MANILA, Philippines - A Filipino scholar of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) won a prestigious international award in physics.
|Dr. Ryan Balili at his laboratory. Photo courtesy of DOST-SEI
Dr. Ryan Balili, a 2002 B.S. Physics graduate of the Mindanao State University-Iligan Institute of Technology (MSU-IIT), won the Gallieno Denardo Award for his work on semiconductor optics.
Balili developed "a new source of coherent light which may be the future in the production of lasers," according to a statement given by the DOST.
Balili, who heads the photonics research department of MSU-IIT, won $1,000, a diploma, and a 3-week stay in Trieste, Italy, where he will also give a seminar about his work.
Balili said he was surprised to win the award as he was just asked to submit records of his research outputs after attending an Advanced Imaging in Optics course in Italy.
"Although this was not my first international award, it means more to me because it specifically searched for a science or scientists from developing countries. Due to the prevailing culture of research in developing countries, the value of promising scientists as effective agents of economic and social development are far too often ignored if not belittled. International awards are sometimes a wake-up call to local leaders. They might start asking themselves why they have overlooked something more developed countries consider far too important, such as keeping a critical mass of active scientists," Balili said.
In 2006, Balili won the Physica Status Solidi Young Researcher Award for best research and presentation at the 7th International Conference on Excitonic Processes in Condensed Matter at Winston-Salem in the US.
Balili's victory shows that the DOST's scholar graduates are at par, if not better, than their foreign colleagues, shared DOST-Science Education Institute (DOST-SEI) Officer in Charge and Deputy Director Dr. Leticia V. Catris.
"We congratulate Dr. Balili for this prestigious award and we believe that he can still do far more greater things for the Philippines. The scholars that we engender every year become part of the driving force of the science community and eventually, our economy," Catris said.
The Gallieno Denardo Award is given by the International Commission for Optics (ICO) and the Abdus Salam International Center for Theoretical Physics (ICTP) to young researchers from developing countries below 40 years old, are active in research in optics, and have contributed to the promotion of research activities in their own or in other developing countries.
Catris said DOST-SEI will continue to search for more aspiring engineers and scientists and provide scholarships.
"We shall be relentless in our pursuit to achieve in creating a critical mass of scientists and engineers and we hope that with Dr. Balili's achievements, so as with other scholars, we can encourage more high school students to venture into a career in science and technology," Catris said.