Central Philippine University

by Ron Adrian Dionaldo

The ASTM Student Chapter in Packaging at Central Philippine University (CPU) was formally launched in a virtual event through Microsoft teams on May 30, 2024, UTC+8.

Staying true to its vision to be the pioneering institution of premier packaging education in the Philippines, the Packaging Engineering Department of Central Philippine University was formally recognized as an official student chapter of the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) International during the launch event held virtually on May 30, 2024, UTC+8.

ASTM International is a standards organization that creates and publishes technical standards for a wide range of industries and applications, including packaging.

CPU PkgE is the fifth student chapter of ASTM International, and the first in Asia. The program is also the first student chapter to be involved in two committees of ASTM – Committee D10 on Packaging and Committee F02 on Primary Barrier Packaging.

“This launch and establishment of the ASTM Student Chapter at Central Philippine University is another trailblazing event for the institution, being again the first in the Philippines and the Southeast Asia, and fifth in the world,” said Engr. Bernie Cangrejo, Head of the Packaging Engineering Department, in his message during the launch event.

CPU will be joining other student organizations from USA, UK, and Peru ever since ASTM formed its student chapters in 2020. The CPU student chapter is headed by Henna Sofia Sytio as the President, and Danielle Dale Sentillanosa and Ron Adrian Dionaldo, CPP, as faculty advisers.

“As a faculty member, I am thrilled about this opportunity, as this will greatly assist us in our teaching, enhancing further the quality of education which our university upholds,” said Sentillanosa.

Speaking on behalf of the students, Sytio said that “The formation of this chapter is a testament to our commitment to integrating academic learning with real-world applications, preparing us to be leaders and innovators in our respective disciplines.”

The collaboration is made possible through ASTM Academic Outreach programs, which give grants, scholarships, awards, resources, and other opportunities to its members.

Cangrejo mentioned that the ASTM standards are most useful in the capstone research and package development design projects of the packaging students, as well as in preparing these students for internship and employment. “The connections and opportunities that [this] would bring means capacity building for our faculty and helping our students to prepare for their future,” he added.

Cangrejo also thanked the Department of Trade and Industry – Bureau of Philippine Standards (DTI-BPS), for connecting the university with ASTM International. Members of the DTI-BPS were among those who joined the virtual launch event. Other attendees include ASTM International President Andy Kireta as well as other key officials; members from existing student organizations such as from Florida International University; students and faculty of CPU Packaging Engineering; and the Dean of the College of Engineering, Engr. Mary Earl Daryl Grio, who gave an opening remark on behalf of University President Dr. Ernest Howard B. Dagohoy.

“This is a very welcome endeavor as it not only . . . confirms the CPU College of Engineering’s motto of ‘turning ideas into reality’ but also opens opportunities for collaborative activities in instruction, research, and outreach both locally and internationally,” said Grio.

Besides this pioneering achievement, CPU is also the first and currently only university in the Philippines to offer BS Packaging Engineering as an undergraduate program, and Diploma in Packaging Technology as a diploma course for interested professionals.