R&D Center

The Research & Development Center is responsible for the research and development of NK's core technologies in the fields of civil engineering, environment, and social sciences. The research results obtained here are utilized in various projects in Japan and overseas.

Hub function" to support world-class "enhancement of technological development capabilities

Continuous improvement of our technical development capabilities is one of our basic policies. In order to provide technical services that accurately meet the needs of our domestic and overseas customers, which are becoming increasingly sophisticated and complex, it is of utmost importance that we have the ability to develop technologies backed by a broad range of knowledge and expertise.
The Research & Development Center serves as a company-wide hub for technology and human resources through fundamental research that looks to the future and applied research that directly relates to practical applications, as well as through collaboration with different business units and ID&E Group companies, in order to enhance our technological development capabilities as consulting engineers.
We have a system (MSP system) that allows employees to stay at the Central Research Center for a certain period of time at their own request, and those who have improved their technical development skills, human skills, and overall abilities can return to their current departments and step up to become consulting and engineering professionals who can contribute to "nation building".

An organizational environment that generates technological innovation with "integrated strength"

Consulting engineers are required to have the comprehensive ability to combine a number of specialized technologies. For this reason, the Central Research Laboratory operates research groups in the fields of civil engineering (water, soil, structure, and earthquake resistance), environment (chemistry and nature), and socioeconomics in a single department called the Integrated Technology Development Department.
The flat organization of specialized engineers from various fields pooling their knowledge and expertise demonstrates their collective strength and creates an environment conducive to the creation of technological innovations.

Facility environment integrating "numerical analysis technology" and "experimental technology"

Numerical analysis techniques using computers are indispensable for various consulting services. However, when applying numerical analysis models, the certainty of the models must be verified.
The Research & Development Center is equipped with facilities for hydraulic, soil, and environmental testing. The high quality of our deliverables is maintained by physically verifying the input physical properties of numerical analysis and output phenomena through various experiments. We have one of the largest research facility environments for a private consultant that is comparable to national and university research institutes.

Research Groups

The Research & Development Center has organized four centers to promote research and development in a wide range of fields.

Center for Advanced Research

Climate Change Laboratory We conduct cutting-edge research and development aimed at solving global-scale social issues, centered on assessment technologies for evaluating changes in extreme weather phenomena due to climate change and the resulting water resource risks and flooding risks. We also conduct research on the use of environmental DNA technology.
AI Laboratory As a pioneer in the use of AI for flood forecasting, we are leading the way in its implementation in society, and we are also conducting applied research in various other fields to create new services by combining image analysis and proprietary technologies.
Resilience Laboratory We are developing a quantitative evaluation method for "resilience" and conducting research to visualize it as a performance verification index in various fields such as sewage systems, roads and transportation, power systems, and railroads.
Disaster Prevention and IoT Laboratory We are developing services utilizing various specialized technologies in the fields of soil movement monitoring, volcanoes, etc., and conducting applied research on advanced technologies such as XR, drones, blockchain, and robotics.
Transportation and Big Data Laboratory In order to solve traffic and urban problems, we are conducting research and development on smart technologies that utilize big data to understand the movements of people and vehicles, quantitatively evaluate the effects of policies and measures, and propose optimal actions.

Center for Technology Development

Hydraulic Water Quality Group We perform numerical analysis and evaluation of flow, water quality, and riverbed fluctuations for improvement of the water environment and river channel improvement and maintenance for rivers, lakes, and closed water bodies. Our self-developed 2D and 3D numerical analysis models have been applied at many sites in Japan and overseas, and can be customized in various ways to meet site conditions.
Disaster Prevention and Erosion Control Group We are developing numerical analysis methods for landslides and slope failures, and hydraulic model experiments and monitoring methods for mudslides and driftwood, and applying them to damage prediction, planning and design of countermeasure works, and project evaluation for landslide disasters.
Maintenance Group We develop and provide optimal solutions for various maintenance and management issues in infrastructure facilities such as roads, bridges, tunnels, and water supply and sewage systems, utilizing the latest ICT technologies such as AI, drones, 3D models, structural analysis, and asset management.
Environmental Geology Group We conduct quantitative assessments of living organisms and ecosystems by capturing changes in environmental factors and the characteristics of biological responses through field surveys and model calculations. We are also involved in green infrastructure evaluation and planning, remote sensing, and other research, aiming not only to "protect nature" but also to "harness the power of nature" to solve a variety of regional issues surrounding modern society.
Integrated Information Group We are working on the on-site application of new technologies and methods such as AI and cloud computing, and the construction of an information platform, including the construction of a real-time forecasting system for dam inflow and river level forecasting using AI (Artificial Intelligence).

Test and Experiment Center

Environmental Science Group As an environmental measurement and certification laboratory, we analyze water and soil quality and conduct various environmental analyses and assessments, including water quality monitoring, soil and groundwater contamination studies, and groundwater flow studies. We are also conducting research related to global warming, such as sea level rise and its impact on groundwater, and underground storage of CO2.
Environmental Hydraulics Group We have developed 2- and 3-dimensional numerical analysis models such as NK-hydro2D and 3D, and conduct hydraulic analysis and evaluation related to the water environment, sedimentation, and river planning and management, including river flow and bed fluctuations, scouring of piers and revetments, sedimentation and discharge in dam lakes, and water quality prediction in enclosed water bodies.
Natural Environment Group Through satoyama conservation activities, protection and propagation of rare species, and biotope maintenance, we propose and implement technologies related to the conservation of living organisms, ecosystems, and other natural environments. We also conduct quantitative assessments of living organisms and ecosystems by capturing changes in environmental factors and the characteristics of biological responses through field surveys and model calculations.

CIM Technical Center

CIM Promotion Group We promote BIM/CIM in-house through research on domestic and international technology trends related to BIM/CIM, research and development of automated design tools, etc., education and training related to the creation and use of 3D models, and practical support.
PM Promotion Group We promote PM (Project Management) services internally through planning, review, and education and training related to the PM (Project Management) service process (structure, procedures, and results), project information management, and procurement management.
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