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UPD Scientists Win 2010 NAST Awards

Well-known scientists and faculty members of University of the Philippines Diliman became this year’s awardees of the National Academy for Science and Technology (NAST). The awarding ceremonies were held during the 32nd Annual Scientific Meeting last July 14-15, 2010 at Manila Hotel. The prestigious NAST Awards for the rank and title of academician were awarded to the following:

  1. Dr. Marco Nemesio Montano (Marine Science Institute, College of Science) in recognition of research outputs on the quality of Philippine natural grade carageenan, agars from different seaweeds, alginates and by-products such as seaweed fertilizers and ink for the textile industry. These have significantly contributed to the strengthening and expansion of the Philippine seaweed industry. He has also published more than 40 peer-reviewed scientific articles in local and international journals and holds a utility patent on seaweed-based carageenan gels.
  2. Dr. Fernando Siringan (Marine Science Institute, College of Science) for his significant accomplishments in environmental changes and processes from geological to historical time scales that have helped local and national leaders and environmental managers reach informed decisions.
  3. Dr. Guillermo Tabios (Department of Civil Engineering, College of Engineering) in recognition of the pipe network model with optimization he developed for the West Concession of Metro Manila and an optimization simulation model for monthly reservoir operations of Angat Reservoir.
  4. Dr. Kerlvin Rodolfo (National Institute of Geological Sciences) for his significant contributions to the field of geology and volcanology: the deep-sea drilling research in the Philippine Sea which showed the cycles of arc sundering in the Marianas Region  and his studies with Filipino scientists on the Mayon and Pinatubo lahars, just to name a few.

NAST Academicians from L-R: Dr. Gisela Concepcion (MSI), National Scientist Dr. Lourdes Cruz (MSI), Dr. Marco Nemesio Montano (MSI), Dr. Rhodora Azanza (MSI), NAST Corresponding Member Dr. Kelvin Rodolfo (NIGS), and Dr. Fernando Siringan (MSI) (Photo Courtesy of Dr. Gil Jacinto of the UP MSI)

On the other hand, the NAST-LELEDFI (LEL Educational Development Foundation, Inc.) Award aims to recognize outstanding research works that contribute to the advancement of the country’s knowledge and practice in Tropical Medicine. The 2010 NAST-LELEDFI Award for Outstanding Research in Tropical Medicine was given to Dr. Windell Rivera and Vanissa Ong (Institute of Biology) on the current advances in the study of trichonomas vaginalis infections in the Philippines. Trichomonas vaginalis is a human urogenital pathogen that causes trichomoniasis, the most common nonviral parasitic sexually transmitted infection in the world.

Awards were also given to Outstanding Young Scientists who have made significant contributions to science and technology:

  1. Dr. Fredegusto Guido David of (Institute of Mathematics, College of Science)  in recognition of his outstanding research in computational biomechanics, an inter-disciplinary area that utilizes mathematical modeling and computational methods to solve significant and relevant medical and biological problems.
  2. Ms. Rachel June Gotanco (Marine Science Institute)  in recognition of her pioneering and outstanding research in the field of molecular biology specifically on DNA marker development and their application in the understanding of the ecology and evolution of marine organisms and their management.
  3. Dr. Eric Galapon (National Institute of Physics) in recognition of his significant original contributions in the field of theoretical physics specifically on the fundamental issue of time in quantum physics.

NAST is the government’s highest recognition body on science and technology. It gives awards to Filipino scientists whose technological endeavors aim at advancing the state of Philippine science and technology.

By Gracious Romero

UP Holds Forum on Reducing Effects of Rainfall Variability on Life, Food and Property

The University of the Philippines (UP) conducted a forum on “Reducing Risks and Disasters due to Rainfall Variability: Protecting Life, Food and Property from Flood and Drought” at the National Institute for Science and Mathematics Education (NISMED) Auditorium, UP Diliman last July 28, 2010 (Wednesday).

The presentors were Dr. Fernando Siringan of the UP Marine Science Institute (UP-MSI), Dr. Felino Lansigan of College of Arts and Sciences, University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB), and Dr. Guillermo Tabios of the College of Engineering, UP Diliman.  Dr. Siringan presented his team’s paper on “Water-related Hazards in the Philippines”. He pointed out the importance of downscale modeling and additional instrumentation in simulating extreme climate signals. Dr. Siringan also mentioned the possibility that the Philippines may experience prolonged dry periods of 3 years or more; other extreme events are also expected. However, such cases can be prevented through watershed reforestation and critical land-use management and having small water impounds. Dr. Siringan’s team members are Dr. Laura David (UP-MSI), Dr. Flaviana Hilario (Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration or PAG-ASA), and Dr. Tolentino Moya (College of Science, UP Diliman).

The second presentor was Dr. Lansigan who discussed “Food Vulnerability amidst Climate Variability.” He mentioned some of the effects and impacts of climate variability on food productivity, and on dependability of water supply. He also presented strategies like rationalizing agricultural land use plan and strengthening research and development programs in UP. The members of Dr. Lansigan’s team are: Dr. Candido A. Cabrido (School of Urban and Regional Planning, UP Diliman), Dr. Jesusita Coladilla, Dr. Rogelio Concepcion and Dr. Ma. Victoria Espaldon (School of Environmental Science and Management, UPLB), Dr. Rex Victor Cruz, Dr. Juan Pulhin, and Dr. Rodel Lasco (College of Forestry and Natural Resources, UPLB), and Dr. Oscar Zamora (College of Agriculture, UPLB).

Lastly, Dr. Tabios presented his team’s paper on “Institutional Courses of Action to Reduce Water-related Risks and Disasters”. He mentioned that disaster risk management (DRM) requires multi-disciplinary and multi-phase solutions to reduce disaster risk. Several courses of actions are proposed for DRM or disaster risk reduction: prevention and mitigation, alertness and preparedness, response, and recovery. According to Dr. Tabios, DRM should be accomplished with innovative science and technology, accompanying decision support system, sound national policies, adequate management instruments, enabling laws and regulation and strengthened institutions with strategic multi-sector alliances.

The forum was a joint project of the UP Office of the President, Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs; and the College of Engineering, College of Science, School of Urban and Regional Planning, College of Social Work and Community Development, College of Social Science and Philosophy of UP Diliman, and the College of Forestry and the Natural Resources, College of Agriculture, College of Engineering and Agro-industrial Technology, School of Environmental Science and Management of UPLB.

DOST Holds the Opening Ceremonies of the 2010 National Science and Technology Week

The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) launched the 2010 National Science and Technology Week (NSTW) celebration on July 19, 2010 at the Centennial Hall of the Manila. The event is the first of the two-day opening ceremony for NSTW under the theme “Filipinnovation: The Way Forward”.

Secretary Mario G. Montejo started the program with a keynote message on the future of Philippine Technology. As an inventor and a technopreneur, Sec. Montejo stressed the importance Philippine innovation and supporting the local industries. He suggested adapting foreign technologies and improving them to suit local needs. Sec. Montejo also announced DOST’s research and development initiatives in the areas of mass transit, weather monitoring systems, malnutrition alleviation, dengue control, and election counting machines.

The 2010 NSTW Award Ceremony commenced after Sec. Montejo’s inspiring message. The Awards were given to commendable researchers for their exceptional research and development projects and technology commercialization collaborations. Among the awardees were Dr. Caesar Saloma for the Outstanding Science Administrator Award, Dr. Eulito Bautista Dr. Lilian Pateña for the Outstanding Technology Commercialization Award, and Dr. Guillermo Tabios II and Dr. Victoria Lapitan et al for the Outstanding Research and Development Awards. The awarding ceremony and the program were then brought to a close with a special number from the Modern String Quartet.

Sec. Montejo and his wife, Mrs. Maria Rosario Montejo, with assistance from Undersecretary Fortunato dela Peña and Undersecretary Graciano Yumul, then performed the ribbon cutting ceremony to open the exhibits of various DOST’s agencies to the public. The DOST exhibits provided updates of their current research and development initiatives to members of Research and Development Institutions, the Academe, students, and the media.

For more information on National Science and Technology Week, you could contact the NSTW secretariat at (02) 837-2071 loc. 2074. You could also visit NSTW’s official website at http://nstw.dost.gov.ph.

By Cedrik Ben Gayares

Plays by Filipino Americans

The Pearl Project

This SUMMER, some of the finest Filipino and American artists will converge at Theatre Row (The Clurman Theater).

DO NOT MISS the world premiere of original works by award-winning Filipino-American Playwrights.

July 6-35, 2010, www.TicketCentral.com

Click HERE for more details.

Dulaang UP Launches its 35th Season

Dulaang Unibersidad ng Pilipinas (Dulaang UP), the University of the Philippines’ official performing theatre arts group launches its 35th season with the theme “Return Engagement: Plays Deserving a Second Look” on July 22, 3:30 pm at its improved home, the Wilfrido Ma. Guerrero Theatre, 2nd Floor, Palma Hall, Diliman, Quezon City.

The season will restage various DUP productions, among which are Orosman at Zafira on August 11-29, a musical hailed as 2008’s first great production with Dexter Santos as director and original music by Carol Bello; Shock Value..Take 2 on September 14 –October 3, a new chapter is added in this exciting comedy that mirrors the wacky and controversial truth about showbiz life with Floy Quintos as playwright and Alexander Cortez as director; Isang Panaginip na Fili on November 24-December 12 is another powerful and compelling post-modern musicale of Rizal’s El Filibustersimo and nominated as 22nd Aliw Awards Best Musical production under the direction of Floy Quintos with Cj Javier providing the music; and Amphitryon on February 16 to March 6, a Filipino translation by Jerry Respeto based on Heinrich Von Kleist’s play with Josefina Estrella as the director.

Also, UP Playwrights’ Theatre on its 22nd season will present Floy Quintos’ new play Fake on May 4-13 at the Teatro Hermogenes Ylagan with Dulaang UP founder Tony Mabesa as director. Aside from these theatre productions, Dulaang UP has two upcoming fund-raising efforts: Backstage Sale with various Dulaang UP artists on July 27-30 at the College of Arts and Letters’ new building and the launching of Friends of Dulaang UP on July 22.

For further details, please contact telephone numbers (632) 9261349 and 9818500 local 249 and Telefax (632) 4337840.

UP SMYPC launches Student Packaging Competition

The University of the Philippines Diliman (UP) in cooperation with the San Miguel Yamamura Packaging Corporation (SMYPC) launched the first UP-SMYPC Student Packaging Design Competition last June 29, 2010 at the Beta Epsilon Multi-Media Room of the College of Engineering. Representatives from SMYPC and the student and the faculty members of the College of Engineering and the College of Fine Arts attended the launch.

The memorandum of agreement for the competition was ceremonially signed by UP Chancellor Sergio Cao and SMYPC President Ferdinand Tumpalan to officially launch the competition. Chancellor Cao and Mr. Tumpalan spoke about the competition’s aim to improve the talents of the future engineers and industrial designers. The contest is also a means of strengthening of the collaboration between the SMYPC and UP. Professor Aura Matias, Chair of the Department of Industrial Engineering and Operations Research, and Dr. Rowena Guevara, Dean of the College of Engineering, also addressed the audience with the contest’s collaborative and innovative purpose.

The Competition calls for packaging design entries from all UP Diliman Engineering and Industrial Design students. Individual participants or groups, with guidance from a faculty adviser, may provide a single entry for the contest The entries should address consumer needs such as convenience, environment-friendliness and monetary value. Five judges from the SMYPC would judge the entries based their graphics design, functional design, and material design. Deadline for submission of entries is on September 24, 2010.

For more details about the competition, contact the Department of Industrial Engineering and Operations Research at the following numbers:

Landline: 434-3636
UP Trunkline: 920-5301 local 5520
Fax Number: 434-3640

By Cedrik Ben Gayares

ASTI hosts FP7 Seminar

The Advance Science and Technology Institute (ASTI) hosted an Awareness Seminar on European Commission’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) on June 24, 2010 at the EDSA Shangri-La Manila. The Seminar was done in partnership with Sigma Orionis, a private company that aims to improve research in Information and Communication Technologies (ICT). The company is also the Project Coordinator of SEACOOP, an initiative that is backed by the European Commission and the ASEAN Secretariat that aims to improve cooperation in ICT research between Europe and Southeast Asia. Representatives from various ICT and electronics based research institutions such the University of the Philippines-Diliman, Ateneo De Manila University, ASTI, and Globe Telecoms attended the Awareness Seminar.

 

Mr Roger. Torrenti, CEO of Sigma Orionis, presented the FP7 as the main research funding programme in Europe. The programme dedicates an annual budget of one billion Euros for funding ICT based research projects. Projects proposals that would be submitted to the FP7 should provide innovative ICT based objectives which could potentially produce the greatest impact from the resources granted by the FP7. Philippine research institutions and ICT based enterprises are encouraged to collaborate with three different European institutions from three different European Union members in establishing an ICT based project that could avail funding from the FP7.
Inquiries about the research funding programme may be directed to the Advance Science and Technology Institute the SEACOOP project partner in the Philippines.

 

E-mail: info@asti.gov.ph
Website: www.asti.dost.gov.ph

 

By Cedrik Ben Gayares

Asian Institute of Management Hosts AAPBS Mid-Year Conference

The Asian Institute of Management (AIM) organised the regional Mid-Year Conference of the Association of Asia-Pacific Business Schools (AAPBS) on May 27-28, 2010. The conference was organized through the collaboration between AIM, AAPBS and the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) International. The Conference, themed “Building Research Bridges: Networking across Asia-Pacific”, was held at the Yulo Caseroom, Global Distance Learning Center at the AIM Conference Center Manila. Delegates from various Business Schools of the Asia Pacific region attended the two-day event to discuss the challenges that face Business Schools in wake of the present Financial Crisis. Spokespeople from various distinguished business institutions provided the participants new research initiatives and novel methods of training that may be adapted to improve or create new business programs.

 

The first day of the conference was divided into different sessions where various members of business organizations share their insights into and expertise on different business practices and teaching methods. Representatives from the National University of Singapore, KAIST University, Keio Business School, Fudan University, and the Asian Institute of Management showcased novel methods of teaching business skills and strategies on crafting competitive business courses. They also showed the participants new ways of reaching out to socio-economic groups through improved social entrepreneurship initiatives and cross-national market segment studies.The second day was dedicated to Case Teaching and Discussion. Dr. Roger King of the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology described the benefits of teaching Case Studies and how both instructors and students alike respond positively to such courses. Prof. Nieves Confessor of the Asian Institute of Management then engaged the participants with a dynamic Case discussion about how Ramon Magsaysay Awardee Ek Sonn Chan was able to convert the ailing Phnom Penh Water Supply Authority into a competitive potable water provider.

Visit the conference website at http://aapbs.aim.edu/ for inquiries and details.

By Cedrik Ben Gayares

DECL Celebrates 100 Years

The Department of English and Comparative Literature (DECL), College of Arts and Letters opened its year-long centennial celebration on June 18, 2010. This coincided with the 102nd Foundation day of the University of the Philippines and the centennial of four other units. In the morning, the DECL contingent paraded around the Academic Oval with representatives of the Institutes of Biology, Mathematics and the Departments of History and European Languages. An exhibit showcasing publications, awards and other achievements of DECL in the past 100 years opened at the Faculty Center lobby in the afternoon. Chancellor Sergio Cao, College of Arts and Letters Dean Dr. Elena Mirano and the DECL Chairman Dr. Adelaida Lucero officiated the ribbon cutting to open the exhibit.

A program followed at the Claro M. Recto Hall of Bulwagang Rizal. Dean Mirano gave the opening message. Dr. Lucero, on the other hand, presented the history of the department in her powerpoint presentation entitled “Celebrating the Glory and the Grandeur of the Department of English and Comparative Literature.” Chancellor Cao challenged the faculty of the department to help increase enrollment and to plan sustainable initiatives.

The program featured performances by DECL alumni and students: a Shakespeare performance poem by Jeena Marquez-Manaois, an interpretative singing of John Donne’s “Batter My Heart” by Dr. Jonathan Malicsi and a modern dance on Mi Ultimo Adios excerpted from Itim Usu by Myra Beltran.

Dr. Adelaida Lucero, Chancellor Sergio Cao, Dr. Elena Milano, National Artist for Literature Prof. Bienvenido Lumbera (at the background), Professor Emeritus Amelia Lapeña-Bonifacio, Former DECL chairman Dr. Elmer Ordonia, Professor Emeritus Dr. Thelma Quintanar, Professor Emeritus Dr. Gemino Abad, and DECL Alumni and former College of Mass Communication dean Dr. Georgina Encanto

Chancellor Cao addressing the DECL faculty and alumni

By Gracious Romero

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