UST Student Tops 30th BPI-DOST Science Awards

Science students’ research project on innovation that aids locked-in syndrome patients nabs top prize in 30th BPI-DOST Science Award

By EDD K. USMAN, SDN, Twitter @edd1819, Instagram @bluestar0910, Facebook: SDN — Science and Digital News

THIS is about making your alma mater proud.

And Jay Patrick Nieles, a Bachelor of Science in Electronics Engineering student, certainly did it for his alma mater, the University of Santo Tomas (UST).

With his entry that champions locked-in syndrome (LIS) patients that gives them a way to communicate, Nieles won the coveted Project of the Year award at the 30th BPI-DOST Science Awards held last August 2, 2019, at the Alphaland City Club in Makati City.

BPI is Bank of the Philippines Islands; DOST stands for Department of Science and Technology. Thus, the science awards is a partnership between industry and government, private and public.

In winning the Project of the Year award, the UST student beat 29 other entries to the competition. His research focused on an innovation designed to help LIS patients communicate through a brain-computer typing interface that uses visual imagination of shapes and sizes.

His award-winning entry also gave him the Best in Innovation Award; Christian Badua from the University of the Philippines (UP) Manila is another winner of the Innovation Award for his study on how probiotics can be used to treat colon cancer.

Dr. Josette Biyo, director of the Science Education Institute (DOST-SEI), cited the importance of giving recognition to students who excel in what they do as she congratulated the winners.

She also lauded BPI’s leadership in helping push scientific research.

SEI is DOST’s arm in the implementation of the government’s various science scholarships.

“The works of our young scientists and engineers are truly worthy of recognition and we’re grateful that BPI is with us in urging and inspiring students to excel in science and technology. Three decades of Science Awards is a feat and a testament to BPI’s commitment to strengthen the role of scientific research in national development. Rest assured, DOST will always be supportive of this endeavor,” said Biyo.

The BPI Foundation organizes the Science Awards project in partnership with the DOST. Revolving around the theme of “Moving the Nation toward Sustainable Development through Science and Innovation,” the Science Awards initiative gives outstanding students from across the country the opportunity to contribute researches towards achieving its goals.

DOST and BPI awardees
DOUBLE VICTORY. Jay Patrick Nieles of the University of Santo Tomas (3rd from left) is all smile after bagging the Project of the Year award and one of two Best in Innovation awards in the 30th BPI-DOST Science Awards 2019. From left are Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) Foundation Executive Director Maricris San Diego; another Best in Innovation awardee Christian Badua of the University of the Philippines (UP) Manila and and DOST-Science Education Institute Deputy Director Albert Mariño. (DOST-SEI)


It’s about the future, an executive of the foundation pointed out.

“Through these awards, we hope to inspire more Filipino students to pursue scientific researches and innovations that contribute to building a stronger and more sustainable future for all of us,” said BPI Foundation Executive Director Maricris San Diego.

She led the awarding ceremony with DOST-SEI Deputy Director Albert Mariño.

Students who participated came from eleven universities, namely the Ateneo de Manila University (AdMU), Ateneo de Davao (AdDU), De La Salle University-Manila, Mindanao State University-Iligan Institute of Technology, St. Louis University-Baguio, UPDiliman, UP Manila, UP Los Baños, University of San Carlos, University of Santo Tomas (UST) and Xavier University-Ateneo de Cagayan. Each participant received P10,000 and a medal.

The two entries chosen as Best in Innovation received an additional P20,000 and a trophy each, while the Project of Year Award came with an additional P25,000 and a trophy.

Aside from Nieles and Badua, Alex Retona, Ateneo de Manila University (AdMU); Chester Tantoco, UP Los Baños; Dewey Sia, Ateneo de Davao University (AdDU); Ryan Suplito, UP Los Baños; Jeremie Pearl Cruz, UP Diliman; Jody Adriene Dong-E,St. Louis University-Baguio; Marc Anthony Reyes, Xavier University-Ateneo de Cagayan; and Marvin Serge, Xavier University-Ateneo de Cagayan, made it to the Top Ten and they received an additional P15,000 anda  certificate each.

As part of the research competition, the annual research competition also featured a workshop conducted by Asian Institute of Management (AIM)Prof. Matthew Escobido, as well as an inspiring talks from Outstanding Science Alumni Awardees Dr. Leopold Ilag from Stockholm University, Dr. Luis Sison from DOST-UP Enterprise Center for Technopreneurship, and Engr. Maria Leah Flor De Castro from AdDU.

The BPI-DOST Science Awards introduced in 2019 the Outstanding Science Alumni Awards as a special category, a highlight of the awards’ 30th anniversary. (SDN/DOST-SEI)

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