29th President img

Thoughts on Inauguration as President of the Japan Concrete Institute (JCI)

At the 53rd Ordinary General Assembly held on June 19, and at the subsequent extraordinary meeting of the Board of Directors, I was selected to become the 29th President of the JCI, succeeding former President Manabu Yoshimura. It is my hope that I will be able to contribute my humble efforts to JCI, based on the support and cooperation of the JCI membership. At this time, I would like to make a few remarks on my inauguration as President

As you know, it has been 55 years since the Japan Concrete Institute was founded in July 1965. Since then, the JCI has continued to be active as Japan’s only academic and technical organization that is devoted to concrete engineering. The JCI has approximately 7,000 members, and since 2011 it has been active as a public interest incorporated association. One of the JCI’s major activities, the Authorized Concrete Engineer program, has been conducted since 1970. This program, together with the Authorized Chief Concrete Engineer program and the Authorized Concrete Diagnosis & Maintenance Engineer program which was instituted in 2001, have enabled numerous qualified engineers to play an active role at ready-mixed concrete plants, construction sites and other venues, and the JCI has received high praise for making a major contribution to improving the quality level of concrete and concrete structures.

The JCI conducts wide-ranging activities in six general areas. It

(1) conducts various types of study and research relating to concrete engineering;
(2) holds an annual convention, symposiums, lectures and other events;
(3) publishes academic journals and conference proceedings;
(4) publishes books;
(5) confers various qualifications; and
(6) presents various awards

In a normal year, the JCI would be making steady progress on these activities, based on a business plan prepared at the end of the preceding fiscal year. However, this is not a normal year. Our activities have been greatly affected by the novel coronavirus that has caused disruption throughout the entire world.

The Authorized Concrete Diagnosis & Maintenance Engineer examination for 2020 has been postponed, and the Ordinary General Meeting was also held on a considerably reduced scale. In addition, the JCI Annual Convention, our biggest annual event, was also canceled. This year’s convention had been scheduled to be held in Hiroshima, and its cancelation is a major disappointment, as the executive committee and other related personnel had been engaged in preparations for several years. ConMat ’20, the Sixth International Conference on Construction Materials, which had been scheduled to be held in Fukuoka in August, also had to be canceled. Undoubtedly this was an agonizing decision that was made to prioritize safety and avoid risk. I am certain that I speak for everyone when I express my fervent hope that effective measures will be developed as soon as possible to bring the pandemic to an end and allow us to resume conventional life.

On a personal note, up to now I have been active in the JCI primarily in the area of research, by attending the JCI Annual Convention and serving on research committees. Specifically, I have attended meetings of the Board of Directors as chair of the Technical Committee and as chair of the International Activities Committee. In addition, I served as Vice President in charge of academic and technical affairs from 2015 through 2017. Naturally as President I will need to pay close attention to all of JCI’s activities, and my goal will be to overcome our current hardships and restore the illustrious activities of the JCI with the support and cooperation of the Vice Presidents, the Executive Director, the Directors, the Secretariat and of course the general membership. I would like to thank you in advance for your assistance in this endeavor.

Junichiro Niwa
29th President
Japan Concrete Institute

To Pagetop