MANILA Archbishop Jaime Cardinal Sin and UST Rector Fr. Tamerlane Lana, O.P. led the blessing and inauguration last Nov. 15 of the St. Thomas Aquinas Research Complex, UST’s multi-million showcase of science and technology.

Designed by former College of Architecture and Fine Arts Dean Yolanda Reyes, the research complex brings under one roof the research facilities of UST in the natural sciences, social sciences, and education.

The four-story building is a semi-centralized system for the productive exchange of ideas among University researchers in different areas.

Five research department can be found at the complex – the Research Center for the Natural Sciences, Office for Research and Development, Center for Continuing Professional Education, Center for Educational Research and Development, and Social Research Center. Each office will have easy access to a centralized computer network when the complex becomes fully operational.

The building also houses 21 laboratory rooms that are equipped with advanced research instruments and pilot plant facilities. Each laboratory is endowed with safety features such as adequate ventilation, sliding tinted glass windows, fume hoods to provide fresh air, stand-alone showers and eyewash fountains for quarantine purposes.

Aside from these, the building provides facilities for research dissemination and presentations such as a 216-seater auditorium, six seminar and conference rooms, and an exhibition area.

The research complex also has 16 guestrooms with bathrooms for visiting professors and guests.

In his opening remarks during the ceremony, Fr. Lana said the inauguration of the research complex is a fulfillment of a shared aspiration to house the different areas of academic disciplines under one roof.

A sojourn up north

He stressed that the Research Complex provides an effective witness to the Church’s belief in the intrinsic value of knowledge. “It possesses a distinct character of being a witness to the cause of truth,” the Rector said.

Moreover, the Rector said the Research Complex is UST’s response to the Holy Father’s vision of a Catholic University.

According to Pope John Paul II, a Catholic University promotes the search for integration of knowledge, scrutinizes knowledge in the light of a conscience, and upholds a theological perspective as a way to enable the disciplines to find meaning in their search for new knowledge.

Fr. Lana said he expects faculty members, especially those in science and technology and the social sciences, to conduct more research and become more motivated now that facilities for research have been improved.

Former UST Rector Fr. Rolando De La Rosa, O.P., on the other hand, was very happy now that the research complex is inaugurated. The plan of the complex was conceptualized during his term with the help of Grants Office Director Dr. Ramon Sin.

Through the research complex, Fr. de la Rosa hopes that UST will become known as a research-based university just like universities in Europe and the United States.

Present during the ceremony were Manila Mayor Joselito Atienza, Spanish Ambassador Tomas Pantoja, and UST Vice-Grand Chancellor Rev. Fr. Ernesto Arceo, O.P. Girard R. Carbonell


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