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Dr. Victor B. Ella is a distinguished Professor of Land and Water Resources Engineering at the College of Engineering and Agro-industrial Technology (CEAT), University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB). A former Dean of CEAT, he currently holds the rank of

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Dr.  Rex B. Demafelis is a PRC-licensed Chemical Engineer (ChE), & Professor 10 of U.P. Los Baños. Currently, he is the UPLB Vice-Chancellor for Research & Extension (2014-2017). He obtained his BS Chemical Engineering degree (cum laude) from the University of San Agustin in 1984. He earned his M.S. ChE degree from U.P. Diliman in 1990, with thesis topic on Wastewater Treatment; and his  PhD degree in Environmental Science from UPLB in 2016.

He served as the Chair of the UPLB-CEAT Department of Chemical Engineering for the longest period (1997-2003; 2005-Aug.2008), during which he spearheaded upgrading of both BS and MS curricular programs; and implemented various department infrastructures development. He was the National President of the Philippine Institute of Chemical Engineers (PIChE; 2004-2005). His competence,  hard work, and dedication as an engineer-educator-researcher-extension professional may be gleaned from the so many recognitions he received through the years: 2015 Manila Water Foundation Prize for Engineering Excellence;  2013 Outstanding Professional (ChE) of the Year Award; 2013 Outstanding Chemical Engineer of the Philippines in the Academe; 2010 PIChE Fellow; 2014 UPLB Outstanding Researcher in Natural Sciences; 2010 Regional Commission on Higher Education (CHEd) RePublica Award; 2011 Outstanding UP Alumni in Chemical Engineering for his contribution to education, research and community service in the field of biofuels research and development in the country; 2015 Phil. National Academy of Science & Technology (NAST) Best Paper Award;   2004-2015  U.P. President’s Academic Distinction Award for International Publications; 2006 UPLB Outstanding Teacher  Award in the Physical Sciences; SEARCA & UPLB Professorial Chair Lectures Award (2007-2013), including the 2001-2002 PNOC Prof. Chair Award for Environmental and Biochemical Engineering,  among others. He co-authored the book on The Phil. Biofuels Industry: Defining Strategic Directions, 2015); 28 refereed publications; 91 non-refereed journals and presentations; guest editor of an international journal, SugarTech (V.15 (3), July-Sept.2013).

Dr.  Demafelis, ever since his first involvement with UPLB in 1984, has successfully integrated the trifold function of instruction, research and extension (R&E) required of a UP faculty, most especially in UPLB—a campus with strong tradition in delivering such tri-fold function. For the last 30 years, he has mentored about 1500 ChE students, many of whom are already significantly contributing to the chemical engineering and related professions. In 2004, he systematically assisted 17 schools  by conducting  training in  “Plant & Process Equipment Design” (with himself as the trainor, pro bono) - for capacity building of  a lot of practicing engineers, teachers and students in 9 cities of  Luzon, Visayas  &  Mindanao. Long before he became the UPLB Vice-Chancellor, he has been rendering pioneering RD&E works in: experimental and design works in wastewater treatment;  use of alternative feedstocks for biofuel production, during which he has been partnering with LGUs, some government agencies (DA-BAR, DOE, DOST, DENR, PNOC-AFC, SRA, PSMA); processors and policy makers. He is also reaching out to farmers (e.g. Negros Occ., Panay,  Kabankalan, Isabela and Pampanga), face-to-face, to assess their needs, reservations and aspirations, for him to learn firsthand, how to encourage them to participate in alternative feedstocks production for the emerging biofuels industry; thus help fulfill the mandate of the Phil. Biofuels Law. As a researcher, he ably mentor young engineers to learn the rudiments of writing proposals, meeting officials who can help them, submit proposals to funding agencies, and guide them to appreciate and excel in research, just like himself. He has an effective way of affecting the young researchers to acquire passion for learning, with him as their mentor. As a result of his demonstrated passion for his work, he is able to train different groups of young researchers who are equally passionate in their job, and can work even way beyond the “8 AM-5 PM” routine.

Contributed by: LSHDizon & JLMovillon

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