Meet Angelo Aquino, Newton Fund grant awardee.

Research topic: Installation of Windbelts for Philippine Urban Localities

Host institution / UK university: University of Sheffield

Home institution: St. Paul University Quezon City

What is your proposed PhD research?

The study, development and application of the Windbelt can be a solution to energy issues confronting the country. The Windbelt is a novel non-turbine technology in wind-energy capture. My idea for research is to focus on installation of Windbelts where wind-turbines are implausible or impossible to install. The study centers on urbanized localities in the Philippines, specifically medium/high-rise infrastructures.

What is the relevance of your research to the Philippines’ economic development and/or social welfare?

We have a potential of 76,600MW of wind power in the Philippines. By 2030 the forecast demand in the Philippines is 30,000MW, more than double today's 12,000MW. The national goal is to meet half of the 2030 demand through renewables This proposed research will add value to our capacity to make electricity available and more affordable to Filipinos by reducing our dependence on the grid and coal/gas power plants, through decentralization and distribution of power-creation capability to individuals and small communities, lowering the cost of energy in the long-term, saving government money and creating jobs in the process.

How do you envision your UK education can contribute to your future career as a researcher?

The PhD program will open up opportunities for partnerships, supportive funding opportunities, further doctoral programmes for other aspiring Filipinos, and long-term collaboration between the University of Sheffield and Philippine institutions. It will enable tech-transfer from UK and European nations to the Philippines and application of patents for technologies developed during the program. In sum, this UK education will induce acceleration of collective thinking of communities towards a renewable energy paradigm.

How has the commitment of the UK in science and technology influence your decision in choosing the Newton Fund?

The UK and the British people’s commitment to Science and Technology can never be questioned. From Isaac Newton, to Darwin, to Faraday, to Dawkins, to Hawking – these are giants in Science. At the beginning I was contacted by Dr. John Calautit, well-distinguished Filipino researcher based in the UK (in collaboration with Dr. Ben Hughes), to apply for the DOST-Newton Scholarship. And from then on, my interest and passion just skyrocketed.