Mapúa Institute of Technology
Farther… greater after 91 years

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Through the years, Mapúa Institute of Technology has been in the forefront of technological innovation and advancement. Celebrating 91 years of world-class education offered not only to Filipino but also to international students, Mapúa continues to live up to its leading role in engineering, architecture and technology education.

The Institute was founded by Tomas Mapúa, the first Filipino registered architect, in January 1925. He held that technology is the most effective means of smoothly facilitating the country’s economic and social survival He believed with intense faith in the youth who belong to the middle and working class to whom he dedicated and opened the Institute.

With a change in ownership at the turn of the century, the Institute, now under the helm of Ambassador Alfonso T. Yuchengco, enunciated a vision of being a global center of excellence. In the last 15 years, it has moved aggressively towards the attainment of this vision with its trailblazing move towards international accreditation and its pioneering adoption of outcomes-based education.

After 91 years, Mapúa remains true to the visions of these pillars of the Institute as it celebrates its founding anniversary with activities lined up for the whole week from January 25 to 30.

91 years of excellence

“Motivated to go ‘farther and greater’, Mapúa prepares itself for the challenges of internationalization and innovation. Hence, Mapúa continues to strengthen its globally oriented engineering and technology programs,” School of Multimedia and Visual Arts dean Architect Arnold P. Cinco said. SMVA is this year’s organizing committee for the Foundation Week with the theme “Farther…Greater”.

The celebration kicked off with the annual Parade of Excellence. The weeklong celebration also included the fourth Outcomes-Based Education (OBE) Conference, which was on the third day of the foundation week. The conference served as another platform for Mapúa faculty and students to further enhance the implementation of OBE in the Institute. Mapúa, being the first school in the Philippines to fully opt for OBE, has enjoyed significant progress in student growth and board exam performance. The ceremony for the Cardinal Excellence Award (TCEA), given to individuals who brought honor and pride to the Institute through their achievements, will be held in the morning of January 26.

The student body also had activities for the most momentous week in Mapúa.

Central Student Council President John Alfred Silisilon III, a fourth year student taking up Electronics Engineering, said that activities showcased students’ talent, class, and beauty with the Mr. and Ms. Cardinals. Technical exhibits were showcased in North and South Circles for the Intramuros Campus, and in the lobby for the Makati campus, for the whole week.

Highlighting current issues

Mapúa also highlighted current issues with significant impact on the society in two major lectures as part of the line-up of the activities for the Foundation Week. The first one was the “ASEAN Integration and Its Implications on the Engineering and Technology Professions”; the second one, which is part of the Hernando P. Limsin Lecture Series, was on “Responding to Global Warming and Climate Change.”

Ambassador Claro S. Cristobal, director-general of the Foreign Service Institute (FSI) graced the ASEAN Integration seminar as one of the key speakers. Along with him were Dr. Henelito A. Sevilla Jr. of the University of the Philippines and Dr. George N. Manzano of the University of Asia and the Pacific. Meanwhile, the climate change seminar was conducted by two Mapúan alumni who have deep involvement in responding to global warming issues-- Engr. Laurentino Punsalan, Founding President and current chairman of the Philippine Green Building Initiative, Ar. Emilito Punsalan, Vice President for Technical of Philippine Green Building Initiative, and Engr. Mario Marasigan of the Department of Energy.

The ASEAN integration and Mapúan education

On January 25, the second day of the weeklong 91st foundation anniversary, the ASEAN integration seminar on engineering and technology professions was held with the aim to prepare Mapúans for the impending ASEAN integration.

“The seminar brought to the fore the importance of innovation in science, engineering and technology education for national development and global competency. The multi-disciplinary approach of the seminar’s discussions opened horizons – forecasting and enlightening Mapúans on crucial ASEAN Integration concerns vis-à-vis economics, education, and foreign relations,” said Engr. Rosette Eira E. Camus, dean of Admissions and International Programs, further, “With ASEAN integration just around the corner, Mapúa will “even more strengthen its resolve to provide education that is global in standards.”

Engr. Camus explained that the ASEAN integration greatly benefitted the students in real-world contexts of employers looking for technically skilled workers who are also leadership-oriented, resilient, competitive, and adaptive.

“We prepare our students to be technically skilled through our strong curriculum, and we have various activities such as career development seminars, to further improve their communication and personal skills,” Camus said.

With the ASEAN integration, there will be a freer flow of services among different professions, wherein professionals can practice in other ASEAN countries after seeking certification. The Philippine Technological Council (PTC) represents the Philippines to the ASEAN Federation of Engineering Organization (AFEO) that established the ASEAN Engineer Registry (AER). AER-listed engineers are recognized in the region. Mapúa’s Civil, Electrical, Electronics, and Industrial Engineering programs are accredited by the PTC’s accreditation arm: PTC-ACBET.

As final note, Arch. Cinco said that “We can’t avoid globalization. We have to be prepared, take advantage of the opportunities and stay relevant.”

Mapúa’s climate change efforts

In addition to the ASEAN integration seminar, Mapúa has organized a seminar on global warming and climate change, which was held on January 28, the fifth day of the foundation week.

“Nations and governments have responded to the alarming consequences of global warming with various efforts, even creating agencies and other units to continuously find a solution to the problem,” Arch. Cinco said. “Various possible responses to this issue include emissions reduction, building resilient systems, and employing future climate engineering—an area that calls for the creative response from engineering and technological sectors. That is where Mapúa comes in.”

For its part, Mapúa is in the process of undergoing ISO 14001 certification or Environmental Management System certification, and will be undergoing the Energy Management System certification to complement the former. Mapúa also implemented measures for carbon footprint reduction by decreasing energy and water consumption by several percentage points yearly for a number of years in both Intramuros and Makati campuses. The Institute also did a full re-lamping of both campuses using T5 fluorescent lamps, and is currently in the implementation process of shifting to inverter type air-conditioning units. Mapúa also promotes and practices waste segregation and recycling.

Most important step – awareness

But according to Dr. Vea, the most important step is spreading awareness of the issue through instruction and research.

“As an educational institution, we have many opportunities to get the community aware through instruction. We also have on-going research on carbon capture and renewable energy, in line with our research theme of sustainability,” explained Dr. Vea.

Echoing Dr. Vea’s statements, Environmental and Sanitary Engineering program chair Engr. Wyndell Almenor said that instruction of environmental principles has always been a practice of Mapúa as an academic and technological institution with the goal of producing “front liners” for environmental protection and preservation.

Producing ‘environmental soldiers’

“Year after year, we produce ‘environmental soldiers’ who first and foremost care for the protection and preservation of the environment. In the industry, they are the pollution control officers, consultants who design treatment facilities and environmental impact studies,” explained Engr. Almenor. He added that this is achieved through sophisticated laboratories, and industry practitioner faculty members.

Almenor further stressed that increasing efforts to reduce, reuse, and recycle; and developing a deeper collaboration with students and faculty members, and industry professionals should be done to come up with viable green solutions to be implemented in the campus.

Integrating practices in coursework

Another Mapúan professor who advocates green and sustainable solutions is Architect Albert Zambrano from the School of Architecture, Industrial Design, and the Built Environment. Arch. Zambrano is known for his vertical sidewalk-medium rise building project.

“Green architecture at the moment is mostly implemented with projects for the upper 10% income bracket,” Arch. Zambrano said. “It will have an even greater impact if green architecture is applied for the other 90% lower-income bracket. I am creating green designs together with students—green designs that can be applied on a mass scale, [that will have] a bigger impact on the environment and society.”

Continuing tradition of excellence

With the triumphs and accomplishments that the Institute garnered in more than nine decades, it still continues to better itself, and will do so in more years to come.

Mapúa, through its board topnotchers, prominent engineers and technological practitioners in the field, internationalization efforts, and numerous researches and innovation, has been continuously upholding the Institute’s tradition of excellence and legacy of greatness.

For CSC president Silisilon, Mapúa is evidently and continuously bolstering its claim as a globally competitive institution through its numerous accolades and recognitions.

“Mapúans are being recognized globally, evidence that we are moving up. Mapúans have greater chances to land good jobs in the industry. We are transitioning, and we are preparing ourselves to what the future can bring,” Silisilon concluded.


This article is part of the Foundation Week Supplement of Mapúa, MHSS, and MCL, published at the Philippine Star last January 25, 2016.