by Eileen Villegas
The UPLB College of Engineering and Agro-Industrial Technology (CEAT) celebrated its 106th Foundation Day together with the Center of Agri-Fisheries and Biosystems Mechanization (BIOMECH) which marked its 39th Anniversary at the Electrical Engineering Auditorium on February 27, 2018.
UPLB CEAT Dean Arnold R. Elepaño, Professor Emeritus Arsenio M. Resurrecion, UPLB Foundation Inc. (UPLBFI) Executive Director Casiano S. Abrigo, Jr., CEAT College Secretary, Assistant Professor Ma. Cristine Concepcion D. Ignacio attended the event together with CEAT and BIOMECH staff and researchers, faculty members, students, alumni, retirees, and other guests.
In his opening remarks, Elepaño shared CEAT’s humble beginnings by acknowledging how the College started as the Department of Agricultural Engineering in 1912. It was elevated as Institute of Agricultural Engineering and Technology (INSAET) in 1976, and was declared as a College in 1983.
Elepaño noted how CEAT has grown from the past year in terms of its number of faculty members and students, which composes about 20% of the UPLB population. The number of students is expected to increase next year as this year’s K-12 graduates enter college. Thus, Elepaño believes that it is necessary to increase the number of staff and faculty members. “We requested 54 items on top of the current 70 permanent positions,” he said.
Outstanding personnel, topnotchers recognized
During the program, CEAT’s outstanding personnel, retirees, and service awardees were recognized for their 15 to 40 years of work in the College. Also recognized were the topnotchers of the recent professional licensure examinations for specific engineering fields and outstanding students of the past two semesters.
This year’s CEAT 2018 Outstanding Senior Faculty, Dr. Engelbert K. Peralta, who served the university for the past 40 years, expressed his gratitude in behalf of the awardees. “This is so touching for me because I came here as a student. There has been quite a change from where we (CEAT) started,” he said. He reiterated how the College during the ‘70s only offered agricultural engineering, with less developed tools and machines available. He observed that, nowadays, students are “mostly urbanized”.
In her closing remarks, Associate Dean Myra G. Borines thanked everyone for their cooperation and participation. “Without the dedication and hardwork of the faculty and staff, hindi natin mararating kung nasaan tayo (CEAT) ngayon. Let us continue working together for CEAT to deliver an excellent engineering research and extension work,” she said.
Seminar Lecture Series
Also part of the celebration was the Seminar Lecture Series with the theme “#CEATGoals: Engineering for Sustainable Development” held at the CEAT Lecture Hall on February 26, 2018.
In the morning session, Dr. Kevin F. Yaptenco, Professor at Institute of Agricultural Engineering (IAE) – Agricultural and Bio-Processing Division (ABPROD), CEAT, delivered a talk on “How Good Ideas Start: An Introduction to the Berkeley Method of Entrepreneurship”. He said that the basic thing to keep in mind is that one has to “paint a story that will convince the investors to give you money” when coming up with good ideas for entrepreneurship.
On the other hand, Mr. Lucrecio D. Delgado Jr., International Program Consultant of Entrepreneurship Philippines under the Wadhwani Foundation, talked about “Mainstreaming Student Entrepreneurship in UPLB”. He mentioned that “entrepreneurship is more on skills-based”, thus, implying that learning how to pitch one’s product is a skill.
In the afternoon session, a talk on the “Role of Young Filipino Engineers in Achieving the 17 UN’s Sustainable Goals” was delivered by Engr. Charles John C. Gunay, Instructor at the IAE -Agricultural Machinery Division (AMD), CEAT and ambassador for Clean Water Sanitation of 2030 Youth Force in the Philippines.
Gunay emphasized that the role of CEAT graduates and engineers for sustainable development is to invent and innovate. “Given tayo ng statistics and situations, we are required to solve it in an engineering way,” he added.
The last talk was on “Irrigation System Design and Management: Some Problems that Affect Equitable Distribution of Water” delivered by Engr. Domingo F. Tabbal, a former senior associate scientist at the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) and currently a freelance consultant for water management.
Tabbal stated in his talk that “the management of irrigation system is closely dependent on its design and construction—in that it cannot be managed well if it is not constructed well.” He believed that many of the problems in irrigation is social. “It is important to understand the behavior of people to know why there is resistance of farmers to change,” he added.