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

Dr. Steven Urueta

We talk with Dr. Urueta about the challenges of technology in the classroom and how he was able to find a way forward at SDM.


Dr. Prafull Kasture

We sit down with Dr. Kasture to hear what stood out about the SDM curriculum, how he chose his research topic, and why he hopes to apply these approaches to projects in his home country of India.


Associate Prof. Masahiro NIITSUMA

Prof. Niitsuma graduated from the Keio University Faculty of Science and Technology. After completing his master's degree at the School of Science for Open and Environmental Systems in the Keio University Graduate School of Science and Technology, he went on to earn his doctorate at the Graduate School of Queen's University Belfast in the United Kingdom. Before taking up his current position at SDM in April 2021, he worked as an assistant professor first at the Department of Media Technology in the Ritsumeikan University College of Information Science and Engineering and then at the Aomori University Faculty of Software and Information Technology. His research interests include artificial intelligence, Bach studies, and bodily tendencies.


Prof. Yoshiki YAMAGATA

Professor Yoshiki Yamagata has long been involved in climate change research, and he is currently designing societal systems that will enable virtuous cycles between health and the environment. We sat down with Prof. Yamagata to hear about his expectations for SDM students in contributing to research that will create sustainable decarbonization by balancing urban redevelopment and rural revitalization.


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.


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.



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. Hidekazu NISHIMURA

Professor Hidekazu Nishimura has been teaching at SDM for a decade. We spoke with him at a time he says is a turning point his career, about his longstanding passion for systems engineering and his future aims for the field.


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.


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.


Past Voice