Q. Please tell us about yourself
My name is Vimal Kumar. I am from India. I am a first year Ph.D. student in the Graduate School of Interdisciplinary New Science department at Toyo University, Japan. I finished my Master’s at Toyo University. I earned a Bachelor of Technology degree in Mechanical Engineering from National Institute of Technology, Trichy, Tamil Nadu, India.
Q. What made you to choose Toyo University for your research studies?
I am interested in environmental energy production techniques using biomolecules and Toyo University’s Bio-Nano Electronics Research Centre (hereafter BNERC)had a program suited to those needs. It has very well equipped laboratories for conducting various fabrication and characterization techniques and also has a knowledgeable and interdisciplinary group of researchers who allow for such research to be carried out. There are also good scholarship and fellowship programs available from the University for self-financing overseas students.
Q. Are you enjoying your stay in the BNERC?
The location of the BNERC is in Kawagoe campus, which is situated in a peaceful and green surrounding. This creates a good academic environment. The staff and faculty are also very helpful and hospitable.
Q. What are the hardships you faced while coming over to Japan for higher studies?
The language, especially the written characters, can be difficult to understand if you are not accustomed to the Japanese characters known as Kanji. However the number of English speakers is increasing in Japan, making it easier for foreign students in coming years. While in BNERC, Toyo University, the medium of instruction is in English. I did not find difficulty in my academic activities. The office staffs and faculties in BNERC are also English speaker.
Q. What are the surprising facts you found while comparing your country and Japan?
Japan is extremely clean and orderly. The Japanese are very respectful, peaceful, law abiding, hard working, punctual and always very helpful. These factors can be very surprising when you come to Japan. Japan is also very technologically forward, even ahead of some western countries in disciplines such as robotics and civil engineering.
Q. What is your recent research topic? Can you briefly explain?
My current research topic is in the field of biosensors and biofuel cell using Carbon Nanomaterials. Biosensors use a combination of transducers and receptors to detect changes in the concentration of a substance; for example, glucose biosensor can detect a change in the glucose level in the blood stream, which is useful for the detection of diabetes.
Biofuel cells use dissimilar biomolecules to set up a current flow with a cell.
Biofuel cells can be used to power devices where you do not have access to a steady supply of electricity. It has the potential to use waste sources of energy to produce electrical power.
Q. What inspired you to become a scientist?
This century will be dominated by rapid progresses in science and innovation in a wide variety fields, thus it is very useful and necessary to be at the forefront of cutting edge science that will help in the future development of technologies that will enhance our way of life. One way to achieve this is by becoming a scientist.
Q. What are your dreams and goals regarding future research?
Since my interests are currently focused on green energy generation, my goal will be to continue my research towards making a positive effect in the field of alternative fuels and energy conversions.
Q. Please give a message to the overseas students who think about coming to Japan for their research study.
Japan has been in the forefront of cutting edge science and technology. Researchers in Japan are pioneers in fields such as Nanomaterials, Robotics, Frontier natural sciences etc. Thus academic experience in Japan should prove highly advantages for future research aspirants for other countries.