Study Abroad

Japan Early Fall 2019

Sustainable Energy in Japan, Early Fall 2019


Course Details

In collaboration with the Mechanical Engineering Department at Ehime University in Matsuyama, Japan, this early fall course explores advanced topics in thermodynamics related to efficient and sustainable energy conversion systems. Continuing where the thermal fluids series leaves off, it begins with advanced power cycles and their application in mechanical and electric power systems. Other topics include fuels and combustion, wind and solar power, fuel cells, and storage. Students will learn about how power plants work, alternative and renewable energy technologies, and the role of regulation and energy markets in shaping energy supply and demand.

The course begins at UW Bothell in week following the end of summer term in August. Five four-hour sessions are planned; guest lectures from local experts and at least one field trip to a local power plant are included. In the second week, the class travels to Japan for two weeks at Ehime University’s Sustainable Energy Lab. Teams of students will carry out laboratory projects under guidance of Ehime’s Mechanical Engineering faculty and graduate students. Field trips to nearby utilities, power plants, and related destinations are included.

2017 group in HiroshimaUWB students in radiation lab at Ehime University 

Learning Goals

At the end of the course, students will be able to:

  • Analyze, describe, and assess energy conversion systems involved in sustainable and efficient power generation.
  • Identify scientific, engineering, social, economic, and political factors shaping energy transitions.
  • Carry out a sustainable energy project with Japanese counterparts and report results for a multicultural audience.
  • Describe Japan's short and long-term energy strategy and analyze it within the larger context of the country's history, environment, and natural resource base.
  • Navigate daily life in Japan, recognize cultural differences, work with a deeper global awareness and outlook.


Program Dates: August 26 - September 19, 2019, including 5 days of classes at UW Bothell, one or two local field trips, and approximately two weeks at Ehime University in Matsuyama, Japan

Program Directors: Steve Collins, Mechanical Engineering, School of STEM,; Hiroshi Miyamoto, Japanese instructor, 

Academic Credits: 5 credits of B ME 493 (counts as ME elective)


  • $3,000 program fee, which covers: 5 Autumn Quarter credits; local transportation, housing, most lunches and several group dinners, cultural activities in Japan;
  • $350 study abroad administrative fee;
  • ~$1,400 airfare;
  • $25 travel insurance;
  • Some meals in Japan;
  • Personal expenses at UW Bothell and while abroad.

***The program is eligible for financial aid and scholarships may be available to help offset the costs***

Information for Applicants

Pre-requisites: Applicants must be currently enrolled UW students with a minimum GPA of 2.75, who have completed a course in engineering thermodynamics (B ME 331 or its equivalent), physical chemistry (B CHEM 401 or its equivalent), or thermal physics (B PHYS 224 or its equivalent), with a minimum grade of 2.0. 

Derek and Jon arriving to class on bikesStudents should be prepared for an intensive interdisciplinary experience ranging across engineering, economics, politics as they pertain to energy and energy policy, and Japanese culture. Program participants should expect a moderate level of physical activity, especially walking and bicycling, while in Japan.Knowledge of Japanese is not required.

Application Process: The online application requires a resume, unofficial transcript and a personal statement describing your interest and qualifications for the program. The essay should demonstrate a commitment to learning across disciplines, curiosity about different cultures, and interest in conversing with peers here and in Japan about our collective energy future.

As of May 22, program recruitment has closed.


What's the program like?

Check out blogs from UWB Study Abroad Ambassadors who participated in the program in previous years:

Derek Flett, 2017

Urooj Qureshi, 2015

Nguyen Tong, 2013


Program Support

Natalia Dyba, Director of Global Initiatives


Study Abroad Advising

Yenifher Mendoza and Elaine Montes, Peer Study Abroad Advisor


Student Success Center UW1-160

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