6. ENGR. ALEJANDRO MELCHOR(1900-1947)
a Filipino civil engineer, mathematician, educator, and member of the Cabinet of the Philippines. A native of Ibajay, Aklan, Melchor was also known for his work on pontoon bridges during the Second World War.
The historic Melchor Hall in the University of the Philippines Diliman campus is named after him. The hall houses most of the units of the UP College of Engineering. In 1924, Melchor graduated in civil engineering with the highest honors from the University of the Philippines. By then, the College of Engineering was barely fifteen years old and was still located in the Manila campus.
During the term of Edward R. Hyde as dean of the UP College of Engineering (from 1926 to 1940), Alejandro Melchor served as the College Secretary. Prior to this position, Melchor was a regular member of the engineering faculty. Considered a brilliant mathematician in his time, Melchor also became the head of the mathematics department of the Philippine Military Academy.
Melchor was known for designing the pontoon bridges used by the U.S. Army during the Second World War. Melchor's work "contributed significantly in winning the war for the Allied Forces". Melchor also attained the rank of colonel.
Melchor obtained his highest rank of public service when he became the Secretary of National Defense in President Manuel L. Quezon's Cabinet. Upon Quezon's death and Sergio Osme?a's succession as president, Melchor became the Military Adviser of the war cabinet. This was during the Second World War, when the Philippine government was in exile.
7. ENGR. EDWARD CARO, (NASA ENGINEER)
On June 25, 2002, the provincial government of Cavite awarded Edward Caro a plaque of recognition for his 42 years of service at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in the United States where he helped launch the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission or the Explorer. Caro, 70 and a native of Cavite retired from NASA in 2001. In return, NASA during the same year conferred Caro the Distinguished Science medal, reportedly the highest honor it gives to its employees.
The Filipino who has the longest service to the Global Expert for Aeronautics and Space Science, (NASA); by which he served for 42 years and contributed for Man?s gain of modern knowledge.
The US Space Shuttle (STS) program
The shuttle is officially referred to as the Space Transportation System (STS). Specific shuttle missions are therefore designated with the prefix "STS." Initially, the launches were given sequential numbers indicating order of launch, such as STS-9.
Beginning in 1984, each mission was assigned a code, such as STS-41-B, with the first digit indicating the federal fiscal year offset into the program (so 41-B was scheduled for FY 1984, 51-L originally for FY 1985 and the third flight in FY 1995 would have been named 151-C), the second digit indicating the launch site (1 was Kennedy Space Center and 2 was Shuttle Launch Complex (SLC) 6 at Vandenberg Air Force Base, although Vandenberg was never used), and the letter indicating scheduling sequence. These codes were assigned when the launches were initially scheduled and were not changed as missions were delayed or rescheduled.
After the Challenger disaster, a sequential numbering system was restored, with the number according to counting from the beginning, although, unlike the initial system, the assignment of numbers is based on the initial schedule and may not reflect launch order. The letter indicates that the intermediate numbering system applies, and e.g. flight STS-51 was many years after STS-51-A.
STS-300 was the designation for the Space Shuttle rescue missions to be launched on short notice for STS-114 and STS-121. After STS-121, the rescue flight for STS-115, if needed, would have been STS-301. After STS-115, the rescue mission designations changed again. They are now based on the corresponding regular mission that would be replaced should the rescue mission be needed. For example, the STS-116 rescue mission was branded STS-317, because the normal mission scheduled after STS-116 was STS-117. Should the rescue mission be needed, the crew and vehicle for STS-117 would assume the rescue mission profile and become STS-317.
8. ENGR. CEBUANO ERNESTO CODINA,
(NASA Engineer ? Astronaut Hardware Designer)
CEBU CITY, Philippines--After over two decades of working in the aerospace industry in the United States, Cebuano Ernesto Codina has decided to come home so he could help government develop the field of aeronautics.
Codina, a 67-year-old quality assurance engineer, has worked on projects, through private contractors, for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) for 25 years as a quality assurance engineer.He first worked as a senior manufacturing engineer for Ford Aerospace Corp. in 1979 and, then, he joined Raytheon Engineers and Constructors Division in 1986 as a manufacturing and quality assurance engineer.
Ford Aerospace designs, develops and manufactures mission control computer consoles and telecommunications equipment for space flight applications. Raytheon is a NASA contractor responsible for safety, reliability and quality assurance of hardware and equipment.
For his more than two decades with NASA, Codina said he was fortunate to be selected as one of the few engineers to design hardware for the astronauts.
One of the most important NASA projects he was involved in was the design of a jet pack in 1996 that would aid the astronauts during their space walk. The jet pack helps the astronaut propel them back to the spacecraft, said Codina, who was recognized Saturday by the University of San Carlos as one of its most outstanding alumni for 2007.
The project was very difficult since the US government gave them one year to design the hardware with only $1 billion budget, Codina recalled.
Working with NASA was a dream come true for Codina who dreamt of being part of the aerospace program as child. This was the reason he took up mechanical engineering. After he graduated in 1964, he worked with several companies in the Philippines until he migrated with his family to the US in 1969. He worked for several companies in the US and when his family moved to Texas, he applied for a job with Ford Aerospace, a NASA contractor.
But the ladder to success was difficult, according to Codina saying he had to hurdle a lot of trials before he was finally accepted in NASA.
But it was worth the trouble. He became the only Filipino who worked directly for NASA's space program while the other Filipinos were trained for other jobs, he said.
Codina retired in 2001 but he stayed on at Raytheon as a consultant for two years. He had been coming home for annual visits but he decided to stay for good.
Codina said he would love to help the government in establishing educational institutions that would offer aeronautics courses.
"I would like to contribute any of my engineering knowledge. I like to pass it back to my countrymen, as my way of helping the economy, helping the improve quality of life.?
9. Dr. RODOLFO AQUINO-
The Filipino who engineered the invention of Magic Rice.
The world's rice research leader, International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), is located in Los Ba?os, Laguna Philippines... The leading rice exporter is Thailand, followed by the USA... The Philippines' foremost rice breeder, Dr. Rodolfo Aquino, was one of the scientists who developed IR8, the 1966 strain of the rice variety that launched Asia's "Green Revolution."
IRRI or also known as "Rice School" is found in the University of the Philippines in Los Banos on the island of Luzon in the Philippines. It's run by one of the world's great centres of agricultural science, the International Rice Research Institute, best known for it's contribution to the Green Revolution 30 years ago. IRRI, as it's known, brings together international scientists to address one of the world's biggest and most basic scientific challenges: how to feed the hungry.
The Rice Production Training Course is designed to teach the basics to anyone, from farmers to chemical salesmen to the likes of me, and within the first half day we were subjected to a gruelling, detailed test on every aspect of the rice plant. It was a sobering process - and I learnt the full extent of what I didn't know about rice.
What did strike me, though, after talking to a range of IRRI scientists, is that rice is the world's most vital food crop. The grain accounts for 80% of the total calories consumed by 2.7 billion Asians, or half the world's population. And we urgently need more to keep up with the world's rapid population growth.
At this moment, cutting edge science is being used to revolutionise our capacity to produce rice. Some of that work is taking place at IRRI in Los Banos. The institute began in 1962 in the Philippines, the country that was considered to be the centre of Asia. It was financed by the Ford and Rockefeller Foundations and was the first international research and training centre devoted to increasing rice production.
At the time, there was fear that Asia's population growth was outstripping food production and widespread famine was inevitable. IRRI went on to make agricultural history by transforming the rice plant. Through a painstaking process of plant breeding, IRRI developed a new rice plant type known as IR8. It was hailed as "Miracle Rice" and helped to spark what is now known as the Green Revolution. IR8 gave double the yield of previous rice varieties when grown in irrigated conditions, had greater resistance to diseases and insects, and was more responsive to fertilizers.
IR8 undoubtedly helped avert a world rice crisis. But the source of the problem - unchecked population growth - has continued, and today experts are again warning of a world crisis in food production. Dr Gurdev Khush has worked at IRRI for the past 30 years and is the institute's principal plant breeder. He estimates that by 2020 the world population will have swollen to around 8 billion people - 5 billion of whom will be rice consumers. Today, only around 3 billion people consume rice, so world rice production must increase by 60% in the next 20 years to meet the needs of the 2020 population.
However unlike the Green Revolution 30 years ago, there is virtually no more tillable-land available to grow rice. Future gains must be made solely by improving rice yields, and on top of that, there's an imperative to use fewer harmful chemicals as fertilizers and for pest control.
10. ALFREDO LAZARTE JUINIO
A civil engineer, educator, and public official of the Philippines, he served as the dean of the College of Engineering of the University of the Philippines. Alfredo Juinio Hall, the building that houses the National Engineering Center, is named after him. He was once described as "one of the country's most brilliant engineers.?Prior to serving as college dean, Professor Alfredo T. Juinio headed the UP Diliman Office of Campus Planning (also known as the Campus Planning Committee). Two of the projects he undertook during his term were the construction of C.P. Garcia Avenue and the UP Gateway at the University Avenue.
Juinio, together with other UP engineering professors, became the structural engineers of the first thin-shell concrete dome in the Philippines for the UP Catholic Chapel, otherwise known as the Parish of the Holy Sacrifice. The structure is the country's first circular church with the altar in the middle and has been declared a historical landmark and cultural treasure by the National Historical Institute and the National Museum, respectively.Juinio was appointed as the Minister of Public Works and Highways, as well as the Administrator of the National Irrigation Administration. During his term, he headed the Upper Pampanga River Multipurpose Projects in Pantabangan, Nueva Ecija.
From 1970 to 1979, Juinio served as the dean of the UP College of Engineering. During his term, he initiated the establishment of the National Engineering Center building, as well as the formation of the UP Engineering Research and Development Foundation, Inc. (UPERDFI). Juinio was elected as the first Chairman of the Board, and went on to serve as UPERDFI president for thirty years.
Juinio was also the co-founder of the DCCD Engineering Corporation and a consultant to various government agencies.
Meralco Award for Engineering and Applied Sciences, 1990
Most Distinguished Engineering Alumnus, given during the Diamond Jubilee of the UP College of Engineering, 1985
Most Outstanding Betan Award, given by the Beta Epsilon Fraternity, 1999