The search for the Manila Water Foundation Prize for Engineering Excellence (The Prize) is on the move.
The Prize, in partnership with the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and Philippine Technological Council (PTC), is a nationwide search for engineers who manifest excellence engineering competence, inspiring passion to make a difference, and outstanding commitment to the development of communities resulting in projects that champion water, sanitation, environment, and sustainability. The journey in determining the awardees of The Prize requires a thorough and intensive selection process.
On September 18, semi-finalists of The Prize were put on a spotlight through panel presentations and preliminary interviews. Semi-finalists, who were engineers equally notable from their respective fields, were evaluated according to their accomplishments, impact, social responsibility, and model of morality, credibility, and integrity.
Gearing up towards the announcement of the finalists of the Prize, MWF partnered with Rappler to conduct a roundtable discussion, which aimed to initiate a discourse on the role of Filipino engineers in solving developmental problems. The discussion was led by panelists Mr. Reginald M. Andal, Executive Director of Manila Water Foundation, Engr. Federico A. Monsada, President of the Philippine Technological Council, and Dr. Ricardo F. Orge, 2017 MWF Prize for Engineering Excellence and host Issa Litton. After the discussion, MWF through its Executive Director, Mr. Reginald Andal, announced the finalists for the Prize.
The Final Six
From the 11 semi-finalists, six emerged as the finalists of this year’s search (in no particular order):
- Engr. Rey A. Ramos, Civil Engineering Faculty at Carlos Hilado Memorial State College–Talisay Campus, Negros Occidental, invented the Bottle-Net Life Jacket, a low-cost floatation device made from fishing nets and recycled plastic wastes. It aims to provide livelihood to marginalized communities.
- Engr. Alexis T. Belonio, Senior Research Fellow at the Philippine Rice Research Institute, Science City of Muñoz in Nueva Ecija, created a rice husk gassifier technology that can convert agricultural waste to a cheaper source of clean gaseous fuel. It can also help mitigate greenhouse gases and carbon dioxide emissions.
- Dr. Ruel M. Mojica, Professor V at the Cavite State University, Indang, Cavite, invented a coffee-roasting machine that will help increase farmers’ livelihood opportunities while strengthening the local coffee industry.
- Dr. Ronel S. Pangan, Engineer III at the Center for Agri-Fisheries and Biosystems Mechanization (BIOMECH), College of Engineering and Agro-industrial Technology, University of the Philippines Los Baños, Laguna, designed a seaweed drying system that helps farmers to produce quality, sustainable, and income-generating seaweeds.
- Dr. Michael A. Gragasin, Supervising Science Research Specialist at the Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization, Science City of Muñoz, Nueva Ecija, worked on improving rice and corn mills and making them affordable for Filipino farmers. This will help make the production of rice and corn in the country more sustainable.
- Dr. Francis Aldrine A. Uy, Dean of the School of Civil, Environmental and Geological Engineering, Mapua University, Manila, came up with the Universal Structural Health Evaluation and Recording System (USHER), an earthquake preventive measure that can assess the health and safety of buildings.
Finalists will undergo background investigation and final interview to determine who will be awarded of the Prize. Through the Prize, MWF and its partners, PTC and DOST, hope to inspire and empower all Filipino engineers to serve the country better through engineering solutions resulting in positive social impacts.