Thursday, April 19, 2007

Dr. Reynaldo B. Vea to keynote UPD commencement exercises

Dr. Reynaldo B. Vea to keynote UPD commencement exercises

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(UP Diliman Information Office)--Dr. Reynaldo B. Vea, Outstanding UP Alumnus and President of the Mapua Institute of Technology (MIT), will address over 3000 graduates at UP Diliman’s (UPD) 96th General Commencement Exercises, which will be held on April 22, at 3 p.m. at the University Amphitheater.

Vea earned a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering, magna cum laude in 1977, where he was also named Most Outstanding Male Student by the UP Alumni Association (UPAA). Immediately after graduation, he joined the faculty of the College of Engineering (CoE) and served the academic unit for 23 years. In 1993, he was was appointed dean for a 3-year term. As dean, he worked closely with the Commission on Higher Education to upgrade the standards of engineering education in the country.

He obtained an MS in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1981 and a Ph.D. in Engineering from the University of California at Berkeley in 1991. His stint at UP was briefly interrupted by naval architectural practice at the Hudson Shipbuilders, Inc. in Pascagoula, Mississippi (1981-82) and at the Herbert Engineering Corp., a ship design firm, in San Francisco, California (1982-83).

In 1997, then Philippine President Fidel Ramos asked Vea to be the Administrator of the Manila Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS), a post he accepted in the belief that “he would forever lose his right to comment on government affairs if he refused the offer.” Vea was the the helm of the MWSS at its transition to a privatized setup. He also had to deal with the worst El NiƱo in the country and with Asian financial crisis, which caused a steep dive in the value of the Peso.

Vea accepted the presidency of the MIT in late 1999. In the last seven years, he has worked to make the institution conform to international standards in engineering education.

In 2000, Vea received the Most Distinguished Alumnus award from the UP Alumni Engineers and the Outstanding Professional Award in Engineering from the UPAA in 2001. In the same year, he was elected to the National Academy of Science and Technology as an Academician in the Engineering Sciences and Technology Division for his outstanding work and accomplishments in the fields of naval architecture, marine engineering, and marine transportation systems.

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