Dr. Manuel Soler Nicolau
Railway Research Center at Technical University of Madrid

I am Dr. Manuel Soler from Spain. I have been working in railway engineering for 15, and my interest is in energy efficiency in railways. Considering Japan is one of the most important countries in railway transportation, I contacted Professor Takafumi Koseki, who supervises his laboratory in electrical engineering at The University of Tokyo, one of the most relevant universities in the world. Both of us were very interested and connected to give an essential boost to our research projects on energy efficiency in railways. At this point, the Matsumae International Foundation entered our life. The achievement of the Fellowships was crucial in the process to keep going in our research project and the relationship between me and Professor Koseki. Then I had the opportunity to work pleasantly at The University of Tokyo in the Koseki Laboratory.

Working inside a Japanese team is a great challenge, and indeed, the knowledge, level, and interest pursued by my group are very inspiring to improve our research since the starting point. The main differences between Spain and Japan in terms of scope, level, and funds in scientific research and development have been highlighted during my stay, providing a good point of view about the possibilities under a powerful research system as I could work at The University of Tokyo.

I would like to talk about the MIF team. Personally, for a researcher from Spain without experience in Japan, they welcomed, helped, and made all the efforts to be as comfortable as they could. From the beginning, they were very careful with me attending to every query, which was very important during my stay in Tokyo. After my experience with them, I am very proud to be part of its history. And without a doubt for me, they have been developing outstanding work to approach and connect researchers around the world with Japanese science and Japanese researchers. It is to bear in mind the pointing out from the MIF about the concern of other important assets from them, the knowledge of the consequences of war, and focusing on the disaster of WWII and the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombs. For all those mentioned reasons, I am very grateful to the staff of MIF.

Over the years, the Matsumae Foundation attended to fellows around the world who have probably not been to Japan ever before. Respectively, Tokyo and Japan are outstanding cities and the country. And the MIF allows all of us to live this fantastic experience knowing their country and, for sure, Japanese people, during my short-term there, they have been so kind and polite, and I have found a country to discover with its gastronomy, culture, history, and fantastic nature.

In my opinion, this opportunity has been a great achievement in personal terms, but more highlighted was a priceless experience and a privilege, therefore I must give thanks again to the MIF and encourage all researchers to try this challenge because you cannot forget it during the rest of your life. Arigatou gozaimasu!

Ph.D. In Mechanical Engineering / Researcher Citef (Railway Research Center at Technical University of Madrid)


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