By Camilla Mae Libunao

In celebration of its Diamond year, the Philippine Institute of Chemical Engineers, 27 local and 2 international participating schools attended the ASEAN Undergraduate Chemical Engineering Education Summit (AUChEEDS 2014) held in Manila, Philippines last July 16-19, 2014 with the theme: “Educating the New Generation of ASEAN Chemical Engineers”.

To benchmark the B.S. Chemical Engineering educational practices among ASEAN universities, the ASEAN academe sector and internationally well-known educators presented some resolutions and action plans to improve how the topics are taught in engineering.

On the first day of the event which was held at the Henry Sy Hall of De La Salle University, some keynote and plenary speakers introduced different institutions who recently changed from a conventional education to Outcome Based Education (OBE). Methods of OBE are centered on the students’ learning capability and focused on the student performance.

To further understand how OBE works, a parallelism between bioguided food processing and innovative engineering education was presented by Professor Philipina Marcelo. Bioguided food processing is a new approach that takes into consideration the chemical and biological composition of food in processing to produce high nutritive and quality of the final product. OBE is designed to close the gap between the student outcomes and the needed skills to produce engineers that are adaptable to positive change.

In a paper that was written by Professor Duncan Fraser which was presented by Dr. Richard Felder over a webinar, described the new chemical engineering curriculum used in University of Cape Town. The curriculum addresses the needs of the 21st century and improves the student’s learning and quality of the graduates. This includes mastery of fundamental theories and the application to real-world projects with the acquired skills needed to complete these projects.

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Dr. Miki Chitoshi introduced the ASEAN University Network/Southeast Asia Engineering Education Development Network (AUN/SEED-Net), a human resource network formed by leading Japanese and ASEAN universities which aims to improve the development of ASEAN education by supporting graduate study programs, mobility programs, and collaborative researches. This network started in 2001 to increase integration of ASEAN Economic Community that will be established in 2015.

Interactive and immersive virtual reality environments, flipped lectures, and interactive ebooks were demonstrated by Professor David Shallcross in a webinar. These forms of modern multimedia were developed to be used by educators to improve students’ learning experience.

Development of chemical engineering education and Accreditation Board for Engineering Education in Korea (ABEEK) was discussed by Professor Jae-Jin Shim in his lecture. Assessment methods were shown for the continuous quality improvement of teaching.

Another assessment and evaluation method which was presented by Professor Ir Mei-Fong Chong in The Univeristy of Nottingham, Malaysia Campus used a “Year 1 Assessment Week” where the transferrable skills were emphasized and assessed.

Experiential learning activities were made known to the delegates by Dr. Noel Kristian. In his lecture, the students from the program were able to engage and immerse in communities which are able to apply engineering concepts and theories in determining the problem and devising the solution.
Joachin Victorino Mari Armonio, a student from Adamson University, presented the results of his survey regarding the factors that would affect the learning capability of the chemical engineering students. These factors include the age of the professors, teaching approaches, class participation, and other activities in college life. The survey suggests incorporating both chalk talk and powerpoint presentation in classes, to engage students in active participation, and to influence students into attending and organizing events that would be beneficial to learning.

On the second day, a competitive atmosphere was set in an international Quiz Bowl as 11 teams from different universities and colleges tested their knowledge as they solved different ChE problems. The students in the audience were also involved in a trivia quiz bowl at the same time. De La Salle University team took home 500 USD and was crowned first place. UP Diliman and Malayan Colleges-Laguna bagged the second and third places, respectively. After the competition, the delegates were taken on a campus tour in University of Santo Tomas.

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A fellowship dinner was held at the end of the second day at the UST Seminary Gym as the venue for socialization and gathering of the faculty and student delegates. Various performances by different student organizations were shown during the dinner.

For its culmination, the delegates went outside of Manila to Malayan Colleges-Laguna campus for a minitour and picture-taking. Taal viewing and Tagaytay tour went on in the afternoon.

This event was organized by PIChE College of Fellows and PIChE Metro Manila Chapter in cooperation with DLSU ChEn Society, UST Chemical Engineering Society, and PIChE Junior Chapter-Luzon.


Photo credit: Renz Marion Dela Cruz