Manila Water Foundation (MWF) honored four Filipino engineers who made significant social impact at the MWF Prize for Engineering Excellence Awarding Ceremony on February 3 at Seda Hotel Vertis North in Quezon City.
The Manila Water Foundation Prize for Engineering Excellence (The Prize) is the only recognizing body in the Philippines that honors engineers who made notable contributions in solving development problems in the areas of water, sanitation, environment, and sustainability.
In partnership with the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and the Philippine Technological Council (PTC), the umbrella organization of the thirteen professional engineering organizations in the Philippines, The Prize honored four awardees this year -- Engr. Alexis T. Belonio, Dr. Michael A. Gragasin, Dr. Ruel M. Mojica, and Dr. Francis Aldrine A. Uy.
The 2019 MWF Prize for Engineering Excellence Awardees
As a world-renowned expert in his field,Engr. Belonio, an agricultural and biosystems engineer, disseminated his rice husk gasification technology for free which helps local communities power stove cooking, water pumping, drying and electricity with only the use of rise husk and other biowaste. Aside from the many applications of his technology, Engr. Belonio contributes to a greener environment by using biowaste with a by-product that can be used as a soil conditioner.
Dr. Gragasin, an agricultural engineer, invented the compact corn mill and impeller rice mill which made milling machines more affordable and more efficient for low-income farmers to increase their milling recovery, improve the quality of their yield and generate more profit. Using the principles of agricultural engineering, the compact corn mill and impeller rice mill address the food security needs of Filipinos. By creating affordable and efficient milling machines that produce staple Filipino food like rice and corn, Dr. Gragasin has been an answered prayer for farmers who can now afford machines that allow them to taste their own produce, increase their milling recovery, improve the quality of their yield and generate more income.
Dr. Mojica, an agricultural engineer, increased the financial viability of low-income coffee farmers through his microcontroller-based roasting machine, Bravura. His invention, considered the cheapest vertical coffee roasting machine worldwide, placed the farmers in a more advantageous position and extended their capacity to become professional coffee producers.
Lastly, Dr. Uy, a civil engineer, invented the Universal Structural Health Evaluation and Recording (USHER) System which helps structural engineers and other related professionals to conduct regular structural integrity monitoring and detect damage levels on their own. His invention is especially helpful to the disaster preparedness of the country that is vulnerable to earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanic eruptions.
Now on in its third run, MWF, PTC, and DOST conduct a biennial nationwide search for extraordinary Filipino engineers to recognize their contributions, help them achieve a wider reach and help promote their technologies to contribute to national progress.
Manila Water Foundation Chairman Rene Almendras shared, “I hope that we will be able to continue this partnership not only to recognize the greatness of Filipino engineers, but more importantly, to help promote positive change for marginalized communities through the innovations our engineers make.”