YOGYAKARTA- Two figures who became famous for their roles in the handling of Mount Merapi eruptions, namely, Head of National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB), Dr. Syamsul Ma’arif, M.Si., and Head of Center of Volcanology and Mitigation of Geological Disasters (PVMBG), Dr. Ir. Surono, on Saturday (18/12), earned special awards from UGM. This coincides with the Night of Awarding for Outstanding People during the series of celebration of UGM's 61st Anniversary at Senate Hall.
The awards presented by Rector of UGM, Prof. Ir. Sudjarwadi, M.Eng., Ph.D., are named Nusa Reksa Pratama for Syamsul Ma’arif and Parwata Reksa Utama for Surono.
Prof. Sudjarwadi in his welcoming speech said that the various awards presented were one of appreciations from UGM to those who have made contributions, not only to UGM but also the nation. “This is an expression of UGM's appreciation for those who have made great services, not only for UGM but also Indonesia,” Sudjarwadi said.
Particularly for the two figures, the Rector said that UGM assessed them as having contributed much of their thoughts and energy to deal with the volcanic eruptions that took many lives while thousand others had to evacuate. The experience of the two figures on the field are very useful and those become role model for scientific development, especially for those dealing with volcanology. “Experience is not only obtained from explicit knowledge, whether from university or textbooks, but also from real field experience,” he added.
Sudjarwadi explained that the awards for outstanding people were also presented to seniors who made service between 1951-1964 in student deployment program. They gave teachings around that time so highschools in Indonesia became centers of learning. “UGM also awarded seniors who made great contributions to student deployment between 1951-1964,” the Rector said.
Meanwhile, after receiving the award, both Syamsul Ma’arif and Surono said that they had not expected to receive such an award. The work they did at Merapi is a normal job and they do it regularly. Despite their pride for the awards, both admitted to be more burdened as they have to prove their knowledge for public use, especially those living around active volcanos in Indonesia. “We are proud and we did not expect this to come from UGM as a major university in Indonesia. We hope that we can continue to implement our knowledge for use by Indonesians as a whole,” Surono and Syamsul said.
On other side, one of the seniors being awarded in student deployment program, H.R. Soerono, also had not expected it. He expressed his happiness, moreover that the UGM student coomunity service (KKN) has run well. “I am happy because I'm still remembered by UGM. I'm proud that our pioneering work that had evolved into the KKN program is progressing and successful. I wish this would be carried forward by the next generation,” Soerono said.
Apart from Syamsul Ma’arif and Surono, UGM also awarded 17 alumni, including five senior figures in student development, 18 outstanding students, 15 outstanding lecturers, and 28 staff at this oldest Indonesian state university.