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The PLM Top Executive Award: Gawad ng Kaunlaran

Another award representing the second word in the PLM motto, Kaunlaran, is being conferred on SANDRA MEI BRANZUELA of the College of Science (Chemistry) by the University's Executive Vice President and six Vice Presidents, otherwise known as the PLM Top Executive Award.

The Gawad ng Kaunlaran and a cash gift of P20,000 are awarded to Ms. Branzuela best employed for her creativity, passion and skill to launch innovation that will spur progress. In her case – for inventing a Flame Emission Photometric Determination of Iron via Digital Imaging Based Detection (DIB-FEP) "from scratch" at the Creative Category of the DOST Regional Invention Contest and Exhibits.

The award recognizes her effort to build the instrument for the detection of metals in liquids, a photometer box normally used in laboratories, that only cost her around P5-10,000 to build compared to 1.5 million pesos when purchased commercially. All in all, it took her at least two extensions on the original year and a half period within which her mentor – Professor John Rafael Granada – expected her to complete the contraption.

It was the result of blood, sweat and tears and many nights of sleep deprivation and the use of only a smartphone and a digital camera as data-gathering tools. But because of her perseverance and hard work, her Eureka! Moment was twice as sweet and earned her DOST's Sibol award for young inventors and the respect of the PLM community. Please give her a big round of applause to show her how much we appreciate her initiative and how much we take pride in her achievement.