The University of the Philippines-Electrical and Electronics Engineering Institute (UP-EEEI) held a grand inauguration of its new building, EEEI Building 2 last March 19, 2015. The event also featured the inauguration of its two endowed laboratories, Artesyn-Power Electronics Laboratory and Nokia Telecommunications Engineering Laboratory, along with the unveiling of the ceremonial marker of one of its endowed lecture halls, the MERALCO Innovation Hall.
The inauguration was attended by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Undersecretary for S&T Services, Dr. Rowena Cristina Guevara; UP officials, headed by UP President Alfredo E. Pascual; UP Diliman officials, headed by Chancellor Michael L. Tan; institute directors and department chairs headed by the Dean of the UP College of Engineering, Dr. Aura C. Matias; representatives from Artesyn Embedded Technologies, Manila Electric Company (MERALCO), and Nokia Philippines; other industry partners; and alumni, among others.
The event started with an innovative Ribbon Cutting Ceremony, inspired by an app game, “Cut the rope.” Afterwhich was the MERALCO Innovation Hall Marker Unveiling Ceremony and the exhibit of the interior and exterior perspective of the Hall, followed by the Artesyn-Power Electronics Laboratory (PEL) Inauguration. After Artesyn-PEL Inauguration, Nokia-Manila Technology Center CEO Teodor Drobcsak facilitated the Nokia Telecommunications Engineering Laboratory Inauguration.
The Marker Unveiling Ceremony of MERALCO Innovation Hall and the inauguration of EEEI Building 2, Artesyn-PEL, and Nokia Telecommunications Engineering Laboratory was followed by a short program in the MERALCO Innovation Hall.
“We have come a long way from the rooms and labs in Yia Hall and the National Engineering Center (NEC). Now, we are trying to move towards becoming a National Institute, an organization with a national scope, mandate and character” said UP-EEEI Director, Dr. Joel Joseph Marciano, Jr. in his welcoming remarks during the program proper. He emphasized that the realization of the Institute’s goal to be a national institute is through the continuous upholding of high quality teaching, learning, research, and extension. He also noted that achieving the Institute’s goal would be made possible by the continuous support of UP and industry partners.
“DOST has continuously provided support for the building of this Institute,” said Usec. Guevara, after enumerating some DOST-funded projects of the Institute. In addition, she noted that the event served as an affirmation of the partnership of UP and DOST “from transferring technology from maximum benefit to the Filipino people.”
UP Pres. Pascual also recognized the initiative of UP-EEEI which, according to him, “contributes mainly in achieving the UP’s mandate in being a national university.” UP Diliman Chancellor Tan, on one hand, also commended UP-EEEI for not just being experts in Electrical and Electronics Engineering, but by “connecting people” and by producing “Filipino engineers who will power UP and the nation.”
Strong Industry-Academe Partnership
During the program proper, Sr. Design Director of Artesyn Embedded Technologies, Mr. Peter Fernandes noted that their partnership with UP has spanned for almost two decades, and still counting. In the inauguration and re-launching of Artesyn-PEL (then ASTEC-PEL), he said that he hopes to continue existing programs with UP and to “explore other areas of collaboration.”
“We greatly value our mutual relationship – that as much as we strive to support UP, we believe that your expertise can enhance our efforts to boost our talent acquisition, support the professional development of our engineers, and help us achieve our goals,” he added.
Senior Vice President and Head of Human Resources and Corporate Services, MERALCO, Mr. Ramon B. Segismundo, on one hand, took the recent victory in the Shell-Eco Marathon Asia as his take-off point in his message. “The best is yet to come to UP and MERALCO,” he said, as he emphasized the shared objective of UP and MERALCO and the main reason of their continuous partnership with the University, which is the “advancement of the science and technology in the Philippines.”
Country Manager of Nokia Philippines, Mr. Nigel Waters also noted that in celebration of its 150th year in business, Nokia hopes that their investment in UP “will help inspire the next generation of Filipino talent to take a world leadership position in [the] area of [mobile networks] (5G products and solutions).”
Dean Matias thanked the industry partners for their donations and reassured them that they “will not regret their investments in the Institute.” She also noted that as much as the event marks the realization of the dream associated to the Institute and the College, it also signals the onset of new challenges ahead. She then introduced Dr. John Richard Hizon as the incoming UP-EEEI Director.
After the program proper was the reception held in the High Voltage Laboratory (HVL), which also showcased exhibits from different DOST-funded projects of the Institute. The day was also an occasion for the transfer of ownership of E-trikebayan, an electric tricycle from EV Wealth to the Institute; and the launching of the fEEEdback, the official UP-EEEI iPad app, containing information about the Institute, its faculty members, and its research laboratories. Kislap, the winning energy-efficient car of Team UP in the recent Shell-Eco Marathon Asia was also displayed in the reception, side by side with Rapid Electric Vehicle--Charging in Minutes (CharM) station. The exhibits also featured a rapidly deployable GSM base station for emergency communications and projects in smart grid technology development developed by EEE faculty and students.
The UP Concert Chorus gave intermission numbers during the said event.
The construction of the UP-EEEI Building 2 was funded by the Engineering Research and Development for Technology (ERDT) Program of the DOST and the University of the Philippines.