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Ribbon Cutting of LCFMNN led by PCIEERD Executive Director Dr. Enrico C. Paringit, In-coming USC President Fr. Narciso A. Cellan, Jr., SVD, D. Comm., and Undersecretary for R&D Dr. Rowena Cristina L. Guevara
 

On Tuesday (March 10), the Department of Science and Technology – Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development (DOST-PCIEERD) and the University of San Carlos (USC) unveiled the “USC Laboratory of Computational Functional Materials, Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (LCFMNN)”, the first computational science laboratory in Visayas.

The 36.49 square meter lab will house research facilities and workstations with high-performance computers capable of processing massive parallel and large-scale simulations for researches on nanotechnology, nanoscience, and materials science.

“The lab will enable researchers in the Visayan Peninsula to fortify and be guided in their research plans on photovoltaics and other energy-harvesting devices before the actual costly material experimentation, synthesis, and device fabrication process,” said Dr. Felixberto Buot, LCFMNN project leader.

Through these facilities, USC students and other researchers can be easily trained and continuously mentored on computational techniques and tools for materials development research. With that, the lab is envisioned to become a venue for solidifying the academe-industry research network for materials computation and development.

“In advanced countries, scientific computing has become an important solution for research problems in energy harvesting, energy conversion, and energy storage devices, because it allows researchers to do simulations instead of actual experiments that are somehow impossible to do using traditional approaches, or hazardous and too expensive to be conducted in the laboratory,” added Buot.

LCFMNN is a research facility that houses high-performance computers capable of processing massive parallel and large-scale simulations for researches on nanotechnology, nanoscience, and materials science.
 

The cutting-edge lab was established through the Institution Development Program (IDP) of DOST-PCIEERD, one of DOST’s sectoral planning councils. The IDP strengthens research and development capabilities of institutions by providing financial assistance for the establishment or upgrading of laboratories and research institutions.

“Computational modeling and simulation now play a significant role in the advancement of science, allowing researchers to easily find solutions to complex scientific problems. DOST-PCIEERD fully believes that the LCFMNN can take the Philippines at the forefront of software engineering and development, visualization science, computational materials science, energy-harvesting device R&D, and big data analytics,” said DOST-PCIEERD executive director Dr. Enrico Paringit.
DOST Secretary Fortunato de la Peña leads the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the newly Installed smart groundwater monitoring system
 

The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU) on Monday launched a smart groundwater monitoring station in Iloilo City that has sensors for automated, real-time monitoring of its supply.

With funding support from the National Water Resources Board (NWRB) and the DOST - Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development (DOST-PCIEERD), researchers from  ADMU, established a groundwater management plan and monitoring system for 10 water-critical cities in the Philippines, including Iloilo and Zamboanga.

Under this project, monitoring wells and stations were built— four are in Zamboanga City, four (4) monitoring system for Iloilo, and 10 are successfully installed in Metro Manila, Iloilo, Cagayan de Oro, and Bukidnon. Another 8 sensors will be installed in selected areas nationwide within the year.

“Today marks a significant event as we officially present the locally developed cost-effective system for water wells monitoring here in IloIlo City, installed in Pavia National High School and in Barangay Consolacion, San Miguel. Through these facilities, automated and real-time monitoring of groundwater reservoirs consisting of various sensors, data logging, and telemetry equipment to measure water’s quantity and quality can be done,” said DOST Secretary Fortunato de la Peña.

 
A closer look at the monitoring system. It has a sensor control box that measures the groundwater’s pH, electrical conductivity, temperature, and depth.
 

The data gathered from this monitoring system will serve as a decision-support tool for NWRB towards effective management of groundwater reservoir.

These data can also be accessed through the ThingSpeak mobile application and admuwater.com web portal. This is a platform service that uses Internet of Things (IoT) analytics to provide instant and advanced data analysis—bringing daily effective management of groundwater reservoirs at each Filipinos’ fingertips.

In addition to this, ADMU, NERC-British Geological Survey and DOST, under the Philippine Groundwater Outllook (PhiGO) project, organized a 2-day stakeholders’ workshop to strengthen partnership and gather local knowledge and understand the current issues and problems in managing water resources. The said project is one of the four funded under the PH-UK Newton Agham Joint Cooperation Program.

 

The PhiGO team
 

The researchers behind PhiGO aim to deliver consistent, accessible, and transferable assessments of climate and population change on regional groundwater resources.

Iloilo is one of the nine key cities identified in 1998 by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) in their study detailing the country’s water resources management. These cities were deemed plagued with water constraints and are envisioned to face these problems in the future.

Although the country is endowed with abundant water resources, Filipinos continue to face threats of resource scarcity, especially with groundwater as its renewability is limited and there are issues on its storage and management. It is essential that these issues be addressed as groundwater supplies drinking water, helps grow plants for food, and is also an important input to many industrial processes.

Iloilo, a developing smart city, has started encountering groundwater supply shortages. The city has already been tapping 93% of its supply, and over the years, has had low and unpredictable recharge. 

The National Water Resources Board (NWRB) confirmed that Iloilo is one of the identified critical areas in the country in terms of groundwater extraction that needs immediate rehabilitation.

 

FireCheck token: Lapu-Lapu City Map
 

After about two years of intensive research, FireCheck, a Fire Hazard Mapping and Fire Spread Simulation project funded by the Department of Science and Technology—PCIEERD (DOST-PCIEERD), turned over fire hazard and risk maps and evacuation plans to the local government of Lapu-Lapu on January 29, 2020.

BLAZING A TRAIL

FireCheck Project’s systems and technologies were presented and turned over to 19 of Lapu-Lapu City’s mainland barangays, as well as the city’s strategic planners, response units, and policy-makers.

Besides mapping out fire hazards to preemptively stop fires and proactively manage risks, the FireCheck Project also created 3D maps of high-risk communities rendered in a mobile application called “Blaze”, a Waze-like navigation app for firefighters to help facilitate speedy navigation and response around highly congested urban areas. Further, the project also developed fire spread models and simulation which can provide predictive information on the possible extent of the fire and its potential damage. The fire spread simulation model will aid firefighters in determining the best course of action should a fire disaster unfold, therefore, giving them a distinct advantage. All the mentioned technologies were also turned over to the city’s fire district.

The innovations born out of the proactive initiative of experts from the University of the Philippines Cebu are first of their kind and were developed through close collaboration with the city’s fire district (BFP- Lapu-Lapu), planning and development office (CPDO), and disaster risk reduction and management office (LDRRMO).

Information from the said maps, models, and simulations were used to improve if not create pre-fire plans, evacuation plans, and investment and mitigation plans for each of the city’s mainland barangay.

 

Fire Supt. Crispulo Eusebio Jr. (third from left) receives the fire hazard map for the whole Lapu-Lapu City. The map is handed over by (from left) FireCheck Project Leader Aileen Vicente, Chief LDRRMO Dr. Nagiel Baňacia, Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Junard Chan, DOST-PCIEERD Project Manager Ariadne Pada, DOST VII Asst. Regional Director Engr. Jesus Zamora Jr., and UP Cebu Vice Chancellor Dr. Weena Gera.
 

OUTSMARTING FIRE THROUGH MODERN TECH

The maps and technologies developed can converge to help make predictions about the likelihood of a fire scenario occurring in a specific community with more speed and accuracy than ever before. With timely and targeted information at hand, more synergistic plans and response strategies can be expected from local authorities, firefighters, responders, and other emergency services especially as they often have stretched resources on the ground.

SPARK

The same systems and technologies were also turned over to the local government of Mandaue and its 27 barangays last November 29, 2019. These innovations, coupled with traditional fire prevention methods, only strengthen BFP’s existing Oplan Ligtas na Pamayanan (OLP) program.

With smart solutions at their fingertips, cities of Lapu-lapu and Mandaue — and soon, more cities across the Philippines — can now extinguish the increasing threat of urban fires, putting them out before they happen.

We’ll never see Taal this way again. A satellite image of the Taal Volcano Island generated from the DREAM and Phil-LiDAR Programs.
 

In a bid to help hasten rehabilitation of affected areas devastated by the eruption of Taal volcano, the University of the Philippines opens up its map data to the public for free.

Through the UP Training Center for Applied Geodesy and Photogrammetry (UP TCAGP), the premiere state university is opening up to the public its map data of the Taal Volcano and its surrounding areas generated during the Disaster Risk and Exposure Assessment for Mitigation (DREAM) and the Philippine Light Detection and Ranging 1 (Phil-LIDAR 1) programs.

Using Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) technology, the group was able to generate maps with resolution of up to 1x1 meter which can be used for planning and reconstruction of areas damaged by the Taal volcano eruption.

UP TCAGP Assistant Professor Mark Edwin A. Tupas stressed the importance of using data in conducting planning and reconstruction activities in the areas affected by the Taal volcano eruption. 

“With the Philippines being at constant risk from natural disasters, adequate data is needed for disaster risk reduction planning and operations, we are opening up our LiDAR map database to help in the rehabilitation of those affected by the Taal volcano eruption,” he said.

The DREAM and Phil-LiDAR 1 Programs are both projects funded by the Department of Science and Technology and monitored by the Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development (DOST-PCIEERD) which mapped river basins all over the country.

Tupas said users of the map data would need to properly cite UP TCAGP and the PHIL-LIDAR Program as the source of the information.

“Please note that while stringent Quality Assurance/Control protocols were in place during the program operation, we cannot guarantee that the data is free of discrepancies, bugs or defects,” he said.

Tupas said the datasets can be accessed through https://phillidar-dad.github.io/taal-open-lidar.html and can be opened using most modern geographic information system (GIS) software. 

“From these high resolution information detailed 3D geovisualization, e.g. hillshade, can be created. The dataset can be also used for geomorphologic modelling of areas pre-disaster, data acquisition were between 2014 to 2017. Another sample use cases include the accurate determination of heights for building delineated from satellite imagery, given the Digital Elevation Modeling (DEM) of 20 cm vertical accuracy,” he said.

For further inquiries, you may contact the data archiving and distribution team of UP TCAGP at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .