As a continuum, the DOST-SEI Technical Working Group (TWG) headed by Prof. Fortunato T. Dela Pena, proceeded with the technical evaluation on the second day of their visit. After the opening program, the respective program heads and focal persons have been designated to their corresponding breakout sessions for synchronous parallel evaluation of the programs vying for the accreditation of the DOST STRAND Graduate Scholarship Program.
The validation session for the MSABE program was held at the Office of the Vice President for Research, Development, Extension, and Training (RDET). A close-door program defense has been conducted where the MSABE program curriculum, performance, faculty, research, resources, and facilities have been presented and were subjected to technical review by the panel of evaluators. Each criterion was comprehensively reviewed and evaluated with documentary and technical evidence. The TWG has also interviewed a graduate of the Master’s program where Engr. Czarimah L. Singson was able to demonstrate her engineering knowledge in water resources modeling that was acquired during her graduate studies. This shows that the curriculum is compellingly effective and helpful in producing quality graduates. Engr. Singson has demonstrated her expertise in water resources engineering through the use of the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) in assessing the impact of climate change. The panel of evaluators was also able to witness, through the presentation, the relevance and beneficial use of SWIM R&D Laboratory Equipment and Tools in conducting laboratory activities over the Magat Reservoir and along the Magat and Cagayan Rivers. The current Master’s students perform a series of agricultural and biosystems engineering methodologies in solving water resources issues and environmental problems. The students were able to team up with government entities such as the Dam and Reservoir Division of the National Irrigation Administration in investigating the accumulation of sediments over the Magat Reservoir using bathymetric surveys. Water quality studies were also being conducted such as the determination of the changes in river water turbidity, attributed to some meteorologic fluxes like torrential rainfall and how turbidity differs at the upstream in comparison to the downstream portion of the river. Other students were also engaged in studying the infiltration capacity of some of the soils in the Magat Watershed using an infiltrometer and, the corresponding firmness of the soil using penetrometers. Such laboratory materials from SWIM R&D serve as crucial tools in the successful conduct of their respective research and laboratory activities.
After the breakout sessions, all graduate programs were presented to the whole DOST-SEI delegation with Prof. “Boy”. The cross-validation of the submitted documents was also carried out. Pro tem, the results are still being carefully processed and the ISU Graduate School, College of Engineering, and the MSABE Program are very hopeful in waiting for the results of the evaluation.