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President's Message

Yoshihiko Wajima
Message from the President
Yoshihiko Wajima

I am Yoshihiko Wajima, Honda R&D Co., Ltd. I have been appointed as the 2024 President of the Gas Turbine Society of Japan (GTSJ), succeeding the former President Makoto Yamamoto, Tokyo University of Science. Although I have been associated with the GTSJ for only less than 10 years, I was fortunate to learn a lot, such as the social environment or technical issues on the gas turbine, through participation in various GTSJ events and board of director or committee activities. Interactions with people from industry, government, and academia have also helped me grow as a person. I feel the weight of the responsibility to be appointed as the president of GTSJ that has given me such a valuable opportunity. I am determined to do my utmost for the society's development to show my gratitude.

Two years ago, the GTSJ celebrated its 50th anniversary, which was our major milestone. Following this commemorative ceremony and the publication of a special commemorative issue in the society’s journal in year 2022, last year we updated the “Gas Turbine Engineering” as part of the commemorative event and published the second edition on June 30th, 2023. We also edited the society’s 50 years historical data and released it to the members’ site on our homepage, thus successfully completing a series of activities to commemorate the 50th anniversary. I would like to express my deepest gratitude to everyone who has been involved in the activities, including Former President Fukuizumi, Ex-President Yamamoto, and Committee Chair Watanabe, who have led the planning and execution of the commemorative projects.

Despite the start of GTSJ’s new journey toward the next 50 years, our operation is not as promising. Looking at the reality, the biggest challenge is the decline in the number of members. Before COVID-19, the number of society members was nearly 2,000, but it has decreased to about 1,700 at the end of last fiscal year. Other societies have also experienced the significant decrease since COVID-19, but GTSJ is in a more critical situation especially due to the decrease of students and young members. If we do not take actions now, there is a chance that the continuation of the society may be jeopardized. In the background, I assume that changes in the social environment of young people, such as the advancement of the IT environment and changes in human networking nature are major factors of the significant impact. However, the fundamental problem lies in the fact that fewer students are interested in gas turbines and don’t see the future on this technology, as it is symbolized by the number of laboratories dealing with gas turbines at universities which has been decreasing. One of the reasons is that the value of gas turbines has not been correctly communicated to the public which has led to an impression that combustion engines are bad for the environment and may disappear one day. Overcoming this situation is a challenge for the entire gas turbine industry and an urgent issue that must be addressed by society.

Even today, combustion engines such as gas turbines still constitute the world's infrastructure and support the economy, and it is becoming obvious that even in the roadmap for the carbon neutrality, it would be difficult for vehicles such as commercial aircraft or large power plants to fulfill their functions without gas turbines which has overwhelming performance. It is becoming clearer that gas turbines, with their unparalleled performance, would have a difficult time fulfilling their role in commercial aircraft and large power plants. Keeping these facts in mind, it is necessary to draw a roadmap toward the carbon neutrality society and to create the vision with a combination of gas turbines and energy technologies by the collaboration with industry, government, and academia, then communicate it to the public with easy-to-understand expressions. It is necessary to design a society that includes not only gas turbines, but also the energy resources and infrastructure to create the vision with a stronger message.

Leading and facilitating discussions that transcend industry boundaries is especially the role of our society. The awareness in the public in the values of gas turbines will encourage the people to take steps toward social implementation which normally hesitate, promote various collaborations, and lead to acceleration toward realization of the vision. There is not much time left to resolve the issues. I am committed to doing whatever it takes to contribute to the development of the gas turbine and energy industry. I would greatly appreciate the support and cooperation of society members.

Finally, I would like to conclude my remarks by wishing all our members in gas turbines and energy-related fields good health and ongoing success.

Sincerely yours,