PUBLIC WORKS RESEARCH INSTITUTE

Research Activities

Research Teams

 

TSUKUBA CENTRAL RESEARCH INSTITUTE

CONSTRUCTION TECHNOLOGY RESEARCH DEPARTMENT

Advanced Technology Research Team
Through the use of information technology and technologies which utilize new materials, the Advanced Technology Team is conducting research and development which aims to further enhance construction machinery and rationalize construction technologies and systems. Further objectives include increased reliability and cost reduction of equipment and facilities, improving the effectiveness of maintenance management, and enhancing the evaluation of the environmental impact of construction methods.

GEOLOGY AND GEOTECHNICAL ENGINEERING RESEARCH GROUP

Geology Research Team
The Geology Research Team monitors and records changes in geological strata occurring over time. The team analyzes the results, predicts geological changes on a global scale, and researches safe construction and disaster prevention measures.

Soil Mechanics and Dynamics Research Team (Japanese only)
(Former Soil Mechanics Research Team (Japanese only), Former Ground Vibration Research Team)
Main focus of the Soil Mechanics and Dynamics Research Team is on soil which is a fundamental material for civil engineering. The team is promoting research and development related to strengthening of riverbank, prevention of slope disaster, maintenance of ground environment and measures against weak ground, for creating safe earth structures. Furthermore, the team is analyzing how ground and structures such as road embankment and riverbank are deformed and destroyed by earthquake ground motion, and are developing technologies of seismic design methods, seismic performance evaluation, seismic performance reinforcement methods and so on.

Construction Technology Research Team
This team carries out research and development of technologies with the objectives of reducing costs involved in the design, construction and maintenance stages of social infrastructure, with a particular focus on such earthwork structures as retaining walls and soft subsoil countermeasures.

WATER ENVIRONMENT RESEARCH GROUP

River Restoration Research Team

The River Restoration Research Team studies how physical conditions (habitats), nutrient dynamics, and flow regime (or water level fluctuation) in rivers and lakes affect aquatic species and ecosystems by means of field surveys, experiments and simulations for the conservation of the natural environment in rivers and lakes.

Water Quality Research Team

The Water Quality Research Team works to conserve safe and high-quality water quality environments through a wide range of researches, field studies and analyses of river, lake and marshland environments.

Aqua Restoration Research Center

The ARRC was established to conduct both basic and applied research to conservation and restoration of aquatic ecosystems in streams and lakes, and is committed to broadly disseminating the acquired knowledge. The ARRC is equipped with three experimental channels that are 800 meters long with flow that can be regulated; one is straight and the channel forms of the two others can be readily modified. Six experimental ponds are designed to enable staff to modify riparian environments (e.g. bare soil or concreted surfaces). The center also provides guided tours to visitors and various educational programs as a research facility open to the general public and research-oriented groups.

HYDRAULIC ENGINEERING RESEARCH GROUP

Dam and Appurtenant Structures Research Team

This team researches dam design and construction technologies, soundness evaluation technologies, etc. with three main goals: ensuring safety, reducing costs, and minimizing environmental impact.

River and Dam Hydraulic Engineering Research Team

This team researches levees, groynes, etc. river structure design methods, dam sedimentation removal measures, and reservoir water quality preservation measures. For the effective use of reservoirs, it also researches discharge quantity control methods according to influent rate and reservoir conditions, and discharge facilities layout planning, design methods, and improvements necessary for these control methods.

EROSION AND SEDIMENT CONTROL RESEARCH GROUP

Volcano and Debris Flow Research Team

Debris flows and lahars triggered in steep mountain torrents or volcanically disturbed regions by heavy rainfall cause enormous damage in Japan every year. Earthquakes such as the Chuetsu Earthquake of 2004 have caused the collapse of mountain slopes, resulting in severe sediment related damage. The team researches technologies to prevent and mitigate damage by debris flows and lahars, slope collapses, and other earthquake-related damage.

Landslide Research Team

Landslides are triggered by both natural and man-induced causes, and the locations reflect the geology and topography of the area. The Landslide Research Team conducts research on the mechanisms of landslides, develops monitoring techniques, and improves countermeasures to prevent disaster. The social impact of landslide disasters is also an area of research interest.

Snow Avalanche and Landslide Research Center

In heavy snowfall regions, devastating disasters due to snow avalanches and landslides during snow melting seasons threaten the existence of local communities. In the current fiscal year, SALRC is focusing on landslides and snow avalanches due to the Chuetsu earthquakes, and is investigating the occurring mechanisms and methods of evaluating their degree of danger.

ROAD TECHNOLOGY RESEARCH GROUP

Pavement Research Team

The Pavement Research Team conducts studies on rational and economic management of pavements, as well as evaluating pavement performance and durability. Studies on environmental problems such as heat island effect, urban floods and recycling are also carried out.

Tunnel Research Team

The Tunnel Research Team conducts a variety of experiments and numerical analyses on tunnel structures and related facilities such as tunnel ventilation, lighting, etc. Research is also undertaken on tunnel design, construction and maintenance methods.

CIVIL ENGINEERING RESEARCH INSTITUTE FOR COLD REGION (CERI)

COLD-REGION CONSTRUCTION ENGINEERING RESEARCH GROUP

Structures Research Team

The Structures Research Team performs research to protect structures from rockfalls, low temperatures, earthquakes, etc. in Hokkaido, where the natural environment is harsh. The team also develops more efficient design methods, improves the durability and reduces the life-cycle costs of bridges and rockfall-damage prevention structures.

Geotechnical Research Team (Japanese only)

The Geotechnical Research Team seeks to efficiently improve infrastructure to maintain the public safety by performing research on technologies to improve the safety, economic efficiency and durability of civil engineering structures constructed on peaty soft ground -- a type of ground that is widely distributed in cold regions. Research is also undertaken on technologies to improve earthwork performed during winter.

Geological Hazards Research Team (Japanese only)

This team devises new and efficient methods for the inspection of roadside slopes and assesses the likelihood of landslides. It also researches inspection technologies to protect the public from disasters caused by slope collapses.

COLD-REGION MAINTENANCE ENGINEERING RESEARCH GROUP

Materials Research Team (Japanese only)

This team performs a wide range of research on materials used in the construction of concrete structures in harsh natural environments. Together with this, the team performs research on paint materials used on steel bridges.

Road Maintenance Research Team

To construct and maintain cold, snowy regions, the Snow and Ice Research Team studies 1) durable pavement materials and design methods for life-cycle cost reduction, and 2) recycling technologies for pavement materials.

COLD-REGION HYDRAULIC AND AQUATIC ENVIRONMENT ENGINEERING RESEARCH GROUP

River Engineering Research Team (Japanese only)

Rivers are indispensable to human life. Based on clarification of hydraulic phenomena, the team has been conducting research and development in response to river management issues and providing river-related technical support. The team responds to various study needs, including research on disaster prevention and mitigation measures, and on preservation measures for river environments.

Watershed Environmental Engineering Research Team (Japanese only)

About half of the precipitation in Hokkaido falls as snow. This means that runoff in the snowmelt season greatly affects river environments. Due to this, in cold regions with heavy snowfall, geology is an important element of river basin ecosystems. In addition to studying the transport and sedimentation of suspended solids and nutrient salts in basins, the team conducts analyses to clarify connections between human activities and the river environment (including aquatic ecosystems). The objectives of the team are to establish technologies that preserve the aquatic environment and design river channels that are most suitable for cold, snowy regions.

Port and Coast Research Team (Japanese only)

This team studies the sea ice forces that act on structures with a view to developing measures for controlling sea ice floes and establishing design methods for wind and snow shelters to improve conditions for workers in these environments. The team works toward minimizing the impact of the harsh natural conditions of Hokkaido, and reduce natural disasters in cold regions.

Fisheries Engineering Research Team (Japanese only)

With the objective of constructing ports that are in harmony with the natural environment, the team carries out research on coastal structures as habitats for aquatic organisms by conducting field surveys, verifications tests and numerical simulations.

COLD-REGION ROAD ENGINEERING RESEARCH GROUP

Traffic Engineering Research Team

To secure the safety and mobility of traffic in cold, snowy regions, the team studies methods for efficient and effective road management, analyzes the cause of traffic accidents with a view to developing preventive measures. The team also researches geometric design and road traffic management.

Snow and Ice Research Team

To mitigate the effects of snow and ice-related disasters, the Snow and Ice Research Team develops methods to measure road visibility to enhance driver safety in snow storms, monitors avalanche risks and forecasts road surface freezing. The team also examines snow-protection facilities (e.g. snow fences, snow break woods), evaluates measures against snow and ice adhesion, and devises ways to use road information for improved winter road management.

COLD-REGION AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT RESEARCH GROUP

Rural Resources Conservation Research Team(Japanese only)
This team researches and develops practical technologies to convert biomass, mainly livestock wastes, into fertilizer and energy for farming areas based on the centralized biogas plant. The team also researches peaty farmland management that will contribute to conservation of adjacent peaty wetlands in Hokkaido.

Irrigation and Drainage Facilities Research Team(Japanese only)
Through appropriate maintenance and preventive measures, the team works to prolong the lifespan of irrigation and drainage facilities that have deteriorated due to the severe weather conditions in this cold, snowy region. The team also develops technologies for systematic renovation of irrigation and drainage facilities and suitable weather management methods.

DIRECTOR FOR SPECIAL RESEARCH (Japanese only)

This team works independently of other research groups to conduct high priority research projects. Among its current research projects is regional self-sufficiency in energy which is contributing to the minimization of the adverse impact on the global environment.

INTERNATIONAL CENTER FOR WATER HAZARD AND RISK MANAGEMENT (ICHARM)

ICHARM's Website

WATER-RELATED HAZARD RESEARCH GROUP

CENTER FOR ADVANCED ENGINEERING STRUCTURAL ASSESSMENT AND RESEARCH (CAESAR)

BRIDGE AND STRUCTURAL ENGINEERING RESEARCH GROUP

(Former Structure Management Technology Research Team, Former Earthquake Engineering Research Team, Former Bridge Research Team (Japanese only), Former Foundation Engineering Research Team (Japanese only)) In 2007, a highway bridge in the State of Minnesota, U.S collapsed and many people were killed or injured. On the other hand, In Japan, sudden failure occurred in some of critical structural members of Kisogawa Ohashi Bridge on the Route 23 national highway and Honjo Ohashi Bridge on the Route 7 national highway because of deterioration and daily traffic was restricted for several months. These had significant impacts on societies. Vast number of highway bridges were built during the legendary high economic growth years in 1960s and those bridges will become as old as Kisogawa Ohashi Bridge and Honjo Ohashi Bridge. Therefore, it is necessary to evaluate structural safety of those structures and develop technologies for maintaining those structures.
CAESAR deals with issues for maintenance of roads and bridges and remedial measures against earthquake, and undertakes researches that leads to the resolution of the issues, and develops technologies and gathers the knowledge of maintenance, design and construction of roads and bridges in collaboration with road administrators. It widely applies these technologies and knowledge. Furthermore, the CAESAR creates standards based on research results and gathered technologies so as to forward them to the societies, and it accepts engineers and researchers from road authorities, universities and private companies to share with their cutting-edge technologies.
The Bridges and Structural Technology Research Group is an interdisciplinary organization, and experts from different backgrounds such as steel structures, concrete structures, foundations, seismic engineering are integrated in the group to research and develop maintenance technologies and earthquake hazard mitigation technologies.

Innovative Materials and Resources Research Center (iMaRRC)

Materials and Resources Research Group

In the field of material resource, R&D becomes diversified and sophisticated.
It is required to cooperate with other research institutes for this kind of situation and contribute to the efficient maintenance and renewal of civil engineering structure and building of a low-carbon recycling society.
Based on the above backgrounds, the Innovative Materials and Resources Research Center (iMaRRc) was established on April,2015.