Our featured Golden Eagle, Dr. Rex B. Demafelis, started his journey as a Cum Laude graduate in 1984 of the University of San Agustin with a degree in BS Chemical Engineering. He pursued higher academic standing by graduating from the University of the Philippines Diliman (UPD) with a degree Master of Science in Chemical Engineering and from the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) with a degree Doctor of Philosophy in Environmental Science and Management. He also attended the Interdisciplinary Graduate Program on Environmental Chemistry and Engineering at the Tokyo Institute of Technology from 1993 to 1996.
While he has established himself in the academe, he has also fostered his growth in his professional career. From 2004 to 2005, he was the National President of the Philippine Institute of Chemical Engineers. In November 1, 2014, he was appointed as the UPLB’s Vice Chancellor for Research and Extension, the position he held until October 30, 2020. As UPLB Vice Chancellor for Research and Extension, he was appointed the Chairman of the PhilRice Advisory Council of the Department of Agriculture from 2017 to 2019. He was also the Chairman of UPLB Chemical Engineering Department of the College of Engineering and Agro-Industrial Technology from 1997 to 2003 and 2005 to 2008. He has been the Chairman of the UPLB Interdisciplinary Biofuels Study Research Center and the UPLB Interdisciplinary Life Cycle Assessment Laboratory since their establishments in March, 2014 and October, 2017 respectively, the establishments of which he was very much instrumental. Moreover, he has been in the research forefront on development of biofuels production systems and policy development. A sought biofuels consultant to private companies, government agencies, and international organizations. He completed more than 40 research projects, mostly on biofuels, which were funded by national agencies, private companies, industry association, international organization and consulting companies. He also published more than 50 papers in internationally refereed journals, more than 150 non-refereed publications, 4 books and book chapter, and 2 policy papers, which are mostly on biofuels. A regular speaker on various national and international conferences and fora on Biofuels. He, too, has been an adviser to more than 150 graduate and undergraduate students, mostly on Biofuels research. In 2007, he was the Technical Resource Person on Biofuels in the State Visit of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to India. In the same year, he was also tasked to assist in the development of the Department of Agriculture’s Biofuels Feedstock Development Program and draft the Implementing Rules and Regulations of the Biofuels Act of 2006. He also got assigned as a Technical Adviser on Biofuels by virtue of Special Orders of the Department of Agriculture (DA).
Currently, he continuously soars high as a UP Scientist and Professor 12 of the Chemical Engineering Department of the College of Engineering and Agro-Industrial Technology of UPLB. He reached the academic rank of full Professor in 2010, a feat in UP career. In recognition of his dedication and love for his profession, He was awarded the 2013 Outstanding Professional of the Year by the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) and 2013 Outstanding Chemical Engineer of the Philippines by the Philippine Institute of Chemical Engineers (PIChE). He was also given the distinction as one of the pioneering Fellows of the Philippine Institute of Chemical Engineers, as well as recipient of the pioneering award of the Manila Water Foundation Prize for Engineering Excellence in 2010 and 2015 respectively.
Indeed, another Golden Eagle has conquered the skies and achieved glorious feats!