Two outstanding engineering graduates from the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) were among the winners of the 2014 Magsaysay Future Engineers/ Technologists Award, conducted by the National Academy of Science and Technology, Philippines (NAST PHL) on December 18, 2014 at the Hotel Jen.
Mr. Alvin James E. Asaytono and Mr. Gerard Jericho B. Ronquillo won first and third prizes, respectively. Asaytono, a chemical engineering graduate, presented his paper on “Enzymatic Modification of Dietary Fiber from Waste Cacao (Theobroma cacao) Pod Husks for Use as a Potential Food Ingredient”, while Ronquillo, a graduate of civil engineering discussed “Morphological and Characterization-based Verification of the Properties of Concrete with Amorphous Nanosilica Synthesized from Rice Hull Ash.” On the other hand, Mr. Andres Philip Mayol, a mechanical engineering graduate and alumnus of De La Salle University bagged the second prize for his research on “Investigation of the Drying Characteristics of Microalgae using Microwave Irradiation”. The three awardees were selected from a total of sixfinalists who competed for the said award.
Special citations were also given to the remaining finalists: (1) Mr. Alvin T. Chua of De La Salle Araneta University for his research “The Development of Modified Alkali Transesterification Reactor (Biodiesel Reactor) for Low Carbon Economy”; (2) Ms. Adelen Victoria P. Festin of the University of the Philippines Diliman for her study on “Communect: Secure Community Connection Using OpenBTS as an Alternative Base Station”, and (3) Mr. Paolo Francisco I. Matias of De La Salle University for his research entry “Investigation of the Drying Characteristics of Microalgae using Microwave Irradiation.”
The 15-minute paper presentation was followed by a brief open forum. Former Senator Ramon B. Magsaysay, Jr. and National Scientist Mercedes B. Concepcion, vice president of NAST presented the awards. In his message, Sen. Magsaysay urged the young engineers to become more competitive in their scientific and technological endeavors.
The Board of Judges was composed of Acd. Aura C. Matias, Chairperson, Acd. Reynaldo B. Vea, and Acd. Guillermo Q. Tabios. The MFET award is given annually by the National Academy of Science and Technology, Philippines (NAST PHL), the country’s highest recognition and advisory body on matters related to science and technology, with funding from the Department of Science and Technology (DOST). The award has been established as recognition to outstanding research outputs on engineering and technology at the collegiate level. The competition is open to Bachelor of Science students enrolled in an engineering program or related fields, specifically in the areas of (a) biomedical engineering, (b) machinery, (c) engineering products, (d) engineering sources, and (e) product development.
The first, second and third prize winners received a cash prize of P50,000, P30,000, and P20,000, respectively and a plaque of recognition from NAST. Special citations received a cash prize of P10,000 each and plaque of recognition. The institution of the first prize winner will be given a research grant of P500,000 upon approval of a project/research proposal by DOST. (by: Darvin Rosa)
The Philippine Science Heritage Center officially launched Salinlahi Evolution, a game development competition for college students, on December 05, 2014. Despite the news of heavy rains that day, more than 80 participants were present to witness the unveiling of this innovative project of PSHC.
A symposium with the theme “Utilizing Digital Technology as a Tool for Learning” was held as part of the launching. Professor Alleli Ester C. Domingo, an Associate Professor in the Institute of Mathematical Sciences and Physics, College of Arts and Sciences, University of the Philippines Los Baños and Professor Roel C. Cantada, an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Education, University of the Philippines Open University shared their knowledge and experience about how technology is being used as a supplement for teaching.
Also present during the launching were Ms. Luningning Samarita- Domingo, Director IV NAST Phl; Academician William G. Padolina, NAST Phl President; Ms. Ruby R. Cristobal, Chief of Science and Technology Manpower Education Research and Promotions Division, SEI; and Academcian Jaime Montoya, PSHC-NAST Working Committee Focal Person
More information about Salinlahi Evolution will be posted at www.nast.ph and at the PSHC Facebook page, www.facebook.com/pshc2013.
The Science Legislative Forum (SLF) on Water Scarcity Amidst Plenty: Trans-boundary Issues was held last November 27, 2014 at the Ramon V. Mitra Building, House of Representatives. The SLF was organized by the National Academy of Science and Technology, Philippines (NAST PHL) through its Social Sciences Division (SSD) and University of the Philippines, in partnership with the House of Representatives Committee on Science and Technology.
National Scientist Mercedes B. Concepcion, Vice President of NAST and chair of the SSD, delivered the welcome remarks on behalf of NAST President Academician William G. Padolina. Academician Agnes C. Rola, focal person of the SLF and member of the SSD, gave the objectives of the SLF, which are to present the water governance issues ranging for the need for a science-based water-allocation process, institutional arrangements for market-based mechanisms for trading of water permits, and platform for conflict resolutions.
Dr. Rosalie A. Hall, professor of Political Science at the University of the Philippines Visayas, discussed water trans-boundary issues and the need for law to govern it. Dr. Hall mentioned that water is technically owned by the state and that people have legal rights to utilize and develop the resource through permits or concessions. Dr. Hall stated that “Water is not a free good”. She also discussed the Philippine Legal Framework of Water and the challenges to the implementation of the framework. Gaps in the law to support water transfers conflict cases caused by water and the recommendation to review the water code were discussed. Her recommendations include the establishment of water data, requirement of public consultation prior to issuance of water permits or conclusion of contracts for water transfers, a platform to tackle water-transfer cases, and education of local level water actors on the rules regarding bulk water sale and market trade of water permits.