Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Quantifying the Environmental Impacts of Standard Bridge Designs

 “A Proposed Methodology for Quantifying the Environmental Impacts of 
Structural Elements of Standard Bridge Designs”
 A thesis prepared and submitted by:
Kevin Lawrence M. Atienza
Carla Maria B. Gonzalez
Jorge Jason K. Joaquino
Mitchel Krisia R. Martinez 
April 2015 

To take into account the environmental sustainability aspect of bridge designs, the study presented a methodology to numerically measure the amount of emission different bridges produce. The researchers gathered a total of eighteen bridge plans of various structural systems such as Reinforced Concrete Deck Girder (RCDG), Pre-stressed Concrete Deck Girder (PCDG), Reinforced Concrete Slab, Steel Girder, and Reinforced Concrete Box Culvert (RCBC). Each plan included a bill of quantities that summarized the type of material and the amount used upon construction. Using LCIA database Ecoinvent v3.1, quantities were translated into corresponding environmental impacts namely Acidification, Eutrophication, Global Warming Potential, Photochemical Oxidant Formation, Stratospheric Ozone Depletion, and Depletion of Abiotic Resources. Numerical results were divided by the total area of the bridge leaving one square meter of bridge area as the functional unit of choice.

To normalize these values, each environmental impact equivalent was divided by the largest value, which was produced by the RCBC bridge design. An Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP) was conducted to produce the weighting factors of each impact. The normalized values were then multiplied by their corresponding weighting factors and added up to produce an Environmental Impact Score (EIS) that was used to rank and compare the environmental performance of each bridge. In this particular study, the RCDG bridge design generated the lowest score with a value of 0.451, thus indicating that it produced the least amount of impact. On the other hand, the RCBC bridge design produced the largest amount of impact with an EIS of 0.825. Through the proposed methodology of conducting a Life Cycle Impact Assessment (LCIA) and producing an EIS, structural engineers will be able quantify the environmental impacts of different bridge structural systems and in turn apply sustainability in the decision making of future bridge projects.

Special Acknowledgement: 
DPWH Staff and Engineers for sharing bridge data, 
Dr. Mike Promentilla (DLSU ChE Dept) for guidance in the AHP procedure

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

A Call for Support - The 6th ASIA Conference on Earthquake Engineering (6ACEE 2016- Cebu City, Philippines)

The 6ACEE returns to the Philippines and will again be hosted by ASEP on  September 22-24, 2016 on the occasion of its anniversary and the 3rd anniversary of the 2013 Bohol Earthquake. The orgainizers plan to hold the 6ACEE at a venue in Cebu City. The theme of the 6ACEE is "Bridging Theory and Practice in Earthquake Engineering for Enhancing Community Resilience."

The ASIA Conference on Earthquake Engineering (ACEE) was founded in 2004 during the term of Engr. Rannie Ison as ASEP President and Cesar Pabalan as VP & conference  chair. My DLSU Co-faculty, Joseph Manalo, being the ASEP director and technical committee chair then discussed with me possible themes for the conference. I suggested a thematic international conference where we will invite international experts and professors as members of the scientific committee. We decided the theme on Earthquake Engineering and I quickly emailed my contacts in Japan and other countries such as Prof. Kazuhiko Kawashima (TIT), Prof. Fumio Yamazaki (Chiba U), Prof. Tadaaki Tanabe (Nagoya U), Prof. Panitan (Chula U), Prof. Penung (AIT), Dr. Solidum (PHIVOLCS), Dr, Pacheco (Vibrametrics) and  Prof. Pan (NUS)  for them to be members. Dr. Pacheco suggested many contacts to be members of the international advisor committee. Their favorable responses led to the birth of  the ACEE in 2004. A brief history of the ACCE is summarized below:

  • 1ACEE: Diverse Cultures, One Common Goal - Seismic Hazards and Loss Mitigation  in  Asia,” March 5-6, 2004, Venue: Manila, Philippines, Organizer: ASEP, (
  • 2ACEE: Seismic Hazards Mitigation Through Research, Education and Technology, March 10-11, 2006, Venue: Manila, Philippines, Organizer: ASEP,  (
  • 3ACEE: Disaster Risk Reduction and Capacity Building for Safer Environments,” Dec. 1-3, 2010, Venue: Bangkok, Thailand,Organizer: Asian Institute of Thailand and Engineering Institute of Thailand
  • 4ACEE: In commemoration of the First Anniversary of the 2011 Tohoku Pacific Earthquake,” March 6-8, 2012, Venue: Tokyo, Japan,Organizer: Center for Urban Earthquake Engineering (CUEE), Tokyo Institute of Technology, Joint Conference with 9CUEE, (
  •  5ACEE: ”Earthquake Engineering for Resilient Communities,” October 17-18, 2014, Venue: Taipei, Taiwan, Organizer: National Center for Research on Earthquake Engineering (NCREE) and National Taiwan University (NTU), (
Strategies on how to increase the participation of interested stakeholders from various Asian countries- civil engineers, structural engineers, seismologist, DRRM experts and advocates - must be explored. One suggestion is to involve the various professional organizations interested in earthquake engineering from the various Asian countries to be supporting organizations of the 6ACEE. Hence, we call on these organizations such as the Japan Association on Earthquake Engineering (JAEE), Engineering Institute of Thailand and the professional organizations from Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, India, Taiwan, China, Korea and even Australia and New Zealand to support the 6ACEE.

Friday, April 3, 2015

OBE3 Team: Promoting Effective OBE in the Classroom

 "Outcomes-Based Education for Engineering Educators" or OBE3 started in April 2012 when the Dr. Pag-asa Gaspillo, President then of the Philippine Association for Technological Education (PATE) invited us to design a seminar-workshop to promote OBE to PATE faculty members. The team, composed of  Dr. Manuel Belino, Engr. Efren Dela Cruz and I, designed the course entitled "Effective OBE in the Classroom." The seminar-workshop primarily targets the teachers who are the ones delivering the courses of the engineering curriculum. The course is principally concerned with improving the quality of  the teaching and learning process in the classroom. Accreditation is secondary, because if the teachers can effectively practice OBE in the classroom, then the present requirements on accreditation which based on OBE can be easily achieved.

The seminar workshop on "Effective OBE in the Classroom" consists of the following lectures:
  • Understanding OBE. Why OBE? Global Trends. Designing your PEOs. - Dr. Manny Belino
  • What are Student Outcomes? - Dr. Manny Belino
  • Writing Course Learning Outcomes and Course Design - Dr. Andy Oreta
  • Using Various Assessment Tasks - Dr. Andy Oreta
  • Introducing a Variety of Teaching and Learning Activities - Engr. Efren Dela Cruz
  • Designing an OBE Syllabus - Engr. Efren Dela Cruz
The workshops consists of the ff:
  • Writing the Program Educational Objectives (PEO) for a specific Program
  • Curriculum Mapping
  • Writing Course Learning Outcomes for a Course You Teach
  • Converting your syllabus to OBE format
The seminar-workshop usually takes one and a half days. One day for the lectures and at least half day for the workshop. The expected outputs of the seminar-workshop are draft PEOs of a program, Sample curriculum mapping and syllabi in OBE format. Accomplishing these main outputs involves the application of all the topics discussed in the lectures. Hence, the seminar-workshop is really outcomes-based where the participants are expected to apply the OBE principles in the design of the syllabus of the a course they teach.

After the 2012 PATE seminar-workshop, the OBE3 team was invited to conduct similar lectures and workshops in various schools like Colegio de San Juan De Letran, Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila, Capiz State University and Northwestern Samar University. At the start of the seminar-workshop, there was resistance from the participants. For them adjusting to OBE is an additional burden. However, after Dr. Belino's inspiring lecture on Why OBE?, the participants realize the need to go to OBE, otherwise the engineering graduates will not be globally competitive. After the activity, the team hopes that the participants can effectively apply the OBE principles in the classroom. The saying, "It is only by doing that we learn" should always be in the minds of the teachers for them to understand and appreciate OBE.

Capiz State University (2013)

Collegio de San Juan De Letran (2014)
Northwestern Samar State University (2015)

"Effective OBE in the Classroom" is only the 1st Moduleof the OBE3 Seminar-Workshops. The 2nd module is "Outcomes-Based Assessment of an Engineering Program" which involves the continuous improvement of a program by assessing the student outcomes.

For more information about OBE3, email: 
O-Dr. Andy Oreta -

B-Dr. Manny Belino -
E-Engr. Efren Dela Cruz -