On Tuesday, April 1st, Consul-General Nozomu Takaoka attended the signing ceremony between Rice University and the University of Tokyo. The memorandum of understanding (MOU) was pre-signed by the University of Tokyo President Junichi Hamada and delivered by University of Tokyo Executive Vice President Yoichiro Matsumoto on President Hamada’s behalf. Executive Vice President Matsumoto witnessed the signing by Rice University President David Leebron, which finalized the agreement between the two universities to exchange undergraduate students, graduate students, and research initiatives for nanoscience research.
Rice University is home to the Richard E. Smalley Institute for Nanoscale Science and Technology, which is the first institute in the world dedicated to nanotechnology research, established in the early 1990s based on the discovery of C60 molecules, or “Buckyballs,” by Rice Professors Richard Smalley and Robert Curl, who were both awarded the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1996. For the past ten years, Rice has been sending undergraduate students to Japan every summer to work in Japanese nanoscience research labs through the NanoJapan Program (http://nanojapan.rice.edu/), a program organized by Rice Professor Junichiro Kono. The new agreement will expand the collaboration in nanotechnology research, which is paving the way for inventions in medicine, materials, as well as microcomputers, and will continue to improve the quality of our daily lives as scientists and students learn more about the world of the super-super small.
Professor Shigeo Maruyama from the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Tokyo; Professor Junichiro Kono from the Departments of Electrical and Computer Engineering/Physics and Astronomy at Rice University; Professor Tayfun Tezduyar, the James F. Barbour Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Rice University; and Mr. Sonny Lim, Rice University Special Assistant for International Collaboration, were present for the signing.