Engineers in a foreign land: Seeking knowledge to improve societyThu, Oct 25, 2018
Mohammad Hossein Khozaei came to Waseda University in April 2018 as a research fellow to study fluid mechanics at Professor Miyagawa’s Turbomachinery and System Laboratory. Since September, he has been working toward his PhD in fluid mechanics at Waseda University.
Whetting my academic appetite
I was born in Kerman, the one of the biggest cities in Iran. I’ve always been interested in mathematics and physics, so I majored in mechanical engineering at the Shahid Bahonar University of Kerman, with a specialization in fluid mechanics. Upon completing my bachelors, I pursued my masters at University of Tehran, the most competitive university in Iran. After graduating, I worked for Hydraulic Machinery Research Institute (HMRI) and Iran Industrial Pumps (IIP). Having accomplished various hydraulic machine projects at HMRI whet my academic appetite and encouraged me to broaden my horizons. Ultimately, it was an easy choice to continue my studies through PhD. At the time, I didn’t know anything about Waseda University, nor had I ever been to Japan before, but I was determined to work under the supervision of a prominent professor in the field of fluid mechanics, and that is what led me to apply for a research position in such a distant country as Japan.
Living in 4000 miles away from home
Moving to a faraway country that has nothing in common with the land of your birth is exciting but challenging in many ways. One thing I discovered in working environments is that the Japanese tend to be very team-orientated. On the contrary, most tasks are done individually in my country; so constantly working as a team took some getting used to. Another difficulty is the language with which I’m still struggling to learn. However, I received a lot of support to help me acclimatize to the unfamiliar culture. For the first few months, I stayed at Waseda’s Step 21 accommodation, which is a very good choice for international students and researchers who are new to Japan. Most of all, I’m grateful for the abundance of opportunities afforded to me in the laboratory. As one of the most prestigious private universities in Japan, Waseda University is a participant in many academic-industry projects. Thus, in addition to deepening my academic knowledge, I’m able to gain valuable practical experience. The students and professors in Japan have very close relationships, and I was lucky enough to meet a wonderful mentor during my time here. Professor Miyagawa is like a father figure to me, and to all his students. He helped me settle in, got me involved with projects, and created an ideal environment for me to grow academically. I owe him so much in so many ways.
A stepping-stone to launch my professional career
From this September, I’ll be studying for my PhD. I’m currently conducting a study on the cavitation phenomenon. The cavitation phenomenon refers to formation and subsequent collapse of vapor bubbles. The collapse of these vapor bubbles not only can potentially damage the inner surfaces of a machine but also can negatively affect its performance. Nowadays, this unfavorable phenomenon, known as cavitation, is a major issue in many industries. Studies are being done all over the world to discover the various factors that cause this phenomenon. I too, am playing my part in this, by analyzing the results of experiments which simulate various operating conditions under which these vapor bubbles may appear. Improving the performance of machinery as an engineer ultimately leads to making society run more smoothly. These studies will serve as a stepping-stone into my professional careers.