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In its bid to leapfrog ASEAN countries in the additive manufacturing industry, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) has launched two 3D printing research facilities in the country.

 

PCIEERD Project Managers pose for a photo with AMREL Project Leader Prof. John Ryan Dizon (fourth from the right).

DOST Secretary Fortunato de la Peña and other DOST officials recently inaugurated the Additive Manufacturing Research Laboratory (AMREL) at the Bataan Peninsula State University, a state-of-the-art 3D printing research facility equipped with the latest machines on additive manufacturing.

 

(From left) DOST-PCIEERD Executive Director Dr. Enrico Paringit, ITDI Project Leader Dr. Blessie Basilia, DOST-MIRDC Director Engr. Robert Dizon, DOST-ITDI Director Dr. Anabelle Briones, DOST Secretary Fortunato De La Peña, AMCen Consultant Dr. Rigoberto Advincula, DOST Undersecretary for R&D Dr. Rowena Cristina Guevara, and DOST-MIRDC Project Leader Engr. Fred Liza.

Dela Peña also led the groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of the Additive Manufacturing Center (AMCen) at the Metals Industry Research and Development Center, a facility which aspires to be the country’s leading research center in innovative 3D printing technologies, processes, and materials.

DOST-Philippine Council for Industry, Energy, and Emerging Technology Research and Development (DOST-PCIEERD) Executive Director Dr. Enrico Paringit expressed optimism over the prospects of additive manufacturing in the country with the opening of the two new facilities.

“We are launching two centers for 3D printing research and development and we, in DOST-PCIEERD, are privileged to be part of this game-changing initiative. The additive manufacturing research industry will open the doors to previously unimaginable possibilities, and every single 3D-printed product will unfold more innovations. Soon, how we create things will be different from what we’re used to,” said Director Paringit.

3D printing, from small parts to big structures, will be used in aerospace, defense, biomedical, healthcare, printed electronics, agricultural machinery, and automotive industries.

AMREL is the first additive manufacturing research laboratory in the Philippines and since July 2, 2018, AMREL has been utilized to conduct research for undergraduate and graduate theses. Prof. John Ryan Dizon, project leader of AMREL, proudly shared these studies on the applications of 3D printing for defense applications and health care. He was also able to do technology demonstration with junior high school students of the Bataan National High School who then successfully created a 3D printed drone.

“These are all blessings for all of us, and for the future generations,” Dr. Gregorio Rodis, president of BPSU expressed his gratitude being the first recipient of a research laboratory that focuses on 3D research and development.

AMREL will be used for the following thrusts: development of new materials; testing and characterization of materials; faculty and student sharing and creating of ideas; rapid prototyping, tooling, and manufacturing; training, education, and empowerment; and designing and analysis of parts and systems.

Meanwhile, two DOST agencies will lead the management of AMCen: the Industrial Technology Development Institute (DOST-ITDI) will develop new materials for additive manufacturing, while DOST-MIRDC will handle the advanced prototyping. 

 

The proposed Additive Manufacturing Center building design.

In the groundbreaking ceremony of AMCen, industry representatives from the manufacturing sectors were also present. De la Peña emphasized the importance of partnerships with different agencies—national government organizations, non-government agencies, private companies, and the academe—in optimizing the program objectives.

“With the recent trends in the Industry 4.0, advance additive manufacturing will support our independence from many imported items as well as sustain our development. It will also serve as buffer with regards to the economic effect of importation, inflation, and dollar fluctuation while enhancing the technical support of the government to the industry,” remarked DOST Undersecretary for R&D, Dr. Rowena Cristina Guevara.

Furthermore, Undersecretary Guevara encouraged the academe and the industry to collaborate with AMCen to produce new products, substitutes for parts/components, and/or realize other applications of 3D printing.

AMCen is expected to rise after nine months, and will be operational in its second year of implementation.

TAGUIG CITY, Philippines, March 27, 2019. – The Philippines’ small satellites have found a new home.
 

The Mind Museum, together with the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), is launching exciting new exhibits to popularize the Philippines’ use of space technology and entice students to get into careers in science.  

Permanent exhibits at the Universe Gallery and a nook at the Space Adventure Travelling Exhibition of The Mind Museum will showcase the different space technology projects spearheaded by DOST in a popular and highly interactive form.

The new exhibits are designed to capture the interest of guests of all ages, from young children to adults. The exhibits include games and even virtual reality tours that showcase how we all benefit from space technology in our everyday lives. The exhibits will also highlight the purpose and function of the Earth-observing microsatellites Diwata-1 and Diwata-2, which were made by Filipino engineers from the Advanced Science and Technology Institute (DOST-ASTI) and the University of the Philippines Diliman (UPD), in collaboration with Japan’s Hokkaido University and Tohoku University. There will also be a feature on the Maya-1, the Philippines’ first nanosatellite, which was built and designed by Filipino scholars participating in the BIRDS-2 Project in Kyushu Institute of Technology (Kyutech).

“There is something deeply human about the excitement for space exploration,” says The Mind Museum curator Maria Isabel Garcia. “Just look at how excited young kids can be about outer space. Through these exhibits, we hope to show to kids that they actually can pursue a career based on their sense of wonder and adventure.”

Officials from DOST are also excited that the country’s efforts in space science are getting a wider audience. “The projects to use space technology are for the benefit of Filipinos,” says Dr. Enrico C. Paringit, Executive Director of the Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development (DOST-PCIEERD). “Since these projects are publicly funded, we at DOST believe that communicating our projects’ benefits to Filipinos is a crucial part of what we do.”

DOST Secretary Fortunato T. De La Peña also welcomes another avenue to popularize a project of Filipino scientists and engineers. “This is an important step in advancing Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education in the country,” De La Peña says. “By showing to young Filipinos what our scientists and engineers have accomplished, we can inspire students to go into STEM fields and contribute to science in the country.”

Some of the exhibits will be housed permanently at The Mind Museum, which is found in Bonifacio Global City, Taguig. Meanwhile, other exhibits will be included as part of Space Adventure. Space Adventure is one of the museum’s traveling exhibitions and will be in the Canopy Plaza of The Mind Museum until April 21, 2019. After that, Space Adventure will go to different sites in the country to bring the excitement of space exploration to more guests.

The exhibits were designed and created by The Mind Museum, with support from DOST-PCIEERD, DOST-ASTI, UPD, and the Development of Philippine Scientific Earth Observation Microsatellite (PHL-Microsat) Program which is succeeded by the Space Technology and Applications Mastery, Innovation and Advancement (STAMINA4Space) Program.

“The STAMINA4Space Program appreciates the efforts of DOST-PCIEERD and The Mind Museum in showcasing the outputs of the program to young Filipinos,” says STAMINA4Space Program Leader and DOST-ASTI Acting Director, Dr. Joel Marciano, Jr. “We look forward to continued partnership with The Mind Museum in pursuit of our objective of advancing and promoting space technology research and development for the benefit of Philippine society.”
 
 
A closer look at the making of a 3D map that will soon guide firefighters.
 

Widespread fires would soon be a thing of the past as a Department of Science and Technology - Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development (DOST-PCIEERD)-funded technology maps out fire hazards and where it may spread, helping authorities to outsmart the disaster.

Firecheck, a fire hazard mapping and fire spread modeling project implemented by the University of the Philippines - Cebu, seeks to provide emergency fire responders and officials, strategic planners, and policy-makers a wealth of information for fire disaster assessment and risk evaluation to be able to combat, if not mitigate, the negative consequence of fire.

UP Cebu Professor and Firecheck Project Leader Aileen Joan Vicente said Firecheck’s hazard maps identify highly-dense residential areas in the cities that are prone to fire incidents considering the construction materials used in the area, building density, and urban heat island.

“Fire hazard mapping is a vital step in acknowledging fire as an inevitable disaster that must be accommodated similarly to how we prepare  for disasters,” she said.

Vicente said that besides the hazard maps, her team also created 3D maps of high-risk communities and fire spread models and simulation that can provide predictive information on the possible extent of the fire and its potential damage. 

She said that information from these maps, models, and simulations can be used to improve pre-fire plans, evacuation plans, and investment plans for fire fighting facilities and mitigation plans.

At present, Vicenete’s team is working with the Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office, City Planning and Development Office, and Bureau of Fire Protection  (BFP) Regional Office 7 to cover the cities of Cebu, Mandaue, and Lapu-Lapu in verifying the fire hazard maps that they have created.

She noted that they are also testing the FireCheck Attribution App, a mobile application that can display the community’s 3D maps tagged with information necessary for pre-fire response planning such as building properties and road attributes.

Vicente said that they have tested this app during their pilot field survey in Barangay Basak, Lapu-Lapu City and is now undergoing modifications to improve its features.

She added that her team will train more users on the  mobile app, develop evacuation plans, and validate the generated maps.

“It is now high-time that not only Metro Cebu, but also the whole country, take a scientific and proactive approach to fire disasters based on adequate preparedness, prevention, and mitigation, ensuring that the fire will be put out even before it begins,” she said.

DOST-PCIEERD Executive Director Dr. Enrico C. Paringit expressed confidence that the project will greatly benefit fire authorities in mitigating and controlling damage with the use of modern technology.

“With Firecheck, we can provide a smart solution in increasing the community’s resiliency against fire disasters.  We look forward to the day that Firecheck spreads across the nation and ignites the consciousness of our Filipino people in using technology to outsmart natural and man-made disasters,” he said.
 

USHER Lead Inventor Dr. Francis Aldrine Uy of Mapua University and Chief Technology Officer Engr. Donato Santiago receive their prizes at the 2019 World Summit Awards in Lisbon, Portugal.

Besting 430 nominations from 182 participating countries, Universal Structural Health Evaluation and Recording System (USHER), a Department of Science and Technology-funded technology, was selected as one of the forty-five (45) Global Winners of the World Summit Awards (WSA) and the only Southeast Asian winner in the category "Smart Settlements and Urbanization".

USHER Technologies won the award for its cost-effective 24/7 Structural Health Monitoring System for buildings and bridges that enables economical and hassle free compliance to the National Building Code. It is composed of an accelerograph sensor and a web portal system that can be installed in building of all types, allowing building managers to monitor the structural integrity of the building.

WSA is a highly diverse and democratic award system that selects and promotes the world’s best digital innovation with impact on society. Running for 15 years, it has become a quality seal for digital content with societal impact. WSA is also a nomination-based award system - for a technology to be included in the winners’ circle, it has to be nominated by a WSA National Expert as the best national digital application in one of the 8 categories based on the following criteria: Content, Functionality, Design, Technology, and Innovation.

Compared to other existing products, USHER streamlined and tailored the system to fix the local market at a remarkably lower cost while still offering a complete solution to ensure business continuity. Last 2018, USHER won the Best R&D Award during the 8th Anniversary of DOST-PCIEERD.

DOST-PCIEERD’s Executive Director Dr. Enrico C. Paringit lauded the USHER Team for bagging the award and showing to the world how local technologies can be world-class. “We congratulate USHER for showing to the world what we can do here in the Philippines and how we can optimize innovation to the benefit of the Filipino people.  USHER’s win is an icing already to the number of lives that they have been saving with the technology they developed,” he said.

USHER Lead Inventor Dr. Francis Aldrine Uy expressed elation over the recognition given to them by WSA.  “Now we are more than ready to distribute USHER in the Philippines and we hope that with this international confirmation, we patronize technologies of our own people that was made by our people, for our people in USHERing a safer and more resilient Philippines,” he said.

As one of the winners of the WSA, the team was invited to attend the WSA Congress to personally receive their awards during the awarding ceremony. They also had the opportunity to network with the other global winners, speakers, jurors and international guests. The DOST PCIEERD provided financial support for the attendance of the two members of the team to the WSA Congress.

Among the perks of being a WSA winner is the integration of USHER into a network of internationally recognized digital content developers. They will also have access to the WSA community of global experts and industry leaders in over 180 countries and special placement on WSA website, Youtube channel and social media promotion. The WSA is a non-monetary award system with a focus on sustainable knowledge transfer through a worldwide network. Winners benefit not from a one-time financial reward, but a lifelong partnership and integration.

 
 

Team FLAME (From Left to Right) Adrian Robert Doroteo, Engr. Ericson Dimaunahan, Alec Denji Santos, Emmanuel Freeman Paloma and Jacob Martin Manguiat

Senior high school students from Manila have developed an internet-based fire alarm system that can notify your phone if a fire breaks out in your home.

Developed by students from the Mapua University through funding assistance from the Department of Science and Technology – Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development (DOST-PCIEERD), FLAME which stands for, “Fire Luminosity and Multisensory Equipment”, is a device that uses heat signature mapping and a multi-sensor system to detect if there is a fire and notify the homeowner through an app.

Funded under the Young Innovators Program (YIP), Project FLAME sought to reduce the number of casualties and property destroyed by fire by providing a faster and reliable information to authorities.

The students used a thermal imaging camera, a current sensor and a gas sensor all of which were connected to the internet through which data output came from their developed algorithm. Using the Internet of Things (IoT) technology, the developed system is able to monitor heat irregularities and other fire hazards using video image analysis and create an accurate early detection system. With its double trigger feature, accuracy is secured because it will only alarm when a heat irregularity is shown in the heat map and a fire hazard sensor is triggered.

 

Project FLAME’s Network Topology (Photo from Team FLAME)

Connected with the equipment is a mobile application that allows data to be viewed from an Android device via an Arduino Bluetooth module. Through the app, the user shall be notified of fire hazard alerts which shall also be sent to the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) for a faster fire incident response.

Unlike existing fire systems, FLAME is capable of sensing multiple fire hazards and prevents false alarms by autonomously analyzing the heat signatures shown in the heat map.

The device will not only increase the efficiency of fire prevention but will also improve the reliability and response time of firemen through its alert system.

DOST-PCIEERD Executive Director Dr. Enrico C. Paringit is optimistic that the system the students developed can be replicated to a larger scale and be adopted as well by government authorities and help in mitigating fire disasters.

“This spark of ingenuity by our young students from Manila shows that we have a bright future for our scientific community.  DOST-PCIEERD will be front and center in stoking the flames of innovation in the hearts and minds of the youth through the YIP,” he said.

Under the YIP, student groups from high school to college, composed of three to 10 members, and aged 30 years old and below, get a grant of up to one million pesos for their research, provided it is aligned with DOST-PCIEERD’s sectoral priority areas or with the Harmonized National Research and Development Agenda.

Project FLAME team leader Alec Denji Santos said the increase in fire incidents yearly ignited their curiosity to look for ways on how it can be mitigated. 

“During our Disaster Risk Reduction Management class, we saw the trend of fire incidents in the country which is increasing every year. This caught our attention thinking about what we can do about this alarming situation. Using our knowledge in our own fields of expertise, we developed Project FLAME,” he said.

Santos said they support the Bureau of Fire Protection’s (BFP’s) thrust in preventing fire disasters through immediate and timely responses to fire alarms.

“Project FLAME shares the same goal with the BFP that is to save lives and protect properties. It does much the same with accurate early detection, an automatic alert system for both fire extinct victims and fire authorities and a tool for immediate mitigation and investigation,” said Santos.