by Neil Arkhe Azcuna

To be awarded and recognized for your extraordinary work is one thing. It is also another thing when you bagged those accolades, both national and international, in just a span of five months! Such achievement speaks not only of your industriousness and diligence but also of the calibre and quality of what you are producing. Such is the achievement of Mr. Joshua B. Zoleta, currently working as an Assistant Lecturer at the Department of the Materials Engineering and Technology, who was awarded BEST POSTER PRESENTER at 15th ERDT Congress, Red Planet Hotel, Manila City on June 2018; BEST PAPER at the 11th AUNSEED-NET Conference for Energy at Manila Hotel, on August 2018; BEST PAPER PRESENTER at International Conference on Advance Functional Materials and Nanotechnology at Inland Hotel, Butuan City, on October 2018; BEST PAPER PRESENTER at the 1ST International Conference on Materials Science Engineering in the Philippines at Lake Hotel, Tagaytay City still on October 2018; and BEST PAPER PRESENTER at 5th ASEAN Regional Symposium of Chemical Engineers, Diamond Residences at Makati City on November 2018.

 As an alumnus Zoleta, who received his Bachelor of Science in Metallurgical Engineering (BSMetE) at MSU-IIT in 2014, started as a Project Development Assistant and later as the Senior Research Assistant in the two projects headed by Prof. Ephraim E. Ibarra and Prof. Gevelyn B. Itao. These two researchers are namely: “The Development of Alternative Technologies for Small-Scale Gold Mining in CARAGA and South Cotabato Region” and the “Establishment of Common Service Facilities for Artisanal Small-Scale Gold Mining in Northern Mindanao”.

Two years after the projects he started his Master’s Degree in MSU-IIT and was granted the Sandwich Program at Hokkaido University, Sapporo, Japan last July 2018, specializing in the development of intumescent coating in steel substrate using inorganic fillers as fire retardant additives. Upon the financial entitlement of his scholarship from DOST- Engineering Research and Development for Technology (ERDT), he was given the privileges to join several international research conferences and which won him the awards.

His Master’s research entitled “CeO2-Dolomite as Fire Retardant Additives on the Conventional Intumescent Coating in I-Beam Steel Substrate” which is co-authored by Professor’s Gevelyn B. Itao, Vannie Joy T. Resabal, Ryan D. Corpuz, Lyn Marie D. Corpuz, Arnold A. Lubguban, Carlito B. Tabelin, Mayumi Ito, and Naoki Hiroyoshi, had been published in two (2) international journals and is currently receiving approvals from five (5) different international Scopus and ISI index publications. He, together with his advisers, Prof. Gevelyn B. Itao and Prof. Vannie Joy T. Resabal, is aiming to patent his work this coming December 2018 and hoping that this research will have industry collaborations for DOST-PCIEERD research funding by 2019.

Today Mr. Zoleta is specializing in the study of gold extraction from low-grade pyritic ores of Mindanao and on the development of Mathematical Modeling and optimization parameters of the Micron Mill Wave Table (MMWT) for the extraction of gold from alluvial deposits in Digkilaan, Iligan City.

Zoleta is among the young faculty in MSU-IIT who has a lot to contribute to the Institute and to the country. It is with hopes that he, alongside future engineers, be given greater research opportunities in the near future to further strengthen the Metallurgical Engineering program of the College of Engineering.