Friday, July 1, 2011

Three Generations of CE Faculty


The Civil Engineering program was revived at De La Salle University, Manila in 1987 and come 2012, the program will be 25 years. Thanks to a dedicated faculty. In the span of about 17 years of teaching at DLSU, I have worked with both senior and junior faculty members who have shaped outstanding Lasallian civil engineers. Let me write about the faculty in recognition of their untiring service to the university and the students. As I see it, the fulltime CE faculty members may be grouped into three generations – the grouping is not necessarily based on age but rather on milestones in the history of civil engineering education at DLSU, Manila.

The 1st Generation: THE PIONEERS
The 1st generation which I will refer to as “The Pioneers” are the faculty members who started or revived the BSCE program at DLSU. This group include the “founders” like Dr. Angel Lazaro III, the College of Engineering Dean who proposed the revival of the program and Dr. Romeo Estanero, the man behind the unique and specialized BSCE curriculum at DLSU and the first Department Chair. The other fulltime faculty members who pioneered this program were Dr Lydia de Castro, a PhD graduate in Geotechnical Engineering, Antonio Tansingco, an MS graduate at Stanford University, Manuel Vergel, a Hydraulics Engineering expert and Leopoldo Polintan (M.Eng., AIT). This 1st generation of CE faculty members who are now retired used effectively the blackboard and the overhead projector in their instruction and various teaching aids like models and posters. Dr. Estanero was the last pioneer when he retired in Dec 2007.

The 2nd Generation: THE SPECIALISTS
In the early 1990’s the department has to hire younger faculty members to address the growing population of CE students. Imposing the strict policy of Dr. Estanero, only civil engineers with at least a Master’s Degree were hired. I dubbed this 2nd generation of faculty members as “The Specialists.” Why? Because it was during this period, that the department started implementing the specialization program – starting with Structural Engineering (STE) and Construction Technology and Management (CTM), then followed later by Hydraulics and Water Resources Engineering (HWR) and Transportation Engineering (TRE).

The Specialists (Tanhueco, Fillone, Lejano, Terante, Gallardo, Oreta & Manalo)

The 2nd generation fulltime faculty members include Ronaldo Gallardo (MS, PLM), Francisco Franco (M.Eng., AIT), Alexis Fillone (M.Eng, AIT/ PhD, UP), Danilo Terante (M. Eng. Ed., DLSU / PhD, UP), Renan Tanhueco (M.Eng., Nagoya U/ PhD, UP), Andres Oreta (M.Eng & D. Eng., Nagoya U), Edgar Dona (MS, Virginia Polytech, USA / PhD, UP), Joseph Manalo (MS, PLM) and Bernardo Lejano (MS, UP / D. Eng., Nihon U). These faculty members went through various transitions in their teaching methods from blackboard instruction, OHP technology to Powerpoint presentations. The “Specialists” were active in presenting in many conferences here and abroad. Many of these faculty members earned their PhD Degrees while teaching fulltime at the university. One of the achievements of this generation is the department being selected as CHED’s Center of Development in Civil Engineering. The department also received a university recognition as the most productive department in research. In ten to fifteen years, this generation will retire from the university.

The 3rd Generation: THE TRANSFORMERS

The 3rd generation consists of relatively young and energetic faculty members – a number of them were students of the 1st and 2nd generation professors in either the undergraduate or graduate programs at DLSU. I will refer to them as the “The Transformers” because it was during their time that new teaching and learning paradigms like “Transformative Learning”, "Student-Centered Learning" and now “Outcomes-Based Education” were introduced at the university. These new breed of faculty members are challenged to transform their teaching strategies considering that they have access to new technologies in the classroom like the thin client (a multimedia with projector and speakers and connected to the internet) and various internet applications like Facebook, YouTube, Google Earth and blogs.

The Transformers and The Specialists - Ready for Battle!

The Transformers include DLSU alumni and former faculty members, Agnes Galang and Cris Castillo, DLSU MSCE graduates, Jason Ongpeng, Dr. Jonathan Dungca, Mary Ann Adajar and Alden Balili, AUN-SEED Net MS graduates from Chulalongkorn University, Irene Ubay, Cherry Capiz and Nicanor Roxas, Jr. Newly hired Dr. Mario de Leon and soon to be hired Dr. Lessandro Garciano (also a DLSU MSCE graduate) also belong to this group. The Transformers have a great task ahead of them. They are challenged to succeed in applying outcomes-based education and transform Lasallian students into professional civil engineers who are critical thinkers, effective communicators, lifelong learners and service-driven citizens.

The Next Generation? The Pioneers have laid the foundations of the BS and Master’s Program in DLSU. The Specialists have erected the four pillars of the civil engineering specializations in STE, CTM, TRE and HWR. The Specialists have a great task also of offering the PhD-CE program. The Transformers must sustain the specialized curriculum and expand the program to include the Geotechnical Engineering specialization and many of them must earn their PhD degree. The challenge to the next generation is not only to continue the department’s tradition of excellence in instruction, research and community service but to produce globally competetive professional civil engineers who can make an impact in shaping our country and the world. The fourth generation - GLOBALIZERS?

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