Thursday, August 13, 2015

Entrepreneurism & Leadership Programs Spotlight Series: Regina Caluya, Chemical Engineering '16

Regina Caluya, Chemical Engineering '16
From Cebu, Philippines, chemical engineering student Regina Caluya has focused her education and career towards making a strong social impact through science and engineering. At the age of 18, Regina emigrated to the States with her family in 2009 and enrolled at UC San Diego as a transfer student in 2013. At UCSD, Regina has been involved in Global Teams in Engineering Service (Global TIES) and the UC San Diego chapter of American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChe at UCSD), specifically the Chem E Car project to construct a small chemically powered car.

Regina enrolled in Global TIES last Spring and joined One Village Philippines (OVP), a team partnered with Gawad Kalinga’s (GK) Enchanted Farm to develop easily replicable, sustainable technologies to be adopted in rural communities in the Philippines, a country that is struck by approximately 15 typhoons annually. Regina has found it to be a very special opportunity to be a part of OVP and help GK’s mission.  “It’s been wonderful to gain experience and give back to your motherland,” said Regina. “My heart really goes into this. It was eye opening to be there… I was able to see the condition of my country and realized that we can do something to change or improve their condition.”

One Village Philippines Team and Global TIES Advisor Mandy Bratton
with local Filipinos at the Enchanted Farm.
This summer, OVP brought the design for the second iteration of their solar street lamp back to the Philippines, where scavenged for the necessary materials and taught some of the local Filipinos how to replicate the lamp at GK’s Enchanted Farm. “We were humbled by their practical skills,” said Regina. “They were able to wire the poles faster than us. Even though as UCSD students we have a world class university education, there are still people who know better than us.”

After graduation, Regina hopes to work for a renewable energy company, but for her last year at UCSD, Regina sees herself continuing her work with AIChe and OVP. This year, OVP has plans to pursue a brand new sustainable project, possibly one that involves relieving the whole Enchanted Farm community’s reliance on the grid.

“Working with OVP really helped me realize what career path I want to take. This summer I’m working as a research intern for Global Energy Network Institute, and I’m writing an executive summary on the possibility of making the Philippines completely renewable (hopefully by 2030), including the possible mixes of renewable energy.”

To learn more about the Global TIES One Village Philippines Project, read here.


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