Mapúa Phil-LiDAR 2 bolsters institute’s R&D initiatives, quest for university status

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Mapúa Phil-LiDAR 2 team during the 1st National Conference for Phil-LiDAR 1 and Phil-LiDAR 2 in Davao City.

As part of its initiatives to beef up research and development capabilities and to fulfill its mission of becoming a world-class university, Mapúa Institute of Technology will house in its newly opened Research Building the DOST grant-in-aid funded project Mapúa-Phil LiDAR 2 through the School of Electrical, Electronics, and Computer Engineering (EECE).

The new project is in addition to the Mapúa-Phil LiDAR 1 project under the School of Civil, Environmental, and Geological Engineering (CEGE), which will help in mapping flood hazards as well as predict the extent of flooding in the provinces of Cavite, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon or CABARZON. This, in turn, will greatly facilitate accurate planning and appropriate disaster and risk reduction and response of local government units in the said areas.

According to EECE Dean Alejandro Ballado Jr., the Mapúa-Phil LiDAR 2 is a shift from disaster mitigation and prevention to providing accurate data on the country’s environment and natural resources.

“The program is expected to produce detailed and accurate nationwide agricultural and coastal maps, and to provide climate change-vulnerability assessment maps of high-value crops and aquatic resources,” Dean Ballado said, adding that the project will also formulate recommendations to help address future local supply and demand in agriculture and coastal resources. Outputs of the Phil-LiDAR 2 Project will provide more reliable information in crop vegetation and will open viable opportunities for future research and development related with crops.

The DOST-funded three-year program started in July 2014 with the initiative of the University of the Philippines-Diliman and several other universities, colleges, and higher education institutions throughout the Philippines. It is tasked to map and identify the country’s resources—agriculture, forest, coastal, rivers, and potential areas for renewable energy production. Much like the Mapúa LiDAR 1, the LiDAR 2 maps the CABARZON area and employs faculty and both graduate and undergraduate research students from EECE and from the School of Information Technology (SOIT).

“Our involvement in the LiDAR-2 project supports the Institute’s research initiatives, which is an integral part of Mapúa’s quest to be recognized as one of the best universities globally,” Dean Ballado said.

According to Mapúa Mathematics professor and awarded world research leader Dr. Dante Silva, “Research demonstrates how the academe pursues continuous quality improvement, as well as showcases the ability of the community to think outside the box. Mapúa is relentless in proving that it is dynamic through high-impact studies.”

Mapúa Phil-LiDAR 2 equipment used in tracking and mapping resources in the CABARZON area.

With the construction of the new research building and the projects to be housed in it, Mapúa is living up to its mission of engaging in publishable and economically viable research, development, and innovation – through this, the Institute can provide state-of-the-art solutions to problems of industries and communities.

“Now we're trying to focus everything and bring it all together under one roof; we have the research building. We always have the interest of our country in mind. This is our contribution to national advancement,” Mapúa president and CEO Dr. Reynaldo B. Vea said.

Aside from the LiDAR 1 and 2 projects, the two-storey research building will also house the Innovation and Technology Support Office, which will be responsible for giving strategic direction to the Institute’s research and development (R&D) and to convert Mapúa’s R&D outputs into patents, designs, utility models, and even spin-off companies.