Imperial College London

Tokyo Tech student hails academic-social balance


Nao in Prof Kim's research group at Imperial

Nao in Prof Kim's research group at Imperial

Tokyo Tech student Nao Koishihara returns to Japan after a two month exchange visit in Prof Kim's group learning about nanometrology.

Tokyo Tech student Nao Koishihara from the Hayamizu Research Group has just returned to Japan after a two month exchange programme visit to Prof Ji-Seon Kim's group at Imperial.

Nao said of her visit: "It was a wonderful opportunity for me to study at Imperial. My current research theme is the characterization of self-assembled peptides using Raman scattering spectroscopy. I joined Ji-Seon’s group in order to learn more about the microstructure and properties of peptides using optical nanometrology. While it was a little challenging initially, postgraduate students in her group were really helpful and taught me how to do the experiments. Ji-Seon also gave me a lot of advice on correlating Raman spectra with molecular structure. Although I'm are dealing with different materials and my research theme is not directly related to plastic electronics, the knowledge and techniques I learned have really pushed my research forward.

"I was also fortunate to attend students’ and invited guest speakers’ presentations at events such as the PE-CDT Symposium, which inspired me a lot and expanded my knowledge of plastic electronics especially organic semiconductors and photovoltaics.

"Both Imperial and Tokyo Tech are located in the centre of captial cities, but I felt that London is a much more multi international environment than Tokyo. What was most surprising for me is that there is also a strong interdisciplinary connection between the academic and personal lives of students. I really enjoyed having lunch with other postgraduate students and sometimes joining them for a drink at a pub. These social customs enable students to discuss scientific questions, share hardships in research life, and to take time to relax and improve efficiency of their work.

"Although it was short exchange, I not only developed additional research skills but also learned the importance and difficulty of putting myself in different environment. It was most precious for me to get good friends from many different backgrounds. I would definitely like to keep connections after returning to Japan. I hope my experience marks the start of a good collaboration between the two institutions."



Lisa Bushby

Lisa Bushby
Department of Physics