Category Archives: Science, Health, and Technology

DLSU Eco Car Team places 1st in Shell Eco-Marathon Challenger Philippines

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In the recently concluded Shell Eco Marathon Philippines, held last February 2-5, 2017 at Mabalacat, Pampanga, the DLSU Eco Car Team placed first in the Urban Concept Gasoline category.

A total of 26 teams composed of 260 Filipino engineering students from 17 educational institutions all over converged at the Clark International Speedway in Pampanga to take part in the first-ever Shell Eco-marathon Challenger Philippines.

A version of the Shell Eco-marathon (SEM) Asia, the renowned global competition challenges student-teams to design and build innovative and energy-efficient cars of the future.

For the competition, the students will be utilizing an energy mix that includes biofuels such as ethanol, to technologies such as compressed natural gas and gas-to-liquids (GTL) apart from conventional fuels like gasoline and diesel.eco3

Shell Eco-marathon is one of the advocacy projects that global energy and gas technology leader Shell drives its future energy visions of powering growth more sustainably by promoting innovation, energy efficiency, and upholding smarter mobility through smarter products, smarter use, and smarter infrastructure. The company also diversifies the energy mix by pioneering cleaner-burning energy resources such as natural gas.

With SEM Asia competition as the highlight of Make the Future festivities, visitors will also experience the ideas, contribute their own, and join the journey to an energy-efficient, low-carbon future. eco4

Through virtual reality and hands-on experiential zones, visitors will be able to explore what is happening now and what the future of energy might look like, from renewable energy to natural gas and low-carbon technologies. Visitors can also learn of the various innovations from across Asia and participate in interactive zones about the future of energy, mobility, and innovation by Shell and its partners.

Winners of the local Shell Eco-marathon competitions will be supported by Shell in their entry to the regional tilt. To know more about the event, check out www.shell.com/ecomarathon.

University Fellow marks 200th Scopus article

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University Fellow and Chemistry Department Full Professor Dr. Consolation Yasaña Ragasa recently published her 200th Scopus-indexed, abstracted article. Of the 200 articles, 137 were penned between the period of 2014-2016–one of the most productive for any scientist based in the Philippines. This surge in productivity also coincides with her appointment as a pioneer faculty member of De La Salle University’s Science and Technology Complex.

Dr. Ragasa has published extensively in natural products, phytochemistry and pharmacognosy journals with her research focusing on the isolation and structure elucidation of the chemical constituents of Philippine plants.

She is the second faculty member from De La Salle University to earn this record. Last year, Vice Chancellor for Research Dr. Raymond Girard Tan of the Chemical Engineering Department reached the 200th mark.

Scopus is the largest abstract and citation database of peer-reviewed literature: scientific journals, books and conference proceedings.

DLSU Eco Car Team to compete in Driver’s World Championship

Eco Car Team 2016 A

Photo by Noel Pabalate, Manila Bulletin

Following up on their second place run during the 2015 Shell Eco-Marathon held in Rizal Park Manila, The DLSU Eco Car Team is set to compete in the Driver’s World Championship (DWC) at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London.

The team will be showcasing “Archer,” its entry in last year’s regional qualifier race at the Rizal Park in Manila. In last year’s qualifier, the Archer set the highest record in the Urban Concept-Battery Electric Category with a mileage of 78 km/kWh and placed second in the Petrol fuel subcategory after recording 159 km/l.

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Photo by Noel Pabalate, Manila Bulletin

The Archer itself will be a technology testbed for more advanced models and future energy efficient production cars. It sports a lightweight and aerodynamic design, an in-house developed motor controller, and is composed of carbon fiber and composite materials.

To monitor the various subsystems of the car, the Eco Car Team developed its own android app dubbed “Archer-Board” for diagnostic and monitoring purposes. The app has the capability to measure the car’s speed, temperature, battery level, efficiency, and computer power consumption.

The DWC is a gathering of the world’s best Urban Concept car teams that will compete on the basis of energy-efficiency and is an innovation competition that challenges students from universities from across the world to design, build, and race energy-efficient automobiles.

DLSU researchers to receive 2016 NAST Awards

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The National Academy of Science and Technology (NAST) will bestow awards on three De La Salle University researchers, including a Mechanical Engineering (ME) faculty who will receive the NAST Outstanding Young Scientist Award, in July.

ME Associate Dr. Aristotle Ubando will be recognized as Outstanding Young Scientist in the field of Mechanical Engineering for his research contribution to the field of algae and engineering. His Algae Bioenergy Laboratory is at the forefront of research on algal systems in the country. He is currently working on how to improve the production process of the algal industry and the automation of coco-sugar production.

NAST also notified Biology Associate Professor Dr. Isagani Janairo that he is the recipient of the 2016 Talent Search for Young Scientists (TSYS) for his paper, “Effects of biomineralization peptide topology on the structure and catalytic activity of Pd nanomaterials.” The study delves on coral-like Pd nanostructures and highlights the importance of topological arrangement in nanostructure formation and catalytic activity.

Likewise, CHED/PHERNet Sustainability Studies Program Research Assistant Christina Cayamanda will receive a TSYS special citation for her co-authored paper, “P-graph approach to optimal operational adjustment in polygeneration plants under conditions of process in operability.”

Her paper explores systems that integrate different processes and how they are susceptible to failure because of the manner that they are interconnected. The study scrutinizes the consequences of such lapses.

NAST is the highest recognition and scientific advisory body of the Philippines mandated to support outstanding achievements in science and technology.

 

Sony Pictures awards environmental grant to DLSU

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Sony Pictures, through the efforts of Sony Global Business Services, awarded a Greener World Grant to De La Salle University to support the community efforts of the Br. Alfred Shields FSC Ocean Research (SHORE) Center in Lian, Batangas.

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Part of the grant will go to the improvement of the tourism facilities in Sitio Kay Reyna, where residents are being trained as eco-tour guides and reef rangers in order to protect the rich marine life in their area.

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Last April 30, a total of 30 Sony volunteers together with SHORE Director Dr. Wilfredo Y. Licuanan and SHORE Center staff planted 300 mangrove seedlings and conducted snorkeling activities to explore the corals and other sea organisms in the Sitio Kay Reyna Marine protected Area.

DLSU professors top research productive Filipinos and Philippine-based scientists according to SCOPUS

 

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With the recent publication of his 200th Scopus-indexed article, Dr. Raymond Girard R. Tan of the Chemical Engineering Department was named as the top research productive Filipino and Philippine-based scientist, according to the Scopus-Elsevier cumulative records.

Dr. Consolacion Y. Ragasa of the Chemistry Department and Dr. Elmer Dadios of the Manufacturing Engineering and Management Department were also cited as part of the Top 20 research productive Filipinos and Philippine-based scientists, with the former ranking second.

 

DLSU Wins in Sikat Design Challenge 2015

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Team Animo of De La Salle University placed second in the recent 2015 Sikat Design Challenge. Six teams presented their pitches last February 2 at The Loft, Manansala Tower, Makati City. The top three teams, including the Team Animo, were awarded after the pitches. The team from the Mapua Institute of Technology emerged as the champions while Team Animo of DLSU and the team from ADMU shared the seat as runner ups.

Team Animo DLSU-Manila is comprised of Jeremy Magdaong, Gabriel Baltazar,  Joshah Chua, Reii Nakano, Calvin Tiu, Vance Vazquez, Engr. Jeremias Gonzaga (Faculty Adviser), Engr. Isidro Marfori (Faculty Adviser), and Mr. Charlie Valerio (Industry Coach from Lopez Group Company)

For four months, the twelve teams were asked to create, to develop, and document an idea that would help their chosen community. For the DLSU team, the idea of an integrated modular microhydro generator and aquaponics system was developed for Sitio Apia in Antipolo, Rizal. This would help the community generate electricity with the micro-hydro while producing high value crops and fishes with the aquaponics system.

The 2015 Sikat Design Challenge is the country’s first national inter-university competition which focuses purely on Renewable Energy (RE) solutions targeted at the rural sector. It is organized by the Sikat Solar Car Foundation, Inc and it is captured by the tagline “Inspiring the Youth, Collaborating with All Stakeholders, and Uplifting the Lives of the Rural Communities.”

The Sikat Design Challenge has 12 participating teams from different universities across the country, including De La Salle University’s Team Animo. The other participating universities are the following:

  1. Ateneo De Manila University
  2. Batangas State University
  3. Bulacan State University
  4. Foundation University
  5. Mapua Institute of Technology (MIT)
  6. Negros Oriental State University
  7. Polytechnic University of the Philippines
  8. St. Paul University – Dumaguete
  9. Siliman University
  10. University of San Carlos – Cebu
  11. University of Santo Thomas

Monitoring Biodiversity in the Verde Island Passage

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The ocean has been a source of livelihood, scientific discoveries, and wonder for numerous generations. However, pressures from unrestricted human activities is posing a continued threat to the delicate ecological network. Understanding the interconnection between the ecosystem, the thousands of species living within it, and human activities can further efforts towards, ultimately, preserving this finite resource.

Last May 19 to June 4, De La Salle University and its partner institutions retrieved 30 Autonomous Reef Monitoring Structures (ARMS), which were deployed in 2012 at the Verde Island Passage.

Situated between the provinces of Batangas, Oriental and Occidental Mindoro, Marinduque, and Romblon, the Verde Island Passage spans more than 1.14 million hectares and is deemed as the “center of the center” of marine biodiversity in the world. The passage is home to 1,736 species of marine species and has one of the largest concentrations of coral in the world.

The ARMS units used in the three year underwater study are meant to aid in the understanding of coral reef building in the marine ecosystem, mimic complex coral reef structures, and allow organisms to thrive in the makeshift reef.

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The ARMS Project team (Top L-R): Aaron Heartmann, Shannon Boyle, Max Sudnovsky, Mark Little, Rusty Brainard, Chris Meyer, & Aji Wahyu (Middle L-R): Jeanette Clark, Emma Ransome, Molly Timmers, Criselda Castor, Patrick Cordillo, & Yuli Syamsuni (Bottom L-R): Karen Perez, Sarahmae Buen, Lea Avilla, Andrianus Sembiring, Don Dumale, Marivene Santos, & Aleta Nunez.

DLSU’s partner institutions include the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), the Philippine National Museum of Natural History, the University of the Philippines – Marine Science Institute (UP-MSI), the American government’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Smithsonian Institute, United States Agency International Development (USAID), and the Indonesian Biodiversity Research Center (IBRC).

Using Anilao, Batangas as a center of operations, the retrieval team, composed of representatives from each of the partner institutions, retrieved one to four ARMS units per day. The units were disassembled and photographed with water and organism samples present in individual units delivered to DLSU’s Molecular Biology Unit for laboratory processing.

Headed by Dr. Ma. Carmen Ablan-Lagman of the biology department, extensive laboratory work consisting of decantation of sediment samples, DNA extractions, and metabolomics processing were applied to the collected material with the Philippine National Museum responsible for curating the collection of the sessile and motile samples for preservation and addition to the marine database of the Philippines. Tissues samples were also sent to the Smithsonian Institution for the further analysis.

The ARMS project is organized by the United States of America’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Smithsonian Institute, and the United States Agency International Development (USAID).

 

Research Congress Highlights Sustainability & Collaboration

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De La Salle University recently held the 2015 Research Congress from March 2 to 4 in various venues at the Manila campus.  With the theme “#ResearchforSustainableFuture,” the Congress provided an opportunity for faculty, researchers, and students to disseminate their research output. The annual meet also served as a platform for attendees to discuss as well as find research partners for future collaboration.

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University Fellow Dr. Tereso Tullao, Jr.

The first day of the congress featured the Bridges seminar with 2009 Nobel Laureate for Chemistry Prof. Ada Yonath with her lecture titled “Moving forward to Maintain Sustainability for the Future of Mankind” at the Teresa Yuchengco Auditorium.

As a prelude to the Bridges seminar, DLSU invited two foremost women chemists in the country: National Scientist Dr. Lourdes Cruz and Philippine Nuclear Research Institute Director Dr. Alumanda dela Rosa in the plenary session “Great Women, Great Chemists.”

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University Fellow Dr. Clodualdo del Mundo, Jr.

Another highlight of the Congress featured University Fellows who delivered inspiring lectures in a TED talk-style forum. In an effort to develop skills of students and teachers for publishing researches in high-impact journals in natural sciences, technology, humanities and social sciences a workshop was held on March 3.

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University Fellow Dr. Susan Gallardo

Research Centers also showcased their research agenda, activities, and outputs in an exhibit. Technical papers on various topics were also presented by researchers from DLSU and other institutions in the panel sessions. On the last day of the Congress, DLSU research center directors shared their insights on the opportunities in sustainability and the importance of research collaboration.

DLSU confers honorary degree in science on Nobel Laureate

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DLSU President-Designate Br. Raymundo Suplido FSC presents a token of appreciation to Prof. Ada Yonath after she is given a honorary degree in science.

De La Salle University conferred upon 2009 Nobel Laureate for Chemistry Professor Ada Yonath by awarding her an honorary degree in science last March 2 at the DLSU Teresa Yuchengco Auditorium, coinciding with Bridges lecture she delivered on campus.

Best known for her pioneering work on the structure and atomic workings of the ribosome, the cell’s “protein factory,” the esteemed scientist also established the first protein crystallography laboratory in Israel. Prof. Yonath has generated 3D models that show how different antibiotics bind to the ribosome and how bacteria become resistant to antibiotics.

In addition, she introduced a novel technique called cryo bio-crystallography that “revolutionized the field of structural biology and has given it wide-ranging applications, particularly in the development and design of new antibiotics.” She is also the first woman from the Middle East to win the Nobel Prize in science and the first woman in 45 years to win the Nobel Prize for Chemistry.

Prof. Yonath received her bachelor’s degree in Chemistry and her master’s degree in Biochemistry at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in 1962 and 1964, respectively. She earned her PhD in X-Ray Crystallography at the Weizmann Institute of Science in 1968.

She held postdoctoral positions in Carnegie Mellon University in 1969 and MIT in 1970, where she worked with 1976 Chemistry Nobel Laureate William N. Lipscomb, Jr. of Harvard University.

In addition, Prof. Yonath was also visiting professor at the University of Chicago, visiting scientist at the Heinz-Günter Wittmann, Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics in Berlin, and head of a Max-Planck Research Unit at Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron (DESY) in Hamburg while continuing her research activities at the Weizmann Institute of Science, where she was the holder of the Martin S. and Helen Kimmel Professorial Chair.

The Bridges lecture series is an event organized by both the Vienna-based International Peace Foundation and DLSU and, over the years, has included celebrated individuals such as former New York City Mayor Rudolf Giuliani, former World Bank President James Wolfensohn, Nobel Laureate for Physics David Jonathan Gross, Nobel Laureate for Economics Robert Mundell, former Timor-Leste President and Nobel Laureate for Peace Jose Ramos-Horta, former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair, Nobel Laureate for Medicine Torsten Wiesel, and  former President of Poland and Nobel Laureate for Peace Lech Walesa.

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