2014 PFCS Award for Chemical Research

Erwin P. Enriquez, Ph.D.

Dr. Erwin P. Enriquez was a 1995 Balik-Scientist of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) joining the Department of Chemistry of the Ateneo de Manila University at a time when a polymer laboratory was being set up there under the DOST-Engineering and Science Education Program (ESEP). He was coming from a postdoctoral stint at the Materials Research Laboratory at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He completed his Ph. D. in Physical, Polymer Chemistry (1993) from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill working on designer surfaces using self-assembled alpha-helical polypeptides. His undergraduate degree in Chemistry (cum laude) was from the University of the Philippines at Los Baños with recognition from the KKP-LB Chapter as an outstanding chemistry graduate in 1987; in the same year, he also topped the Philippine Chemistry Licensure examinations. He has served as Chair of the Chemistry Department of the Ateneo, was a former Associate Dean for Research and Creative Work, and presently, Program Director for an interdisciplinary honors B. S. program (which he co-proposed) at the Ateneo: a five-year Materials Science and Engineering double-degree program (with B. S. Chemistry or B. S. Physics). He also served as resource for Physical Chemistry for the CHED-TC in Chemistry, and presently also serves as member of the Technical Panel for Nanotechnology and Advanced Materials of the DOST, and Secretary of the Board of Directors of the Philippine Institute of Pure and Applied Chemistry (PIPAC). He has visited various laboratories abroad as research fellow or visiting research scholar:  Sophia University (Tokyo, Japan), University of Pusan (Korea), University of California-Berkeley (USA), Heidelberg University (Germany), and University of Paris Sud 11 (France).


His research interests are in surfaces and molecular films, nanostructured systems, polymer and materials chemistry, novel synthesis and fabrication of electronic devices such as third-generation photovoltaics, supercapacitors, and sensors; dabbles in computational chemistry for analytical or modelling applications; or develops educational materials for chemistry and materials teaching. He trains and collaborates with young scientists (of whom, 9 were BPI Science awardees, and many were recipients of the annual Dean’s Research Awards at the Ateneo). He co-wrote scientific papers (27 peer-reviewed articles and 48 local/international conference papers in the past 5 years). His scientific works were recognized: in 2012, he received the Alfredo M. Yao Intellectual Property Award for Luzon and NCR, a 2008 Best Scientific Poster Paper in the 30th NAST Annual Scientific Meeting, and 2004 Outstanding Young Scientist Award by the National Academy of Science and Technology. A number of outputs are also pending patent applications at IPOPHL.

His research draws support from the Ateneo University Research Council, Loyola Schools Grants, Chevron Philippines, Inc. Endowed Professorial Chair in the Ateneo, CHED-COE, DOST-PCASTRD, DOST-ERDT, DOST-PCIEERD, and DOST-PCAARRD Research Grants, industry partners, or on occasions—personal  funds.  These have contributed in his teaching and transfer of research skills—contributing to capacity-building in his fields of expertise not just at the Ateneo but extending it to the local scientific community. He generously provides hands-on assistance to fellow researchers in- and outside of the Ateneo as he keeps continually busy with working in the lab with his students (who called themselves EPEsians). His love for research transcends personal fulfilment as he resonates with everyone who aims for doing scientific work that also matters to the Filipinos.