Hokkaido University
School of Engineering 
       Course of Civil Engineering / Public Policy and Engineering
      Graduate School of Engineering
         Division of Field Engineering for the Environment

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  Some of the events and recreational activities in our group...





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Here are some selected photographs from our group's events and activities, though not all the events are covered.

End-of-year party, 13 Dec 2013

It is a quintessentially Japanese custom to have a party among colleagues in December to celebrate an end of year. As a reserch group, this year saw as much as three new overseas students joining us at the same time. Thus we've got a good momentum!

After the first round of the party

Visiting Bansui and Neshikoshi  flood control  pond, 20 Nov 2012
We took five 2nd-year undergraduate students from the Civil Engineering Course to two of the Chitose-River flood control ponds. One of them is the one in Bansui, from where we took peat samples in June (see below). For the undergraduate students, who just started studying soil mechanics this acadeic term, this may have been the first time to observe actual engineering subsoil with engineering knowledge. In the other pond in Neshikoshi, the surface geology is totally different; here the ground is thickly covered with the volvanic ash sand deriving from Mt. Shikotsu. Although peat and volcanish ash are not the protagonists in undergraduate soil mechanics, they are typical ground material in Hokkaido. We hope that this visit gave the young students some inspiration and, that they get interest in soil mechanics.

Upon peat ground at Bansui

Volcanic ash sand at Neshikoshi

Annual National Conference of Japanese Geotechnical Society in Toyama, 23-25 Jul 2012

Five of us (three academics and two students) attended the conference in Toyama. Each of the two students, Mr. Yohei Sugiyama and Mr. Shuhei Takashino, was eventually awarded a prize for their presentation from the JGS.

Peat sampling in Bansui flood control pond,
6 Jun 2012

About a dozen blokes from our lab visited a flood contol pond in Bansui. This is one of the six ponds constructed along the Chitose River, which caused catastrophic floods and innundated a major part of Sapporo city and its suburbs in history. The purpose of the visit was to obtain a large quantity of peat for use in 1G model tests in our lab. Eventually we excavated and bought back some 500kg! We also found a clay stratum underlying the peat, and  carried two-boxful of it back home. It was a sunny, enjoyable day!

After peat and clay sampling at Bansui

New year mahjong competition, 4 Jan 2013

It is Japanese students' long tradition, since our parents' generation, to play mahjong overnight. This time academics joined them. Normally it is played as gamble but this time we played in fair sport spirit. This was a rare occasion where our academics got beaten up by the students.

At students' office

Osaka Bay Clay sampling in Izumi city
20 Sep 2012

Osaka Bay Clay is probably one of the most intensively studied clays in recent years, in relation to Kansai International Airport. The clay is found as outcrop in Izumi city, which is opposite the airport across the sea. This overconsolidated clay was sampled as blocks by four of us. Dr. Nishimura's experience of London Clay sampling at London's Heathrow Terminal 5 was helpful. Later we found this clay very interesting and useful material in research.

Block sampling of Osaka Bay Clay at Izumi

Inspecting offshore boring, 14 Aug 2012

A project is going on at Ishikari New Port, north of Sapporo, to extend the existing breakwater to boost the calmness of the port. Two of us visited the site where offshore boring was being undertaken for ground investigation. The water depth of the site was some 20m and the seabed consisted of a relatively thin Holocene clay layer overlying Pleistocene strata of alternating grading. We studied professionals' handling of pushed thin wall tubes and triple-barrel rotary core tubes. We received some of the soil retrieved here, and the sample are now being tested by Delvin.

Offshore rig: After August, operation becomes infeasible due to high waves in the Sea of Japan. This was the last working week for this year.

Upon the rig: A little bit disconcerting to see the sea through the metal-mesh deck...

Inspecting construction site of Hidaka Motorway,
15 Jun 2012

Most of us from the group joined this trip to a Hidaka Motorway construction site, where in-situ cement stabilisation of soft gound was being undertaken. The mixing technique, Power Blender Method, has been widely adopted in recenet years. For all the students, this was the first time to see a mixing machine. Quite naturally, they were impressed. The clay we saw here seems to have a significant amount of humin, as ordinary cement does not seem to be capable of stabilising it. We brought the soil back to labortory for studying behaviour of orgnic, difficult-to-stabilise soil.

At the site, with Power Blender machine in the background

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