Pinoy 'Avatar' tops 2011 BPI-DOST Science Awards


A potentially groundbreaking study that could help the hearing impaired using a Filipino sign language avatar bagged the much-coveted “Best Project of the Year” title in the 2011 BPI-DOST Science Awards held on Jan. 28, 2011 in Makati City. 

The winning project was developed by Ahmed C. Abdullah Khayef, a BS Information Technology student, from Saint Louis University of Baguio City. Khayef received a P50,000 cash incentive, a trophy and a scholarship for a masteral/doctorate degree from the Department of Science and Technology (DOST). 

The winning project was chosen for its relevance and impact to knowledge advancement, its viability for commercial production and marketability, the originality and uniqueness of the study, and its adherence to scientific soundness. 

First runner-up was a project that explored the recovery of high-purity silver from the gold effluents in the Marilao-Meycauayan-Obando River in Bulacan, developed by Jomuel A. Velandres, BS Chemical Engineering of the University of the Philippines in Los Baños. Kimberly B. Lucero, BS Biology student of the University of San Carlos in Cebu, won second runner-up for a study on organic pest control. They each received P30,000 and P10,000 in cash prizes, respectively, and a trophy.

A joint undertaking of the BPI Foundation, Inc. and the DOST, the “Best Project of the Year” Awards aims to recognize and provide incentives to graduating students in selected colleges/universities who excel in specialized fields of science, namely: mathematics, physics, chemistry, engineering, computer science and biology. 

Exceptional science and engineering students from BPI Foundation’s ten partner-universities nationwide vie for the “Best Project of the Year” Awards.

This year’s six finalists were chosen from BPI Foundation’s ten partner colleges and universities, namely: Ateneo de Manila University, Ateneo de Davao, De La Salle University, Silliman University (Dumaguete City), Saint Louis University (Baguio), University of the Philippines Los Baños, University of the Philippines Diliman, University of San Carlos (Cebu), University of Sto. Tomas, and Xavier University (Cagayan de Oro).

This year’s panel of judges were composed of: Mr. Eduardo D. Jose, Jr., former Executive Director, BPI Foundation (chairman of the panel); Dr. Alvin Culaba, Professor, De La Salle University; Dr. Aura C. Matias, Dean, College of Engineering, UP Diliman; Mr. Voltaire Mistades, Assistant Professor of the Physics Department, Dela Salle University, and 1993 BPI-DOST Science Awardee (DLSU); Dr. Christopher Monterola, Associate Professor National Institute of Physics of UP-Diliman; and Dr. Maria Corazon De Ungria, Head, DNA Analysis Laboratory of UP Diliman.