Saturday, August 7, 2010

History of the College of Engineering and Architecture


The College of Engineering and Architecture (formerly the College of Technology) offers five Engineering Courses (CE,ChE, ME, CpE, ECE), Architecture, Fine Arts and Interior Design. Three of its engineering programs, CE, ChE and ME are PAASCU Accredited Level II.
For almost six decades, the College had produced 62 Board Topnotchers and 89 graduates with Latin Honors - a proof of its unwavering commitment to academic excellence.
Quite impressively, the College had a long list of students who had served as Editor-in-Chief of the Augustinian and the Augustinian Mirror or as president of the USA Student Council.
The real crowning glory of the College however, is the impressive number of its successful and distinguished alumni who have carved their names in various areas of endeavors – be it in Science and Technology, Industry, Academe, Government Service, Business, Arts, and many more.

After World War II, when the political and social scenarios were already normalized, Father Rector Dolse Garcia convoked the House Chapter on July 1, 1946 to deliberate on the opening of the College of Engineering. Realizing the need for men and women of science and technology who would help in the rehabilitation of the war-ravaged Philippines, the Augustinian Fathers approved the opening of the College of Engineering. The College started admitting students in July, 1946.

Only the first two years of Civil Engineering were offered during the school year 1946-1947, with forty-five students enrolled as freshmen. Foreseeing however that more students would enroll for school year 1948-1949, another year was added to the Civil Engineering course. The foundation years for courses in Mechanical, Electrical and Chemical Engineering were also opened.

By school year 1951-1952, complete courses for Civil, Mechanical and Chemical Engineering were already offered by the College. Laboratories had been put up and equipment for the different courses had been acquired.

School year 1953-1954 saw the opening of the Bachelor of Science in Chemistry. At this stage, the student population tripled, with marked increase in the female population especially in Chemical Engineering and Chemistry.

A major step was taken by the College in school year 1956-1957 when it introduced the Bachelor of Science in Architecture course. The College was named College of Technology from then on.

The College of Technology etched its name in the history of the University of San Agustin when in 1957 it produced a First Placer in the Chemist Licensure Examination in the person of Nelly Pontino-Hibionada. Two Technology students, Nelly Pontino-Hibionada and Lydia Buyco were conferred Latin Honors(Cum Laude) during the Commencement Exercises of 1957.

The Architecture Department followed the steps of the Chemistry Department, when in 1962, it also produced a First Placer in the person of Jose A. Dureza.

Producing board topnotchers was an easy task for the College. In 1965, Rolando Siendo landed 5th Place in the Licensure Exam for Architects. The following year, Remegio Salanatin landed 2nd Place in the Licensure Exam for Civil Engineers.

The College of Technology produced two successive First Placers in the Licensure Examination for Mechanical Engineers in 1972 and 1973. Arturo Tuvida and Elmer Surriga stole the limelight when they topped the board examination for Mechanical Engineers in 1972 and 1973, respectively.

The Chemical Engineering Department produced a Fifth Placer in the person of Raul Go Lee Tian in 1975.

The tradition lives on for the College in producing board topnotchers.

In 1982, the Department of Chemistry was chosen as the lead institution for Chemistry in Western Visayas by the National Science and Technology Authority. The Civil Engineering Department produced the only Summa Cum Laude the College of Technology ever had, in the person of Sandra Anotado.

Cognizant of the emerging demand and popularity of computer related courses, the College of Technology offered the Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering in 1995. During this time and in the successive years, the enrollment of the College swelled.

In 1996 the College applied for PAASCU accreditation of the three engineering programs namely, CE, ChE and ME and was granted initial accreditation for these three in 1998.

The University of San Agustin ranked sixth and seventh nationwide among schools offering Architecture when it registered a high passing percentage in the January, 1999 and January 2000 Licensure Exam, respectively.

Rapid advancement in the fields of electronics and communications challenged the College to offer a new course Bachelor of Science in Electronics and Communications Engineering in school year 2000-2001. It was also in the same school year that the College of Technology was renamed College of Engineering and Architecture.

The Chemistry program was transferred to the College of Arts and Sciences (formerly College of Liberal Arts) effective school year 2001-2002.

The Chemical, Civil and Mechanical Engineering Programs were accredited Level II by PAASCU in 2001.

Two more new courses were offered in school year 2004-2005, and these are: Bachelor of Science in Interior Design and Bachelor of Fine Arts Major in Painting.

The Architecture Department made the University of San Agustin the Third Top Performing School for two consecutive years when it registered a high passing percentage in the January 2004 and January 2005 Licensure Examination for Architects.

The College of Engineering and Architecture is a recipient of the Smart Wireless Engineering Education Program (SWEEP) where Smart Communications, Inc. donated a Wireless Laboratory to the College. Said laboratory was inaugurated last June, 2005.


When the College opened in 1946, Fr. Dolse Garcia appointed Civil Engineer and Architect Benjamin Hilado as Head. His designation was later changed to Dean in 1952. Dean Hilado was largely responsible for the design and construction of the physical plant of the post World War II Colegio. He designed and engineered the Herrera Building (Administration), Rada Hall, Mentrida Hall, Aguirre Hall, Gamboa Hall, Blanco Hall and Gymnasium.

During the school year 1956-1957, upon the introduction of the Architecture Course, Fr. Rector Isaac Insunza appointed Engr. Francis L. Padilla Assistant Dean and at the same time, Head of the Physics Laboratory. Engr. Padilla eventually assumed the deanship in school year 1972-1973. In the following school year Engr. Joven Gonzales was named Assistant Dean.

In 1983, upon the retirement of Engr. Padilla, Engr. Conrado A. Silvederio was appointed Dean.

In June of 1998, Engr. Maura Pamposa Basco was appointed First Lady Dean of the Department. She still holds the position at present.


The College of Engineering and Architecture (formerly the College of Technology) has always been alive with students’ activities and organizations. It pioneered an exclusive fraternity for Technology students called Epsilon Sigma Alpha, forerunner of the present-day Epsilon Alpha Chi Organization (EACO). Other organizations in the College include: Atelier (Student Organization for Architecture Students), Augustinian Computer Engineering Society (ACES), Chemical Engineering Student Society (ChESS), Institute of Electronics and Communications Engineers of the Philippines (IECEP), Junior Philippine Society of Mechanical Engineers (JPSME), Young Builders Society (YBS), PUBUKAD Artists Group, Circulo Artists Group, United Architects of the Philippines Student Chapter (UAP-SC), Philippine Institute of Architects Student Auxiliary (PIA-SA) and Pen and Ink

Its first college student paper was The Chemical Digest, which was subsequently replaced by The Tech Record. The Tech Record had for several times won as the Best Departmental Paper in Western Visayas.

The College had produced a number of outstanding students who had made a mark in the national scene. On top of them was Wilfredo L. Segovia, who was named one of the Ten Most Outstanding Students of the Philippines in 1967. He had also served as the National President of the College Editors Guild of the Philippines. Other students who made it to national distinction were: Charito Erecre who placed first in the UNCTAD National Poster Contest in 1975 and Naomi Cosette Rigor-Luis who bagged the Grand Prize in the 1988 Rizal National Essay Writing Contest. Aquilino Cabrias, Jr. landed First Place in the National Civil Engineering Quiz Contest in 1998. Mr. Cabrias was also one of the pioneer recipients of the Ayala’s Call to Leadership Conference in 1999- such conference was a gathering of the best and brightest students culled from colleges and universities nationwide. In sports, Kristine Cabasac was recognized as the Most Be-medaled Swimmer in the 2006 National PRISAA held in Lingayen, Pangasina where Western Visayas emerged as the Champion. In the field of Arts, Nil Capinianes and Arthur Jusa qualified as finalists to the 37th Shell National Students Art Exhibition in 2004.

The College of Engineering and Architecture is an active member of the Philippine Association for Technological Education (PATE) and the Council of Engineering and Architecture Schools in Western Visayas (CEAS-WV). It is also in active collaboration with professional organizations like PIChE, PICE, UAP, PIA and PSME among others.

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