Mapua RDI expands with sustainability, environmental, and safety efforts

Driven by the calls of the community it serves, Mapúa University has been directing efforts to research by creating breakthroughs and innovations through its engineering, computing and other programs.

Since the establishment of its Yuchengco Innovation Center (YIC) in 2015, Mapúa has been actively participating in the global conduct of research alongside its international and local counterparts.

“Matured RDI (research, development, and innovation) system in a university brings in a pool of international experts, networks for academics and research, and funds for future projects. This enables faculty members and students to become more globally competitive. Mapúa’s high-quality RDI outputs gives it high visibility in the international community,” said Dr. Delia Senoro, director of Mapúa’s Office of International Linkages for Research and Development.

Outstanding researches

One outstanding research collaboration conducted in 2018 was the Water Quality Detection and Monitoring research in Laguna Lake with Taiwan’s National Cheng Kung University. It led to the establishment of the Taiwan-Philippines Joint Water Quality Research and Innovation Center (TP-WRIC), in YIC co-funded by the University and Taiwan’s Ministry of Science and Technology (T-MOST).

Also adding to the University’s outstanding RDI projects in the past year is the Engineering of Natural and Environmental Resources research with Sweden’s KTH Royal Institute of Technology. It is focused on the optimization of natural resources in the Philippines, converting resources such as beema bamboo, seaweed, and abaca into high-valued products.

Another ongoing project that has created outstanding results for Mapúa’s RDI is the Building Entrepreneurial Ecosystems to Enhance Higher Education Value (BEEHIVE) with Bulgaria’s Varna University of Management. It is co-funded by EU Erasmus Plus Programme for capacity building in higher education. It resulted in new partnerships for RDI with two new partners from the industry and eight partners from the academe across Europe and Asia. It has also produced entrepreneurial university ecosystem benchmark data in the Philippines and has also brought the establishment of the BEEHIVE Business Accelerator in Mapúa.

The different schools of the University are also partnering with various higher educational institutions and companies from different industries in the Philippines, conducting RDI collaborations on drone developments, electric vehicles production, implementation of education frameworks, health assessments, and language and communication studies.

Increasing global partners and research publications

Mapúa’s strong global connections has also led to the increase of its international partners for RDI and research publications.

In 2018, Mapúa’s linkages increased to 49 from the previous year’s 34, with 43 University partners, four industry partners, and two research institutes.

Mapúa has also increased its research publications indexed in Scopus, with studies in 2017 soaring to 146, increasing by up to 57.53% from 2016’s 62 research publications. Last year, Mapúa was able to publish 201 researches, increasing by up to 37.67%. Starting the year 2019 with 6 publications already, the University now has a total of 601 publications indexed in Scopus.

Venue for research

Aside from establishing a facility catering to research in one of its campuses, Mapúa has also become a venue for research gatherings. In August 2018, the University hosted the International Conference on Sustainable Environmental Technologies (ICSET) in its Intramuros campus where researchers and educators from various countries came to participate. It was the second time that Mapúa hosted the international conference, with the first in 2013.

Local and international recognitions

Mapúa University also continuously receives local and international accolades for its RDI projects.

In November, Mapúa won the 2018 World Summit Award (WSA) for the Smart Settlements and Urbanization category for its Universal Structural Health Evaluation and Recording System (USHER), led by Dr. Francis Aldrine Uy, dean of Mapua’s School of Civil, Environmental and Geological Engineering.

USHER, a building structure health monitoring system composed of an accelerograph or sensor and web portal system, was among the 40 awardees selected from 430 nominations from 182 participating countries. It is the only Filipino project to receive the recognition for 2018 and the second to do so since the award’s establishment.

Last June 2018, Engr. Niño Jhim Andrew B. Dela Luna, a Mapúa University Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering graduate also won first prize for the Poster Award in the International Conference on Ocean Energy (ICOE) held in Normandy, France, for his thesis on tidal energy entitled, “Tidal Resource Assessment and Hydrodynamic Simulation of a SeaGen-Type Horizontal Axis Tidal Turbine in Verde Island Passage Philippines”. His research presented a theoretical application of a tidal turbine in the Verde Island passage, based on numerical modelling of tidal currents in the passage and a simulation of the tidal turbine representation during the peak month for tidal energy harvesting.

STEM Students of the University’s Senior High School also showcased their research on fire detection and monitoring in the 2018 National Science and Technology Week forum last July at the World Trade Center.

The team developed Project FLAME or Project Fire Luminosity Alert and Multisensory Equipment, a fire-detecting equipment powered by the Internet of Things and the Artificial Neural Network technologies which uses heat signature mapping and multi-sensory system. It also uses video image analysis and creates an accurate early detection system that will send alerts to the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) for a faster fire incident response.

Future of Mapúa research

Increasing global partners for RDI and creating breakthroughs and innovations are only the initial steps of Mapúa in achieving its vision to become a learning institution driven by research.

“Our goals for Mapúa RDI are: (1) to be able to produce research translatable into products, systems, or processes useful to people and the planet; (2) to be able to produce enough publications to help the University improve its standing internationally; and (3) to create intellectual properties (IPs) that could result in the school having self-sustaining research programs,” said Mapúa University President Reynaldo B. Vea.

This 2019, Mapúa University has partnered with the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) to develop its Technology Licensing Office (TLO). It is the second office developed in the University geared towards directing research to value, following the Innovation and Technology Support Office (ITSO) established in 2011.

The TLO will scan for IPs in the University, covering inventions and works of literature and arts of its faculty and students. The office will check the IPs’ commercialization potentials and will create road maps on how the approved IPs can be brought to the market for commercialization.

This July, Mapúa’s USHER system will be launched to the public as the first ever commercialization project of the University.