October 21, 2022
On September 23, the University of Tokyo launched the “Metaverse School of Engineering,” which provides a place for a wide range of people, including junior and senior high school students and working adults, to learn about the field of engineering by utilizing digital technology. On the same day, a celebration ceremony was held in the Metaverse, a virtual space imitating the Yasuda Auditorium at the University of Tokyo (=photo).
The Metaverse School of Engineering is an industry-academia collaboration to develop human resources for digital transformation (DX). Six leading companies, such as DMG MORI and MITSUBISHI ELECTRIC, have supported the establishment of the school and joined forces with the university. University and company representatives attended the ceremony in their avatars. Dr. Masahiko Mori, president of DMG MORI, also joined the ceremony as an avatar and addressed, “Today, it is estimated that there are 5 to 10 million machine tools worldwide, but the number will increase to about 1 million by 2030-50 when the process integration expands. With the major trends of process integration, automation, and digital transformation, new engineers will be required who can handle CAD/CAM and digital twin to drive improvements, instead of traditional programmers. Reskilling is indeed required”.
The “Metaverse School of Engineering”, launched by the Graduate School of Engineering and Faculty of Engineering at the University of Tokyo (Dean: Takao Someya), intends to provide a new learning environment and information about careers in engineering based on the basic concept of diversity and inclusion in the field of engineering. Its educational system is designed for people of every age, gender, position, and geography. The school hopes that our communication draws the interest of the underrepresented groups in the traditional engineering and information field, thereby accelerating the promotion of diversity in DX human resource development.
Major career information and educational programs offered by the Metaverse School of Engineering are:
(1) Comprehensive information site for engineering careers (Main target: junior high, high school students, and engineering students)
A comprehensive information website on engineering careers has been created to accelerate the promotion of diversity in the engineering field, including information on female engineering careers for which very few role models exist. Information from the perspective of the people involved in the field will be made available by means of campus visits, sharing simulated company entry experiences, and roundtable discussions.
(2) Junior Engineering Education Program (Main target: junior and senior high school students and their parents)
These are educational programs offered through industry and university collaboration to draw interest in the field of engineering and information at an early stage. Primarily targeting junior and senior high school students, our programs will combine online and in-person classes that introduce the engineering studies at universities and help the students explore careers after graduation through hands-on exercises such as product development and laboratory tours.
(3) Reskilling Engineering Education Program (Main target: working professionals and students)
Aiming to support relearning and reskilling of working professionals and students, the program includes online educational programs on the latest trends in engineering and information in artificial intelligence, entrepreneurship education, next-generation communication, and other fields. A variety of courses will be offered in sequence to meet the needs and levels of the participants, and a certificate of completion will be issued for each course.