19/11/2015

Interview with Kentaro Umeki


What was your main reason for coming to Sweden?

Because Sweden is one of the most active country for my research field, and it is expected that government will keep investing in the field in the coming decade.

What is the best thing about living in Sweden?

Nice balance in life and work. Relatively high salary. Incredible nature.

Can you tell me a bit about your work and why you decided to come to Sweden?

I am doing research about energy conversion technology of biomass fuels for 80% of my time, and teaching about combustion fundamentals and energy and financial analyses of energy plant.

How would you describe your career perspectives in Sweden?

I am currently working for the 4 years position at entry level as a faculty member. During this time, I am supposed to obtain a degree called docent, which is often translated as associate professor, to keep working as a tenured position. To obtain a docent, I need to keep my research, take courses about teaching and learning, supervise at least one PhD student as an assistant supervisor, and have teaching experiences of undergraduate courses. It requires a lot, but very helpful to develop my skill as an academic from all aspects. I think this system is quite interesting and good for the researchers at their early academic career.

What was surprising for you when you moved to Sweden?

Everyone speaks English fluently.

What do you miss from your home country?

Delicious food, sunshine, warm weather and my family. I cannot deny that Swedish food is not extraordinary delicious.

What do you like most about living in Sweden and why?

Nice balance of life and work. I also admire the individualism and diversity, which is a basis of Swedish society. I am grateful that I can have my own decision and responsibility to my life and work without being afraid of what others think about.