First computational science lab in Visayas opened at USC

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The first computational science laboratory in the Visayas was opened on Tuesday, March 10, at the University of San Carlos (USC). It will house research facilities and workstations with high-performance computers capable of processing massive parallel and large-scale simulations for researches on nanotechnology, nanoscience, and materials science.

Photo shows (from left) PCIEERD executive director Enrico C. Paringit, in-coming USC president Fr. Narciso A. Cellan Jr., and DOST undersecretary for R&D Rowena Cristina L. Guevara

The 36.49 square meter facility, known by its formal name “USC Laboratory of Computational Functional Materials, Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (LCFMNN)”, was funded by the Department of Science and Technology – Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development (DOST-PCIEERD).

“The lab will enable researchers in the Visayan Peninsula to fortify and be guided in their research plans on photovoltaics and other energy-harvesting devices before the actual costly material experimentation, synthesis, and device fabrication process,” said Dr. Felixberto Buot, LCFMNN project leader.

Through the facilities, USC students and other researchers can be easily trained and continuously mentored on computational techniques and tools for materials development research. With that, the lab is envisioned to become a venue for solidifying the academe-industry research network for materials computation and development.

“In advanced countries, scientific computing has become an important solution for research problems in energy harvesting, energy conversion, and energy storage devices, because it allows researchers to do simulations instead of actual experiments that are somehow impossible to do using traditional approaches, or hazardous and too expensive to be conducted in the laboratory,” added Buot.

The cutting-edge lab was established through the Institution Development Program (IDP) of DOST-PCIEERD, one of DOST’s sectoral planning councils. The IDP strengthens research and development capabilities of institutions by providing financial assistance for the establishment or upgrading of laboratories and research institutions.

“Computational modeling and simulation now play a significant role in the advancement of science, allowing researchers to easily find solutions to complex scientific problems. DOST-PCIEERD fully believes that the LCFMNN can take the Philippines at the forefront of software engineering and development, visualization science, computational materials science, energy-harvesting device R&D, and big data analytics,” said DOST-PCIEERD executive director Enrico Paringit.

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