Rector of UGM, Prof. Ir. Panut Mulyono, M.Eng., D.Eng., along with Dr. Indra Perdana, Manager for International Cooperation of Engineering UGM, Ir. Pri Utami, M.Sc., Ph.D., Head of Geothermal Research Center, and Dr. Khasani, the Vice Head, paid a visit to Manila, the Philippines from September 26-29, 2018.
The visit was a follow-up to the preliminary visit to the invitation of Dr. Sinyo Harry Sarundajang, the Indonesian Ambassador to Manila. It was carried out concurrently with the AUN SEED/Net Regional Conference on Energy Engineering (RCEneE) from September 27-28.
On September 27, they made an official visit to the Indonesian Embassy in Metro Manila. The Rector presented an update on UGM's current position in the national and global education as well as strategic programs potential to strengthen Indonesia's bargaining position in the eyes of neighboring countries. He also shared information on graduate school scholarships offered by the Indonesian Government for outstanding students from neighboring countries.
Meanwhile, Sarundajang explained the government mission in the three countries of accreditation (Republic of the Philippines, Republic of Palau, and Republic of the Marshall Islands) and affirmed his preparedness to assist UGM collaborative activities in education and research so they would strengthen Indonesia's relations with the three countries, including in geothermal, agriculture, food technology, health, and disaster.
On September 28, the Memorandum of Understanding was renewed between UGM and the University of Philippines. The signing was done at the UP-Chancellor Office, Quezon Hall by the UGM Rector and UP Chancellor, Prof. Michael Tan. The UGM Rector was accompanied by Dr. Indra Perdana and Dr. Khasani, while the UP Chancellor by Dean of School of Engineering, Prof. Rizalinda de Leon. The event was witnessed by two Indonesian Embassy officials in Manila, Hidayat Zakaria (Counselor), and Agus Buana (Social and Cultural Second Secretary).
On the second day of the regional conference, Pri Utami had the opportunity to be a Plenary Speaker, presenting material on the synergy between science and engineering in geothermal energy exploration and utilization, as well as interdisciplinary research opportunities including the development of social engineering as done by UGM. Additionally, Dr. Khasani with a research team from the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering won the Best Paper award for their method of increasing the efficiency of geothermal power plants.
As the RCEneE series, according to Pri Utami, Geothermal Research Center UGM collaborated with the National Institute of Geological Sciences of the University of Philippines, Energy Development Corporation (EDC), and Department of Energy (DoE) of the Republic of Philippines to hold Indonesia-Philippines Geothermal Forum. Pri Utami, as the forum chairman, explained that the event was aimed to share information about current research on geothermal exploration and development technology conducted by institutions involved in the forum. It was attended by lecturers and students from UP and other universities in the Philippines as well as research unit leaders at EDC and DoE.
"Here UGM presents the research by Dr. Indra Perdana with the research team of Chemical Engineering Department on innovative mitigation in handling scaling problems in geothermal fields. Results of this forum are expected to become the basis for collaborative research by UGM and its geothermal partners in the Philippines," explained Pri Utami.