Kadena partners with local community engineers in SAME symposium
The Society of American Military Engineers, Japan Post held a symposium at the Aeon Mall Nov. 7-8.
The purpose of the symposium was to bring military and local engineers together to discuss the future of engineering on Okinawa and build lasting relationships.
The event began with opening comments by Col. Robert Grainger, 18th Civil Engineer Group commander and SAME Japan Post president.
“It’s a great honor to be able to lead an organization that is not only geared toward building relationships and networking, but also expanding the knowledge of what we do outside of the day-to-day military things,” said Grainger. “It builds the relationships both with the military as well as the local community. We’re able to show that the military is not so different from the challenges within the local engineering community.”
Both military and Japanese engineers shared ideas about the future of engineering throughout the symposium.
“The Society of American Military Engineers leads collaborative efforts to identify and resolve national security infrastructure-related challenges,” said Master Sgt. Steven Cordova, 18th Civil Engineer Squadron expeditionary engineering section chief. “The symposium focused on the local business outlook and professional development for Japanese and American engineers.”
More than 200 engineers from the local community as well as SAME leadership were in attendance. Presenters at the symposium included leaders from industry, colleges and government.
“I’m very honored to have been invited and give a presentation here,” said Takeya Kawamura, Japan Society of Professional Engineers president. “We are interested in building relationships with other engineering societies and other companies to build opportunities and education, and improve the skills of every engineer.”
Throughout the symposium, engineers from both the military and local community shared knowledge about their own careers.
“I appreciate the invitation from the SAME staff,” said Kawamura. “It was very exciting to have this presentation in front of many people; it was a great honor for us. I hope we keep good relations and constructive relationships with your societies.”
By the end of the symposium, multiple relationships and friendships were made.
“It can do nothing but build bonds and relationships,” said Grainger. “We’re building those relationships now so we can communicate with one another in the future.”