demonstrate the originality of their results, their effectiveness, and, depending on the circumstances, clarify the existence of new challenges and problems.
 Thus, I think a degree is a credential showing that you have the ability to face the various challenges you will encounter from now on. A doctoral degree in particular is the proof that you have the ability to set a challenge. Frankly speaking, I believe degree holders are people who have learned to keep thinking and keep challenging themselves, people who know the joy of encountering, discovering, and exploring new challenges, constructing logic, and linking this to certain outcomes.
 Taking on problems and challenges is fun. The feeling of solving an issue, of overcoming it; the moment you are acknowledged by someone is when you feel glad to be alive. I’m sure that all of you have experienced this.
 I hope that everyone here receiving a degree today will continue to refine your own fields of expertise as TECH LEADERS and researchers, as you strive to consult and cooperate with people from different fields with broad perspectives, tackle challenges, and truly contribute to the future of humanity based on your self-awareness as highly specialized engineers.

 I offer my heartfelt congratulations to you today. I hope you will take a breather, and then take a step forward toward new challenges.

 I would like to conclude this celebratory address with a wish for your growing success in the future.

September 25, 2023
President, Kyoto Institute of Technology
Kiyotaka Morisako