Professor Toshihiro Kawaguchi
Specialized fields / Subject
Crowd Safety, Introduction to Physical Science
Mail address: kawa
What mechanism leads to accidents occurring in a dense crowd? How should stairs, emergency exits, etc., be arranged for people to evacuate efficiently in the event of a disaster? “Crowd safety study” explores answers to these questions. “Crowd safety study” uses various methods including experimentation, observation, computer simulation, etc., to explore ways to protect the safety of crowds.
・Received the Encouragement Award (research) from the Japan Society of Mechanical Engineers in 1999. ・Received the Society of Chemical Engineers Japan, Fluid & Particle Processing Division: Fluidized Bed Symposium Award in 2006. ・Received the 13th National Conference on Computational Fluid Dynamics: Best Poster Award in 2006.
Brief Personal History
Graduated from the Department of Industrial Mechanical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Osaka University (Bachelor of Engineering) Mar. 1991:
Completed the Master’s Course in Industrial Mechanical Engineering, Graduate School of Engineering, Osaka University (Master of Engineering) Apr. 1991:
Research Associate of the Faculty of Engineering, Osaka University (until Mar. 1998) Apr. 1998:
Research Associate of Graduate School of Engineering, Osaka University (until July, 2005) Jul. 2003:
Received Ph.D. in Engineering (Osaka University) Aug. 2005:
Assistant Professor of Graduate School of Engineering, Osaka University (until June, 2008) Jul. 2008:
Associate Professor of Graduate School of Engineering, Osaka University (until Mar. 2010) Apr. 2010:
Associate Professor of the Faculty of Societal Safety Sciences, Kansai University (until Mar. 2014) Apr. 2014:
Professor of the Faculty of Societal Safety Sciences, Kansai University Oct. 2016:
Vice Dean of the Faculty of Societal Safety Sciences, Kansai University (until Sep. 2018) Oct. 2020:
Dean of the Faculty of Societal Safety Sciences, Kansai University (present)
Behind the scenes with the research group members
The interviewee was a third-year university student,
Miss Ryoko Nakano.
The theme of the Kawaguchi research group is crowd safety sciences. Crowd safety science is an academic study on pedestrian safety in dangerous places where many people gather, such as at station ticket gates, summer festivals, and fireworks festivals, where people cannot freely walk around. However, doing a mock emergency for accident prevention is very risky. Therefore, we are divided into a programming group that uses simulation software and an experiment group that uses experimental equipment and reproduces actual accidents. At this stage, the programming team is analyzing the flow of crowds gained by changing locations and the number of exits on a site. The experiment team is taking photographs from the rooftops of moving people on the ground and analyzing their behavior patterns. In the future, based on the results analyzed by the two teams, we are planning to establish prevention methods for accidents related to crowds and their validity.
Q. Miss Nakano, what kind of research are you yourself engaging in? In the spring semester of my third year, I selected articles on crowd related accidents and made a 90-minute presentation. Among the selected articles, I was attracted by articles on "multi agent simulation" and made a summary of it. Multi agent simulation is simulating a movement (behavior pattern) of people, which changes according to the environment and influence from the surrounding people. It was my first experience to give a 90-minute presentation by myself, which was very difficult. Many difficult mathematical formulas were lined up in the paper, but under the professor’s guidance, I was able to understand the meaning of each formula one by one. Because I wanted to make my presentation understandable to everyone, I made a simple 30-slide presentation using Power Point. In the future, in addition to increasing the number of exits, I would like to introduce multi agent simulation into programming.
Professor Kawaguchi is a very reliable person. For example, if I have difficulty understanding something not only in this group's assignment but in other subjects, he will answer my questions right away and will explain in an easy-to-understand manner according to my level. In addition, when I was agonizing over choosing my career, he was listening to me and gave advice for hours. He also quickly helped with my interview at a company that I didn’t expect I could get. In this way, the professor always answers our questions but also teaches us more than we need to know with explanations which make sense. He is gentle, but sometimes bluntly points out problems when we present our research results. Thanks to this I feel "I want to do my best!" His sweet and bitter approach helps us mature and write better papers.
Q. Tell me the atmosphere of the research group, or any interesting episode, if any.
I went to Wakayama prefecture together with the professors and members of the research group. We enjoyed a BBQ and sightseeing. We played a game called "Sazae-san", assigning ourselves the characters from the famous animation. Each participant was also given a role and task according to the assigned character. Because of this game, we were relaxed during the trip; but I also think that this game was chosen to cultivate the unity necessary for our experiments and research.
The members are very cheerful; all of us excitedly talk about baseball and the latest trends. As for study, we teach each other, including other subjects. Usually, there is always someone in the research group room. So, it is a wonderful place where you do not have to feel lonely but you can be yourself.
Q. Please tell me how your research group is different from others.
The research theme of this group is scientific, but students studying literature are also enjoying research without any problems (70% of the members are actually studying non-scientific subjects). Although I think that this group is not the only one, but our group researches from both the viewpoints of science and literature.
We can study in a luxurious environment where we can research with laboratory equipment priced in the millions of yen. Our room is spacious and there are 8 computers. We can study here anytime, for example, when there’s a vacant time slot between classes. In addition, seniors often participate in our research, so we can ask many questions. Regardless of what year people are in, we are all on good terms.
People who think logically and are interested in the flow and movement of crowds. Knowledge of mathematics and physics are necessary, but I think that even students studying literature can enjoy the research without any problem. For programming, we have to use a PC for long periods, so I could master using a PC which is advantageous for the future. In addition, I also do simple calculations, so I think that it will be useful for understanding SPI in the employment examination.
In addition, many students love sports, so our members are always active. Especially people who love playing baseball, they can enjoy it with us. We have softball matches against other research groups. (^O^)
*This article was written in AY2013.