Profession and Career as a Chemical Engineer in Philippines

Q: What is your profession?

A: Engineer.

Q: What kind of engineer?

A: Chemical Engineer.

Q: Where did you finish your course?

A: In Manila,Philippines.

Q: In what university in Manila, Philippines did you finish your course?

A: Mapua Institute of Technology.

Q: When did you finish your course?

A: 1992. Please look at my diploma.

Q: Since you are an alumnus of Mapua Institute of Technology, do you have an affliation or organization to your course or degree finished?

A: Yes, I am an active of Mapua Institute of Technology Chemical Engineering and Chemistry Alumni Association (MITCCAA) since my graduation in 1992 and I can still get in touch with my classmates, professors, some fellow alumni members. Right now, I am in San Francisco, California since November 11, 2000 and I can e-mail my classmates, professors, and fellow alumni members so that I can get news about the association. Hopefully, MITCCAA will build a website or homepage so that the alumni members can visit the webpage and to familiarize all the activities going.

Q: Do you have relatives who finished Chemical Engineering in Mapua Institute of Technology?

A: Yes, I am a fourth alumni in our family who finished Chemical Engineering. First, my uncle, Jose Pangan Balajadia (1959), a former engineer in Meralco Power Plant and now,he is residing in Rego Park, New York. Second, a far-relative from Morong, Rizal, Justo Inguito Balajadia (1967),an engineer of Rizal Cement Company died from car accident in Tanay, Rizal in 1977. Third, a far-relative also from San Leonardo, Nueva Ecija, Flora Escobar Balajadia (1972), a former chemist of a paint and adhesive company in Taguig, Rizal and now, she is residing in Los Angeles, California. And I am a fourth alumni in 1992, and I am residing in San Francisco, California.

Q: Did you take your board exam in Chemical Engineering when you are in Philippines?

A: Yes, I took my board exam last November 3, 4, and 5, 1996 at PRC (Professional Regulations Commission) Annex Building in Manila, Philippines, and I passed the exam. I took my oath at Manila Midtown Hotel on December 1, 1996.Please look at my oathaking and also look my license, PRC diploma, and PIChE diploma.

Q: Are you an active member of Philippine Institute of Chemical Engineer (PIChE)?

A: Yes, you must pass the board exam in Chemical Engineering in order to be a member of PIChE. We must active in PIChE by attending seminars and conventions in order to earn 60 cpe units (Continuing Professional Education Units) within 3 years so that we can renew our license as required by PRC. I attended the annual conventions of PIChE. First, in 1999 at Manila Midtown Hotel in Malate, Manila and second, in 2000 at Waterfront Hotel in Lahug, Cebu City. Please look the PIChE 2000 Annual Convention in Lahug, Cebu City.

Q: Since we have websites and internets anywhere in the world, do we have a website about Chemical Engineering?

A: Yes, we have websites for Chemical Engineering and they are Chemical Engineering Resources and Chemical Engineer. I am always using these website in my research work and practice even when I was in the Philippines.

Q: Are you working now as a Chemical Engineer and in what companies?

A: Yes, I am working as a Chemical Engineer after I finished my course at Mapua Institute of Technology. I worked at Cosmos Bottling Company, Dyson Surface Coating Corporation, Philippine Electroplaters Association, United Container Corporation, and finally De La Salle University. I worked as a Laboratory Technician in the companies I mentioned except for De La Salle University in which I became a professor in Chemical Engineering Department.

Q: We heard that you are taking Masters Degree in Chemical Engineering in De La Salle University, why are you taking Masters Degree? Is it necessary or important to have this degree?

A: I have to take Masters Degree in Chemical Engineering because now, in most industries and government offices, they required the applicants and their employees to have Masters Degree. The competition is very strict. Previously, faculty members in any universities should have Masters Degree, now the faculty members should have a Doctoral Degree or PhD holder. Thank God that He gave me a change to teach in De La Salle University at Chemical Engineering Department thru one of the officer of PIChE, Dr. Susan Abogado Roces, the Faculty Chairman in Chemical Engineering Department. I teach Mathematics to all engineering students. While I am teaching in DLSU, I am taking my Masters Degree in Chemical Engineering Major in Biotechnology in DLSU for free courtesy of Faculty Development Program. Unfortunately, I did not finished my Masters Degree because my papers and visa from US Immigration Office came and I have to leave Philippines before my visa expires and I cannot finish my thesis work immediately.

Q: What is your thesis all about and who is your thesis adviser and panelist?

A: My thesis is "The Effect of Biological Conversion of Lactose into Lactic Acid in the Formation of Curd in Cheese Making". My thesis adviser is Dr. Ariel V. Melendres of PHINMA Union Cement Division and my thesis panelist are Dr. Julius B. Maridable, Ms. Florinda T. Bacani, and Ms. Marilou M. Uy. During my proposal defense, my panelist ask to revise my thesis work including the title but since my papers and US visa came, I don't have a time to revise my thesis work.

Q: When you leave for US, do you have a plan to go back to Philippines to finish your thesis so that you will finish your Masters Degree in Chemical Engineering?

A: Yes, of course, I have a plan to go back to Philippines by 2005 to finish my thesis work and I send my leave of absence to Ms. Malou Jakosalem, our secretary in Engineering Graduate Studies of DLSU. I will save dollars to continue my thesis work if I have a time to go back to Philippines.

Q: If you cannot go back to Philippines to finish your thesis work, can you continue your Masters Degree in US?

A: I don't know because some universities here in US will not consider some of the units taken in Philippines. If they not consider my units taken in DLSU, I will go back to Philippines to continue my Masters Degree. I don't want to waste the scholarship given by DLSU to me thru Faculty Development Program. You should teach in DLSU at least 3 units in order to avail the Faculty Development Program. Let's see in the future what will be my career in the US.

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