The UST Department of Chemical Engineering, through the Graduate School (GS), launched the M.S. in Chemical Engineering with specialization in Metallurgical Engineering Program last 18 January 2016 at the USTGS Board Room. The dual degree Program is offered jointly with the Western Australian School of Mines (WASM) of Curtin University on a “1+1” platform, i.e. the M.S. ChemE students study in UST on their first year and in the WASM for the M.S. in Metallurgical Engineering Program on their second year.
The two Institutions forged a partnership to offer this Master’s Program with the objective of promoting responsible and sustainable mining practice in the Philippines. It is aimed at producing experts in this area, not only for the Philippines but also for the Asia-Pacific Region, by sharing Australia’s well-established technology and practices in sustainable Mining through Instruction and mutually beneficial Research works and innovations.
To mark the launch of the Program, Prof. Steve Hall, Ph. D., the outgoing Director of WASM and the incoming Executive Director of Mining Education Australia (MEA) gave the Inaugural Lecture. In his lecture, Prof. Hall emphasized the importance of sustainable mining and the various ways by which this can be achieved through “A globally connected Mining School for the 21st Century”.
In attendance were the Vice-Rector for Research and Innovation, Prof. Maribel G. Nonato, Ph. D., the Regent and Dean of the Faculty of Engineering, Rev. Fr. Roberto L. Luanzon, Jr., O.P., and Prof. Philipina A. Marcelo, Ph.D., who gave the Invocation and Welcome Remarks, respectively, and the Dean of the UST Graduate School, Prof. Marilu Madrunio, Ph. D., who gave the Closing Remarks.
Also in attendance were Assoc. Prof. Don Ibana, Ph. D., former Chair of the WASM Department of Metallurgical and Minerals Engineering, and Dr. Richard A. Alorro, the current DOST-PCIEERD Balik Scientist, also from WASM. Also present were Mr. Mark Flores and Ms. Kina Santillan-Pascua, the Deputy Director and Senior Project Officer of the Philippines Australia Human Resource and Organisational Development Facility (PAHRODF), Ms. Nelia C. Halcon, the Executive Vice-President of the Chamber of Mines of the Philippines who was invited as member of the Advisory Committee for the Program, DOST-PCIEERD officers led by Engr. Katrina Batang-Landicho, and Assoc. Prof. Karen S. Santiago, Ph. D., Associate Director of the Office of International Relations and Programs.
The event was jointly organized by the Department of Chemical Engineering, led by the Chair, Engr. Mark Emile H. Punzalan, and the Graduate School through Prof. Maria Natalia R. Dimaano, D. Eng., Lead, Engineering Cluster.  Graduates and undergraduate ChemE students, ChemE faculty members including the former Dean of the Faculty of Engineering, Prof. Alberto A. Laurito, as well as other officials in the Faculty of Engineering were also in attendance. It was hosted by Asst. Prof. Michael Francis D. Benjamin, Ph. D. and Engr. Ayesha Duavis of the Engineering International Relations and Programs.