The history of the Department of Chemical Engineering dates back to the establishment of the first chemical engineering department in the Faculty of Engineering of Kyoto Imperial University on April 1, 1940. At first, only two chairs were offered, but by 1961 the number of chairs had grown to six.

After a period of continuous expansion, in 1991, the number of chairs was increased to eight. Then, in April 1993, the chemistry-related departments at Kyoto University were the first to be organized in the restructuring of the Faculty of Engineering. As a result, the Department of Chemical Engineering, Graduate School of Engineering was established, consisting of 8 laboratories (3 chairs).  An affiliate chair of Particle Technology belonging to Kyoto University’s Society-Academia Collaboration for Innovation (SACI) moved back to the Department to become the Particle Technology Laboratory in October, 2010. The Environment and Safety Engineering Laboratory and the Soft Matter Engineering Laboratory were founded in April, 2016. The Department is now consisted of 11 laboratories.

Currently, with more than 2,200 graduates actively engaged in the chemical and other industries, the Department of Chemical Engineering has become one of Japan's leading centers of chemical engineering research and education.


1922 Establishment of the chair of Chemical Engineering in the Department of Industrial Chemistry
1940 Establishment of the Department of Chemical Engineering
1949 Publication of "Theory and Calculation of Chemical Engineering" (early popular textbook in Japanese)
1953 Establishment of the new graduate school following the amended School Education Act
1955 Establishment of a doctoral program in the new-school-education-act graduate school
1963 - 1968 Relocation from West Campus to the Integrated Research Building of chemistry-related departments, Main Campus (Yoshida Campus)
1993 University restructuring to place greater emphasis on graduate studies, and reorganization of chemistry-related departments
2003 Relocation to Katsura Campus
2004 Establishment of National University Corporation Kyoto University (Semi-privatization)
2007 Amendment of the School Education Act (Titles of associate and assistant professors renamed in Japanese)

Chairperson of the Department

  • 2021-2022 Prof. Ken-Ichiro Sotowa
  • 2020-2021 Prof. Ryoichi Yamamoto
  • 2019-2020 Prof. Noriaki Sano
  • 2018-2019 Prof. Shuji Matsusaka
  • 2017-2018 Prof. Motoaki Kawase
  • 2016-2017 Prof. Kazuhiro Mae
  • 2015-2016 Prof. Ryoichi Yamamoto
  • 2014-2015 Prof. Minoru Miyahara
  • 2013-2014 Prof. Shuji Matsusaka
  • 2012-2013 Prof. Motoaki Kawase
  • 2011-2012 Prof. Shinji Hasebe
  • 2010-2011 Prof. Ryoichi Yamamoto
  • 2009-2010 Prof. Hajime Tamon
  • 2008-2009 Prof. Masahiro Ohshima
  • 2007-2008 Prof. Minoru Miyahara
  • 2006-2007 Prof. Shinji Hasebe
  • 2005-2006 Prof. Hajime Tamon
  • 2004-2005 Prof. Ko Higashitani
  • 2003-2004 Prof. Masahiro Ohshima
  • 2002-2003 Prof. Kazuhiro Mae