AsianScientist (Oct. 10, 2020) – The University of Tokyo (UTokyo) has elected Professor Teruo Fujii as its 31st president.
Fujii, who is currently its executive vice president, will succeed President Makoto Gonokami on April 1, 2021, following his appointment by Japan’s Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology.
He was chosen by UTokyo’s President Selection Committee, consisting of professors, associate professors and lecturers who cast their ballot for three shortlisted candidates on September 30.
At a press conference on October 2 at UTokyo’s Ito Hall, Fujii said that he was humbled and honored by the great responsibility with which he has been entrusted.
“I’ve been saying that I want to create a venue for learning where everyone in the world would want to come… while listening to a wide range of opinions from inside and outside the University,” he said.
Fujii described how he would continue to support “large-scale collaborations with companies set up under the current president” and stressed the importance of “relearning” in line with changes in society.
“The speed in which society has been changing is accelerating rapidly,” Fujii said. “Even if you have expertise in specific fields, the situation where you can apply that knowledge effectively may change.”
He also envisioned the digitalization of UTokyo to increase the amount of time that faculty members and administrative staff can use effectively.
Born in Zurich, Switzerland, and raised in Tokyo, Fujii’s research interests are focused on autonomous underwater vehicles and microfluidics, where extremely small-scale structures that can regulate the flow of fluids are used for chemical and biochemical analyses and cell culture.
After obtaining a PhD degree in engineering from UTokyo in 1993, he conducted research at UTokyo’s Institute of Industrial Science (IIS) and RIKEN Institute, and became a professor at IIS in 2007. He served as IIS director-general from 2015 to 2018, and assumed the position of UTokyo executive vice president in April 2019.
Source: University of Tokyo.
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