HU-UoM partnership strengthened by technical staff networking

University News | May 10, 2024

With visitors (Ms. Shimoda and Dr. Duan, third and second from the right respectively)

On April 22-24, 2024, Hokkaido University (HU) welcomed two visitors from the Faculty of Science in the University of Melbourne (UoM), HU’s strategic international partner university: Dr. Alex Duan, Platform Manager/Coordinator of the Melbourne Trace Analysis for Chemical, Earth and Environmental Sciences (TrACEES) Platform, and Ms. Mika Shimoda, International Engagement Support Officer.  The three-day visit was scheduled early this year when Ms. Shimoda was invited as a speaker of the kick-off symposium for the Hokkaido University Core Station for the Management of Open facility and Skills (CoSMOS): the 1st Hokkaido University Core Facility Symposium on 18 January.  UoM forms its network of research platforms to efficiently run and maintain research and experimental facilities for providing technical support and co-work with their academics, students and collaborating researchers.

As a leading figure of the Melbourne TrACEES Platform, Dr. Duan gave a talk on the organizational management, facility management and equipment maintenance, human resource development, challenges and prospects of the Platform, etc.  His meeting with the HU Global Facility Center and its Office for Technical Support revealed similar struggles and challenges in the two universities: from how to recruit new technical staff or cultivate talents in targeted fields of expertise with limited budget, how to keep the budgetary balance for co-use of certain research equipment in high demand and preferences of departments, to choosing manufacturers of research equipment with sufficient aftercare services. 

The site visit included the Machinery Workshop, Glass Workshop and Flakes Workshop of Science, Liquid Helium Center which recycles helium around the campus, and the Isotope Imaging Laboratory, and interviewing experts who work on research and educational support and tailor-made apparatus inventions upon requests by HU and external researchers. Dr. Duan and Ms. Shimoda also had meetings with faculty members from the Departments of Chemistry and Physics, Faculty of Science to discuss potential joint academic events this year. A fine research-support ecosystem is a key for any research universities to enrich its academic environment for researchers and students, and communications between the two universities shall enhance the impact.

Visit to Liquid Helium Center

Visit to J Materials Lab.

Visit to Glass Workshop

(Text and photos provided by the Global Facility Center, Office for Technical Support, Faculty of Science, and Office for International Collaborations)