Civil Engineering Day Open House held

Bridge contest award ceremonial photo

Debris flow generator

Ball scooping by backhoe

Experience the test track curve

Azuma Elementary School marching band

The Civil Engineering Day Open House was co-hosted by PWRI and the National Institute for Land and Infrastructure Management (NILIM) on Saturday, November 15. This year's event, the 15th, was held so that research and civil engineering works conducted by both institutes are broadly understood. 957 people visited the site. We also held the Cardboard Bridge Contest, a civil engineering work experience class, and various other events, and the research facilities open tour was held again this year.
The Civil Engineering Day (November 18) was set by the Japan Society of Civil Engineers in 1987. The Japan Federation of Engineering Societies, a group of experts in all engineering fields including civil engineering, was established on that date in 1879. In addition, The Japanese kanji characters that comprise the date “November 18” can be rearranged to form the Japanese word for “civil engineering,” as shown in the illustration on the right.
At the pavement test field, we explained various matters related to pavement and loaded vehicles controlled via satellite. We also explained about the environmentally-friendly pavement tested here via model.
In the dam hydraulics laboratory, we showed a system in which water and air flowed together by running water from the tunnel outfall system, thereby helping visitors guess amounts of actual air flows and the wind speed inside the air supply pipe. We explained how to convert the experimental wind speed to the into actual scale, and also gave an outline of the hydraulic experiment.
With the debris flow generator, we generated a debris flow model in cases both with and without a dam using a mountainside model and explained that dams prevent gigantic stones from falling down, and as such they protect our lives and houses.Even in the model experiment, in the case without dam, soil and water used for the experiment spewed out. Therefore, we can realize how awful the actual debris flow is and how much the dam contributes to preventing it.
The vibration laboratory reproduced the fear of liquefaction caused by earthquake through a model system of a clear tank filled with water and sand. Participants could also see a panel exhibition of recent earthquake damage and video that reproduced the damage-caused phenomena. Children stared intently at the model building, which easily tips over by shaking. Adults saw examples of damage and increased their understanding of the fear regarding and mechanisms of earthquakes and the need to consider countermeasures.
The test truck and the Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) were open to the public as well.
With the cooperation of five Offices(*) of the Kanto Regional Development Bureau in Ibaraki Prefecture, we exhibited construction machines, a patrol car, and a traffic sign car that actually work in the field, a disaster headquarters car that works when a disaster occurs, and facility introduction panels. Visitors were able to feel closer to public works and increased their understanding of them, enjoying the “ball scooping” by a backhoe and pretending to be a patrolman by wearing a helmet and taking a photo with a patrol car for a backdrop. The traffic sign car served as a billboard for the open house by showing information about the events and experience classes.
Furthermore, we had many other events: civil engineering experience class, children's cardboard bridge contest, Azuma Elementary School marching band, Japanese drums, band, a violin performance, and commemorative photo with an elephant costume.

* Kasumigaura Conveyance Channel Work Office, Kasumigaura River Office, Hitachi River / National Highway Office, Jyoso National Highway Office, and Shimodate River Office

(Contact : General Affairs Division or Planning and Management Division)

PWRI New Technology Showcase 2008 held

Presentation site (Sendai)

Exhibition and technical consultation (Tokyo)

Invairowan method demonstration (Osaka)
[1] Invairowan * Enviro-one =
Environment + one

The PWRI New Technology Showcase 2008 was held in Tokyo on October 31, in Kanazawa on November 19, in Sendai on December 3, and in Osaka on December 11.
In the showcase, new technologies were introduced by not only presentation but also exhibition panels and models, and technical consultation was offered as well for civil engineers. With these useful new technologies developed by PWRI or joint research projects with private companies can be considered to be widely spread. In Kanazawa, Sendai, and Osaka, we selected and introduced new technologies with high needs in each region with the cooperation of the regional branches of the Japan Civil Engineering Consultants Association.
On those days, 630 people in total, mainly from private companies, the MLIT (Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism), local governments, and public utility corporations participated in this event.
In each showcase, we introduced 22 technologies, including the following:
- Multi-point slope failure monitoring system by optical fiber sensor: A technology to measure slope displacement at a low cost using optical fiber sensors, which are not affected by thunder
- NEW high capacity micro pile method: A technology enabling piling to support buildings even in narrow spaces.
- Pressurized fluidized bed incinerator with turbocharger: A technology to combust sludge from sewage plants at low energy and generate new energy.
- Invairowan[1] method: A technology to easily peel old coating film off of steel structures

Participants intently listened to presentations and proactively exchanged opinions at the simultaneous exhibition and technical consultation.
We also held the showcase in Sapporo on February 25-26, 2009.

(Contact : Construction Technology Research Department)

"How about Green?" Class Report

The Japanese elm sowing

The Children who listen to explanation by Dr. Yoshii, Director of the group

Questionnaire result

The Civil Engineering Research Institute for Cold Regions (CERI), the Cold-Region Hydraulic and Aquatic Environment Engineering Research Group in particular, is involved with the "How about Green?" class project, a disaster prevention and environmental conservation educational program around Mt. Usu.
The "How about Green?" class in which this project originated appeared in a volcano disaster prevention supplementary reader for junior high school students that was published as a countermeasure against the future eruption of Mt. Usu, which had repeatedly erupted. The related parties, including the Muroran Development and Construction Department, summarized the process by which the plants lost by the eruption of Mt. Usu were regrown.
In the Toyako Onsen Elementary School located at the foot of Mt. Usu, many students had difficulties related to school or house relocations caused by the eruptions of 2000. To restore peace of mind to these children, the local teachers wanted to give a class on the theme of disaster prevention, including regrowing greenery with their own hands, based on this supplementary reader. Eventually, the "How about Green?" class started in collaboration with the elementary school, town, university, and CERI.
This class aims not only to implement a disaster prevention education and study to achieve disaster prevention across all generations as a local community, but also to follow up and promulgate the "ecological mixed-seeding and mixed-planting method (mixed seeding method)" developed by the joint study project of (the predecessor of) CERI and the Hokkaido Institute of Technology.
The mixed seeding method reproduces vegetation based on native seeds in the area and reproduces natural greenery as much as possible, even at the genetic level. It is a useful technique even when reproducing greenery lost by volcanic eruption.
It is through this process that the "How about Green?" class began in 2004 - gathering seeds. Since 2008, when the seedlings began to grow, grade school children who participated in the class became interested in it through engaging in the connected actions of gathering seeds, sawing the seeds, transplanting the seeds, and planting the actual trees seedlings. From the result of the children's questionnaire, we can see that they enjoyed the class, proactively attend, and have become increasingly more interested in the natural environment and disaster prevention. We believe that this class is effective in recognizing the importance of vegetation, enforcing the supporting regional disaster prevention capabilities, and increase understanding of disaster prevention measures such as sediment retarding basins.
The "How about Green?" class has only a 5 year history. We promote the class to help raise the children's and local population's awareness of disaster prevention and the need for disaster prevention projects.

(Contact : Planning Division, River Engineering Research Team, CERI)

Project to Make a Water Disaster Report in Collaboration with a United Nations (UN) Agency Launched

World Water Assessment Programme (WWAP)

Dr. Sakamoto, Chief Executive of PWRI (left) and Mr. Salvano Briceno, Secretary General of the UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR) (right) who signed the agreement on October 1

UN World Water Development Report (WWDR), 2nd issue.
The 3rd issue will be released in March 2009.

It has been noted that the world has faced serious water problems in the 21st century. The approach to solve the issue has been promoted across borders.
There is the World Water Forum, one of several international conferences to handle global water problems. In this conference, which has been held every three years since 1997, scholars, NGOs, UN-related officials, and government officials of various countries gathered and held discussions. Although it is not an official conference held by the UN, the discussions therein are thought to have a great impact on policymakers of each participating country.
In 2000, 23 UN agencies established a new cooperative framework for water problems. This framework is called the World Water Assessment Programme (WWAP) and the headquarters is set up in the Paris-based UNESCO headquarters.

“The importance of increasingly serious water problems is that we become unable to solve them if we don't handle them as quickly as possible.”

WWAP shows global cases of approaching water problems in the three-year report, created to convey a sense of crisis to politicians in countries around the world and introduce to developing countries successful solution technologies and methods by developed countries, including Japan.This report, released with the title of “World Water Development Report (WWDR),” broadly covers fields of water resources, food problems, energy development, and water-related disasters. The premiere issue was released at the 3rd World Water Forum held in Japan in 2003. At present, the forum is preparing the 3rd issue (WWDR3) for release in the 5th World Water Forum (in Turkey). Form officials decided to issue a separate volume to create detailed reports for each field mentioned above with WWDR3.
The International Centre for Water Hazard and Risk Management (ICHARM) and the UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UN/ISDR) jointly worked out a separate volume for Water-related Disaster Risk Reduction. PWRI and UN/ISDR signed an agreement before starting work.The separate volume is expected to be released at the end of August 2009 in cooperation with other related organizations under the WWAP.

The WWDR is available on the UNESCO homepage.

(Contact: Disaster Prevention Research Team, ICHARM)

TPT Symposium Held

Asphalt pavement

Cement concrete pavement

Changes in the market share of asphalt pavement and cement concrete pavement

A scene at the symposium

We held the TPT Symposium 2008 on November 20, 2008. TPT (Tsukuba Pavement Technology Exchange) is an exchange society between PWRI and research divisions of pavement companies that aims to draft and implement a rational and effective pavement experiment/research plan and contribute to development of new pavement technologies and methods.
In Japan, mainly asphalt/cement concrete pavements are used. However, asphalt pavement has dominated the market for the past 30 years. Asphalt is made from crude oil and as such, its price is greatly affected by the crude oil price. On the other hand, the decreased technological strength of cement concrete pavement due to lower quantity of works is a concern. Therefore, at this symposium, whose theme is "Considering pavement in the era of soaring crude oil price: Development of pavement materials and methods for meeting the social needs", Prof. Koyanagawa of Tokyo University of Agriculture made a keynote speech, and a panel discussion followed between the asphalt pavement group and the cement concrete pavement group. (Venue: Conference room of the National Institute for Land and Infrastructure Management)

Outline of the keynote speech
- Basic properties of cement concrete pavement (e.g. hardness)
- Advantages (e.g. high durability) and disadvantages (e.g. long curing period) of cement concrete pavement
- Diversified cement concrete pavements (e.g. stiff-consistency concrete)

Points of the panel discussion
- Durability and maintenance cost
- Road surface characteristics such as roughness
- Recycling, environmental burden, etc.

The discussion heated up, and included attendants at the end of the symposium. It was re-recognized that we need to decide pavement design and implementation by giving consideration to the characteristics of asphalt/cement concrete pavements and use the right one in the right place. The symposium ended successfully, with about 80 participants, including the general public. It was especially significant for young pavement engineers.
The PWRI Pavement Research Team is committed to continue research activities and also vigorously deploy activities to contribute to the safe and efficient social infrastructure development through research activities.

(Contact : Pavement Research Team)

PWRI Website Achieves 9th Place in Website Ranking

Top10 of the website ranking

Overall rating of the Incorporated Administrative Agency's website

Post revision of PWRI's website

Pre revision of PWRI's website

A seminar reporting the results of the Incorporated Administrative Agency (IAA) Website Usability Survey 2008/2009 was held by Nikkei BP Consulting Inc. in Tokyo on November 17. This survey rates websites of IAA in terms of usability based on 48 survey items. PWRI received 75 out of a possible 100 points and achieved 9th place among 101 agencies. We revised the website to improve usability last year, so our rating dramatically increased from the last survey, where we came in 63rd place with 50 points. The Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) received the highest score, with 87 points. Among over 30 research-related IAAs, our site was third.
This survey was the second of its kind, with the first conducted in 2006, and surveyed websites of 101 IAAs existing as of July 2008 during the period from late July to early September. A site receives 1 point for satisfying each of 48 survey criteria. The survey items are classified into 5 evaluation axes: (1) Top page usability (Does the page provide a portal/entrance for users?); (2) Site usability (Is the whole site designed in an easy-to-use manner?); (3) Accessibility (Can everybody easily access the site?); (4) Interactive (Does the site provide contact points that take advantage of the web's interactivity?); and (5) Privacy and security (Can everybody safely use the site?). It weights each axis and the sum of these 5 classifications comes to a grand total of 100 points.
Compared to the last survey, the overall trends were the number of sites with 60 or more points increased and the number of sites with 30 or fewer points increased as well. Therefore, the gap between the upper level and the lower level widened. For the axis of privacy and security, IAA's site received a higher score because of IAA's newly formulated privacy policy. Additionally, IAA's interactive score was slightly higher than the previous survey, although it was still on the low side. In the top 5, with the exception of the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), all agencies received higher scores by revising their site or reviewing the site structure. For example, many agencies improved usability by standardizing the intra-site navigation.
The JETRO, who received first place, said that they recognized their site was hard to use when working abroad. They concentrated the authority to manage the site in the PR division through internal regulations and revised the site based on a consistent standard.
At present, PWRI is working on improving the English website to enhance delivery of information to foreign countries.

(Contact : General Affairs Division)

Japan-Korea Joint Symposium 2008 held

Participants in the symposium

Opening address of the symposium
(Mr. Tsunematsu, Acting Chief Executive)

The on-site review session
(in the Horokanai tunnel)

The Civil Engineering Research Institute for Cold Regions (CERI), the National Institute for Rural Engineering (NIRE) of the National Agriculture and Food Research Organization (NARO), and the Institute of Environmental Geosciences of Pukyong National University (IEGS) jointly held the 2008 International Joint Symposium between NIRE, CERI(Japan) and IEGS(Korea) from Thursday, November 13, 2008, to Saturday, November 15, 2008.
Recently, the highly sophisticated use of underground spaces such as waste disposal and use of underground cavities has been in the spotlight in line with expansion of human activity. The general population's growing awareness of disaster prevention and the environment requires establishment of a highly precise and economic ground assessment method, such as sophisticated measures for slope disasters and clarification of and measures for soil/groundwater pollution. At this symposium, 3 institutes reported their latest research results and exchanged opinions regarding this topic.
At the symposium held on November 13, after the organizer's opening address, an oral presentation was held. 6 research results were presented in session (A), which had the theme of slope failure.
For the keynote speech in the afternoon, Prof. CHUNG Sang Yong (IEGS) gave a lecture on various groundwater quality analytical cases around Masan-si, Korea, tilted Hydrogeological and Geostatistical Study to Identify Groundwater Pollution Sources.
Next, Prof. Toshifumi Igarashi of Hokkaido University's Graduate School of Engineering delivered a lecture about the latest research results of assessment and measures for heavy metals in the environment, titled Leaching of Heavy Metals from Hydrothermally Altered Rocks and Rational Measures thereof.
Similarly, 5 research results were presented in session (B), which had the theme of the ground environment investigation and assessment techniques. In all sessions, Q&A and opinion exchange sessions were conducted.
On the following days, November 14 and 15, an on-site review session was held in the Horokanai tunnel in the Sorachi district, Hokkaido and Sounkyo to further explore geological challenges.
We can learn a lot from the forefront studies of regionally specific geological issues in each country and the common issues they are facing. We will continue to hold joint symposiums with overseas research institutes and other institutes to promote information exchange.

(Contact : Geological Hazards Research Team)

Avalanche Disaster Prevention Seminar Held in Aomori City

Avalanche occurred in the Happo district,
Hakuba, Nagano Prefecture (February 5, 2000)

Lecture by Assoc. Prof. Irasawa (Iwate University)

Presentation by Dr. Matsuzawa, team leader (Snow and Ice Research Team)

"The Avalanche Disaster Prevention Seminar" was held in the Aomori Civic Cultural Hall on Tuesday, November 25, 2008. This seminar was jointly planned and hosted by the Snow Avalanche and Landslide Research Center of the TCRI*, the Snow and Ice Research Team and the Donan branch office of the CERI**. This seminar was also cosponsored by the Aomori Prefectural Government and supported by the Aomori Office of River and National Highway, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport, and Tourism.
At the seminar, Assoc. Prof. Michiya Irasawa of Iwate University's Faculty of Agriculture gave a lecture on avalanches and snow-related landslide disasters tilted Learning from Recent Avalanches and Landslide Disasters. PWRI provided the following 3 topics:

- Recent disasters and basics of avalanches
We introduced avalanches that occurred last winter, research results of actual conditions in previous large-scale avalanche disasters, and PWRI avalanche observations. We also explained the mechanism by which avalanches occur and how to collect useful weather information and make use of data to predict avalanches.
- Avalanche disaster prevention measures during heavy snowfall and recent research results
We introduced the Guidelines for Inspection of Avalanche Danger Slope (draft) and the Case Study Book of Emergency Measures for Avalanche.
- On-road avalanche measures and recent research results
We explained how to identify avalanche danger points around roads and how to take appropriate measures for prevention. We also presented the results of our recent research into countermeasures against and occurrence conditions for the phenomena in which accumulated snow slips through avalanche prevention facilities; this has been a recent problem in Hokkaido.

On the day, about 130 people from road-related government organizations as well as consulting companies participated in the session. The Snow Avalanche and Landslide Research Center and the Snow and Ice Research Team will continue to hold seminars after next year and remain committed to avalanche disaster prevention.

*Tukuba Central Research Institute
**Civil Engineering Research Institute for Cold Region

(Contact : Snow Avalanche and Landslide Research Center)