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I found the article below as I casually googled my name to see what type of links would appear after I did. The article was written sometime during the centennial celebrations of the College of Engineering (established in June 13, 1910) of UP Diliman and appeared on the mobile version of the Philippine Daily Inquirer. I was pleasantly surprised to see that I was quoted in the article, assuring my name's inclusion among those honored by the College and the University during the Engineering Centennial even if it was only a quotation for the College's commitment to honor, excellence and service.
Who says engineering is boring?
June 27, 2010
WITH 7,000 students, the University of the Philippines College of Engineering (UPCOE) has the biggest population among the state university’s units.
But while dean Rowena Cristina Guevarra is proud that the college has reached a new milestone, its centennial, she also wants to call attention to the work done by its research and extension arm, the National Engineering Center (NEC) founded in 1978.
NEC has been offering services in engineering education, research and development, technical consultancy, and publications and engineering information for the past 32 years.
It has specialized research centers that develop technologies for scaling up or bringing to the next level prototypes by government, industry and other partners. These are the Training Center for Applied Geodesy and Photogrammetry, the Building Research Service, the National Hydraulic Research Center and the National Center for Transportation Studies (NCTS).
Guevarra strongly believes that knowledge has to be shared.
She cites the Efficient Lighting Management Curricula for Asean. NEC academic sharing came in when the college and NEC worked with Chulalongkorn University in Thailand, Hanoi University of Technology in Vietnam, Helsinki University of Technology in Finland, and University Karishruhe in Germany – schools in the Asia Link Program of the European Commission – to help selected Southeast Asian countries promote efficient lighting.
The move was in response to the slow adoption by household of the more energy efficient compact fluorescent lamps (CFL).
“Architects and engineers light up houses and buildings. So we made [the lighting management] curricula which can be integrated into undergraduate curricula or offered as a specialization in graduate programs, or as continuing education courses,” Guevarra explains.
NEC has a UP Enterprise and Incubation program to develop technologies and incubate “technopreneurs.”
But Guevarra says engineering students also need “soft skills” in communication, project management and leadership and in marketing to help move innovations.
As a result of their more rounded training, engineers can really make a difference, she says, pointing out, “Engineers now make up most of Cabinet-level movers of Korea and China.”
Guevarra says the training students get at UP enables them to develop useful technologies even before they leave the school. She cites the software for on-line enrollment that the university has been using for 10 years. Software, she says, can take as few as six months to develop and, by the very nature of the Internet, can spread fast.
Developing equipment, like drilling instruments, takes longer, at least two years for “roll-out, improvements and tweaks here and there,” she says. Patenting and finding a partner for commercialization take at least 10 years.
At a recent forum, which was part of UPCOE’s centennial celebration, Diliman chancellor Sergio Cao said public service was now legally required of all units since UP had become the National University.
NCTS Director Jose Regin Regidor said, “The College of Engineering’s first 100 years is ... also the prelude to another 100 years of excellence and a pledge to continue serving the Filipino people.”
Doctor Allan Nerves, officer-in-charge of the Professional Engineering Training Division, said NEC hoped to continue working “to make engineering a tool for public service.”
Nerves said even concerns about energy and sustainable development had engineering solutions. The college, he said, welcomed collaboration in the solution of these problems as “our mandate of public service.”
As part of the centennial rites, the UP College of Engineering honored 100 outstanding graduates “who have defined the first 100 years of the College and will serve as the role models in the next 100 years.”
They were chosen by the college and the UP Alumni Engineers headed by Roger Victor Buendia. Guevarra (Electrical Engineering, 1985), the first woman dean of the college, was among the honorees.
Four other women were honored: Science and Technology Secretary Estrella Alabastro (Chemical Engineering, 1961); first UP Open University chancellor Ma. Cristina Padolina (ChE, 1966); Rizalina Mantaring (EE, 1982) and Aura Matias, Ph.D. (Industrial Engineering, 1982), project manager and specialist of NEC’s Public Assessment of Water Services (PAWS) program.
Among the other awardees were Juan Tiongson (Mechanical Engineering, 1921) and Joel Joseph Marciano Jr. (EE, 1994), the youngest.
Pre-war poet-novelist and notable bridge player Dominador Ilio (CE and Geological Engineering 1939) taught at the college and was permanent secretary of the UP Alumni Engineers for many years.
Another awardee, Dr. Leonardo Liongson (ChE, 1969), mentioned that among the college’s distinguished graduates was “Nicanor Jimenez, civil engineer, military officer, president of the Philippine National Railways, ambassador to Korea and dad of (Inquirer) editor Letty (Jimenez-Magsanoc).”
Other graduates who went into public service included Alejandro Melchor Sr. (CE, 1924), after whom the engineering building is named); Senators Gaudencio Antonino (CE, 1933) and Vicente Paterno (ME, 1948), UP President Emanuel Soriano (ME, 1959), and Prime Minister Cesar Virata (ME, 1962).
Other graduates became business magnates like Felipe F. Cruz (CE, 1941), David M. Consunji (CE, 1946), and Cesar Buenaventura (CE, 1959).
Gaston Ortigas (ME, 1962) has a peace institute at Ateneo de Manila University named after him, one of the original members of the Coalition for Peace (1987), a grassroots movement.
Given this wide diversity of paths taken by UPCOE graduates, Guevarra seems right in stressing that, “Engineering is NOT boring.”
©2010 www.inquirer.net all rights reserved
Last Friday, a rally was held just outside the Ateneo De Manila University along Katipunan Avenue to protest the construction of Blue Residences, one of the SM group’s high-rise condominium projects that is located near the corner of Katipunan Ave.-Aurora Blvd. where a mini golf course and a few small shops used to be. The protesters wielded placards stating what could have been applicable to many of the developments now standing along Katipunan and just across from Ateneo and Miriam College. This is not really a new issue the protesters were dealing with but something that, dare I say, has festered for quite some time now.
The issue of land use and zoning along Katipunan is a continuing struggle against what the Quezon City government has maintained as its policy for “spot” zoning to accommodate high density residential and commercial development along a stretch of Circumferential Road 5 that used to be predominantly low density with small shops and restaurants lining the west side of the road and separated from the main highway by an island and a two-way service road where local traffic including tricycles flowed. This was the Katipunan I first started to be familiar with in the late 80′s when I entered UP as a freshman. Miriam was still known as Maryknoll at the time and was run nuns prior to it becoming the secular but still Catholic institution that it is today.
Traffic was more manageable along Katipunan then and a fleet of blue school buses served the Ateneans. It was a case of high occupancy transport that sadly has digressed to high vehicular volume, low occupancy traffic that Ateneo and Miriam are associated with today. Tricycles then were confined to the west service road and crossed Katipunan only at the intersections, which were strategically located just across from the main gates of Ateneo and Miriam. These intersections used to be signalized but the settings were often manipulated to favor Ateneo and Miriam traffic during the peak periods, much to the frustration of through traffic.
Fast forward to the present when the service road was removed along with the island to given way to what the previous MMDA dispensation referred to as a clearway policy to encourage faster traffic speeds combined with the much maligned U-turn scheme as applied to Katipunan. The smaller shops and restaurants have been replaced by condominiums and other establishments that have generated much traffic (not that Ateneo and Miriam have not been responsible for congestion) and which obviously do not have enough parking resulting in cars parked all over along the avenue and effectively reducing road capacity.
An article written by Randy David through his regular column at the Philippine Daily Inquirer came out today to speak about the Professor’s personal experience about Katipunan and his granddaughter’s views on development. Entitled “Katipunan Blues,” it presents a very honest and a very common observation of what Katipunan has become through the years and what different generations think about the development (or degeneration) along the particular stretch of the avenue. Its conclusion is something to ponder about and applicable not only for Quezon City and the rest of Metro Manila but for other cities across the country as well.
Is it too late for Katipunan given all the developments that have been permitted along this road? Did the universities do their part to prevent this in the first place? Or were they part of what Katipunan is today? Does Quezon City (or other local governments for that matter) even know what land use planning is about and what its policies on accommodating development have brought about in many other place? Could the DENR through its EIA process or the HLURB through its own instruments have prevented the deterioration of communities? There seems to be too many questions and we’re running out of answers for these.
Perhaps the answers were there but authorities and officials responsible refused to take heed of these or turned a blind eye to the issues. Perhaps the various developments and SM Blue were allowed because local governments became too eager for developments that also have been equated with revenues for the cities. Still, established systems and processes like the DENR-EMB’s and the HLURB’s are supposed to be there to ensure responsible and appropriate development.
We are often dumbfounded at what has actually happened and the outcomes clearly show our failures. Perhaps we are too blinded with the notion of development that we forget that it is also our responsibility to guide proponents. A lot of soul-searching should be undertaken to rethink how we plan and develop our cities. Such should properly incorporate principles of sustainability including those that address issues pertaining to transport and land use. We have a long way to go towards sustainable development as applied to city planning and development. But we need to start now if we are to even achieve a fraction of what we’d like our cities, our communities to become. We also need for champions to come forward among our current leaders and officials if only to bring order to what is perceived as chaotic development.