The Graduate School of System Design and Management (SDM) provides an overarching, transdisciplinary approach to research and education. Here we look for solutions to increasingly larger, more complex issues that traditional academic disciplines are ill-equipped to tackle alone.

SDM Voice delves into the lives and research of our current students, graduates, and faculty to find out what SDM means to them.

The interviews here put a familiar face to SDM’s less clear-cut and methodologically-driven approach to education and research.

SDM Voice Interviewer & Editor in Chief
Associate Prof. Naohiko KOHTAKE

Naomi Simumba

Naomi Simumba is an international Ph.D. student from Zambia whose journey in Japan began with a scholarship and has taken her to Cambodia, where her interdisciplinary research is now changing lives.


Prof. Naohiko KOHTAKE

I've spoken with every supervising professor over the course of SDM Voice. For the last interview, please let me tell you my thoughts on SDM. Celebrating the school's 10th anniversary, Dean Takashi Maeno interviewed me to share what I love about SDM and what the school needs to stay at the cutting edge.


Prof. Tetsuya Toma

Professor Tetsuya Toma, who looks forward to celebrating SDM's 10th anniversary in 2018, likens the school to an all-you-can-eat buffet. We sat down with Prof. Toma to talk about his current aspirations as well as his focus on project management, which is at the core of SDM.



Before coming to SDM, Professor Seiko Shirasaka worked on space development projects with one of Japan's largest electronics manufacturers. Now, his lab and lectures form the core of the SDM curriculum, and he's focused on education and professional development. We sat down with Prof. Shirasaka to find out what it means to study at SDM and what kinds of goals students are expected to achieve.


Prof. Masaru NAKANO

Professor Nakano is working on long-term issues by combining knowledge and perspectives from a variety of disciplines and industries. Apart from his own research, he has spent the last ten years working on international collaboration at SDM. We sat down with Professor Nakano to hear about his approach to research and global professional development.


Prof. Takashi MAENO

Professor Takashi Maeno is a leading expert on human well-being and the dean of the Graduate School of System Design and Management (SDM). We sat down with him to hear about the passion that drives him to work toward the ideal society he hopes to realize through SDM.


Prof. Shinichiro HARUYAMA

Prof. Shinichiro Haruyama brings over a decade of American academic and work experience to the classroom, honing pragmatic research that listens to clients and benefits society. We sat down with Prof. Haruyama to hear his take on proposing practical solutions and inventions in a variety of fields and disciplines beyond academia.


Associate Prof. Naoko TANIGUCHI

Prof. Taniguchi is a political scientist who specializes in political behavior and the political process. At SDM, she has expanded her research beyond politics into research and methodologies that examine people's psychology and behavior in a broader sense. We sat down with Prof. Taniguchi, who joined SDM in April 2016, to ask about her impressions and expectations of education and research at the graduate school.


Prof. Tetsuro OGI

Professor Tetsuro Ogi leads media systems research at SDM. He sits down for this interview to talk about how both faculty and staff contribute to his interdisciplinary research as well as how SDM's integrated approach to education moves beyond the school and into the real world.


Prof. Kenichi TAKANO

Prof. Kenichi Takano pursues research concerning human factor studies and risk management on the premise of eliminating human error and has been a faculty member at SDM since its founding. We sat down with him to ask about creativity at SDM, about how the organization of SDM has evolved, and about his own hopes for prospective students and alumni.


Associate Prof. Makoto IOKI

Since joining SDM in April 2014, Associate Professor Makoto Ioki has headed SDM's Design Project, a core part of the graduate curriculum. We sat down with Professor Ioki to talk about his research and what separates SDM from conventional graduate schools that hone professional expertise in a highly specialized field.


Prof. Tomohiko TANIGUCHI

Professor Tomohiko TANIGUCHI leads the laboratory for international political economy and is a prominent lecturer in the field. He currently holds the position of Special Adviser to the Cabinet of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the Prime Minister's Office (PMO), where he is responsible for Japan's international strategic communications. For our inaugural SDM Voice interview, we sat down with Prof. Taniguchi to see what makes SDM unique and what kind of students it attracts.