New Mapúa research collab, program bolster PH’s additive manufacturing industry

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New Mapúa research collab, program bolster PH’s additive manufacturing industry

From left to right: Dr. J. Naga Venkata Raghuram, Dr. Delia B. Senoro, Dr. Blessie A. Basilia, Dr. Aldrin Calderon, Dr. C Vijayakumar, Dr. R Vasudevan, Dr. S Denis Ashok, Dr. B Ashok, and Dr. R Seenivasan.

Mapúa University has achieved another milestone, as it becomes a proud member of the Additive Manufacturing Capacity Building Project, which is funded by the Royal Academy of Engineering, United Kingdom’s national academy of engineering with Vellore Institute of Technology, India.

Headed by Mapúa’s International Linkages for Research and Development (ILRAD) unit, the project is under the program "Engineering X Engineering Skills Where They are Most Needed," which is developed to support the delivery of skills and education programs that will lead to achieving the following: (1) development of much needed engineering capacity; (2) enhanced safety standards; (3) infrastructure that remains safe and fit for the purpose where it is most needed; and (4) for improved capacity through skills enhancement to adopt and exploit emerging technologies.

Relating the said endeavor to Mapúa’s reputation in RDI (research, development, and innovation) and its continuous pursuit of becoming among the best universities in the world, Dr. Delia B. Senoro, director of ILRAD, explained the impact of becoming a member of the Additive Manufacturing Capacity Building Project and what it means for Mapúa.

“Mapúa’s vision is to be among the best universities in the world. The University’s primary indicator for the attainment of this vision is to be ranked in the Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) and the Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings. Both platforms require partnerships and researches that would contribute to solutions to societal problems,” Dr. Senoro said.

“Furthermore, the additive manufacturing is an Industry 4.0 production technique that needs intensive and prompt research coupled with capacity building for both students and faculty members. This will address the fast-growing needs of sustainable production and consumption (UN Sustainability Development Goal: SDG 12).”

Just recently, Mapúa realized its vision of becoming one of the top universities in the world, as it ranked 1501+ in the Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings 2023. It is one of the only four higher education institutions from the Philippines that made it on the list and it also placed second in the country for the THE criterion on research. Its high marks in the area of research played a major impact in the attainment of this new institutional milestone.

A fast-growing industry

Additive manufacturing, which harnesses the use of 3D printing and advanced design, is a growing industry in the Philippines. Many leading businesses benefit from additive manufacturing in the fields of aerospace, medicine, consumer products, infrastructure, and more. Mapúa’s known expertise in engineering, manufacturing, and design, paired with its RDI efforts, helps boost its credibility to bolster the industry even further by producing the finest engineers.

"The future of 3D printing is dynamic, and we are seeing growing adoption in the recent years. As we look to the convergence of digital technologies – scanning, integrated information systems, and additive manufacturing – it is obvious that manufacturers are looking to these digital solutions to gain efficiencies and speed in the development and production of products," said Dr. Aldrin D. Calderon, dean of the School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering (MME).

Mapúa offers an internationally recognized Bachelor of Science in Manufacturing Engineering with a specialization in additive manufacturing. It enables students to put their analytical and practical skills to utilize the 3D printers in MME’s cutting-edge facility solely developed for the production of students’ 3D-printed designs and course outputs.

Program trainings and seminars also cover student organizations such as the Advance Robotics, Instrumentation, and Systems Engineering (ARISE), which is MME’s Robotics Team. MME is also currently in the process of developing a graduate program, the Master of Science in Manufacturing Engineering, with additive manufacturing serving as the program's primary research track.

On additive manufacturing and further research developments

"In the capacity building activities, enhancing the skills to carry out works for additive manufacturing will be simultaneous for both the trainers and the students who will be trained to understand the concept and process, acquire new knowledge, and upgrade their skills. The graduates of the trainings would expedite the production of human resources to support the additive manufacturing industry," Dr. Senoro said.

Aside from disseminating knowledge, one of ILRAD’s goals is to establish a platform for creating meaningful research. As the leading engineering and technological school in the country, ILRAD’s establishment was significant for the university’s RDI to be recognized at a global scale. By becoming one of the leading universities in the Philippines, this achievement signifies that Mapúa's research collaborations and global linkages are essential movers that level up the school’s global standing.