History of laboratory

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The name of the first of our laboratory was gRailway engineering No.1 courseh that was established in September 1924. The establishments of the Department of Civil Engineering at first, the 7 courses were existed as gbridge engineeringh, grailway engineering No.1 and No.2h, ghydro engineering No.1 and No.2h, gconcrete engineeringh and gapplied mechanics No.2h.

Professor Kotoh was the first founder Professor. The period of his tenure was October 1924 to April 1942. He performed researched about design for a switchyard and for a depot.

Professor Manai was the second professor of Railway engineering No.1 course. The period of his tenure was May 1942 to March 1964. He performed the research about landslide and mechanical properties of peat ground. He tried to find a method of remedy for irregular deformation of rails due to frost heaving in railway base and large settlement behavior at peat ground in Hokkaido.

In 1963, Soil mechanics course which was another laboratory for geo-engineering was established. One of the reasons of increase of geo-engineering laboratories was widely research for soil mechanics should be performed in order to track the geo-disasters in Hokkaido. Techniques of laboratory tests and field monitoring were different in accordance with the difference in the soil because the mechanical properties and deformation behavior is quite different by the difference in type of soil such as clay and sand.

Professor Kitago who was founder Professor of Soil Mechanics course also held the post of Professor of the transportation-railway engineering course from April 1967 to May 1976. In this period, many research about shear strength of clay, sandy soils and problematic soils in Hokkaido.

Following Professor Kitago, Professor Toki performed the research of strength-deformation of sand, mechanism of liquefaction of sand. The period of his tenure was June 1979 to March 1991. The soil liquefaction was seen at 1964 Niigata earthquake and 1968 Tokachi-oki earthquake. Many infrastructures such as residential buildings, railways, lifelines were damaged by liquefaction behavior. Therefore, the mechanism liquefaction or remedy for liquefied ground were tried to clarify by many times of experiments in the laboratory. Prof. Toki received Award of gThe Order of the Sacred Treasure, Gold Rays with Neck Ribbonh in November 2013.

Professor Miura performed the research of the static and cyclic mechanical performance of volcanic soil, the mechanical behavior of voicanic ground and embankment subjected to freeze-thaw sequence, and cyclic behavior of ground-structure system subjected to cyclic wave loads. The period of his tenure was August 1998 to March 2013. In his research, effects of particle breakage on the mechanical properties of volcanic ground were focused mainly. For his research results, Professor Miura received many awards.

Since October 2013, Professor Ishikawa has performed the research about cyclic mechanical properties of granular material, mechanical behavior of various soil materials under unsaturated and freeze thaw action conditions.

The history of course or laboratory

Name of course or laboratory Professor
(period of tenure)
(about Soil Mechanics Group)
Railway Engineering
September 1924`
Traffic Engineering No.1
July 1955`
Traffic Railway Engineering
April 1963`
Foundation Ground Engineering
April 1977`
Analytical Geomechanics
April 1997`
Analytical Geomechanics Group
April 2005`
Professor Kotoh
October 1924 to April 1942
Professor Manai
May 1942 to March 1964
Professor Kitago
(holding Prof. Soil Mechanics)
April 1967 to May 1976
Professor Toki
June 1976 to March 1991
Professor Miura
August 1998 to March 2013
Professor Ishikawa
since October 2013
Soil Mechanics
April 1964`
Soil Mechanics
April 1997`
Soil Mechanics
April 2005`


The 50 years history of Faculty of Engineering, Hokkaido University (in Japanese)
The 75 years history of Faculty of Engineering, Hokkaido University (in Japanese)