High School/University Joint Program supported by the Boeing Company in 2015 summer Report 2 August 20, 2015


 I took part in a summer session of Boeing Higher Education Program, held at the University of Tokyo on August 20th in 2015. I knew next to nothing about airplanes before joining this program. In fact, I have only boarded a plane two times and the last one was 9 years ago. But in this program, I learn a lot of things.
First, we learned the basics of aeronautics through a lecture by Professor Shinji Suzuki. After this, we talked with a Japanese technical expert via Skype, who is working for Boeing in Seattle. He answered our questions concisely, such as what are the good points about working abroad as well as matters on the aviation industry.
 Over the lunch break we visited two of the research labs at the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics at UT. One lab is concerned with the structure of airplanes, and the other is with jet engines. I already knew that carbon fiber is a very strong light material, but I was surprised to know that CFRP, which consists of carbon fiber, is also used for building huge airplanes like the Boeing 787. At the second lab we visited, we saw a real jet engine. The structure of the engine seemed very complex, but a graduate student explained to us clearly how the engine works, so I understood the basics of the jet engine. Also, we experienced firsthand the noise coming from a jet-propulsion airplane. I realized that it is very loud. This noise causes many problems, he explained, and I thought that as of now we have few effective measures to completely solve them. But I also found that in the study of engines researchers are working hard to reduce the noise by using micro jets.
Finally, we were divided into several groups and worked together to come up with an idea for future airplanes by utilizing the knowledge we gained in the previous sessions. All ideas were very interesting.
 This program was very rewarding, because I had not only firsthand experience on the latest studies of aviation but also exciting interactions with researchers, engineers and friends from other high schools. Now I have come to be interested in engineering overall. I’m very glad to have had this rare opportunity.

Sho Mikuriya, Urawa High School