The Ateneo de Davao University (AdDU) will start offering a Bachelor’s Degree in Aerospace Engineering, the first ever in the country.
Fr. Daniel J. McNamara, Ph.D. AdDU’s physics coordinator, said the degree program will begin this semester. This comes ahead of the Philippine government’s plans to develop a space industry and attract space-related investments to Mindanao.
McNamara explained the idea came from the Department of Science and Technology’s (DOST) proposal to establish a space facility in Mindanao in the next couple of years. The project will be under the National Space Promotion, Awareness, and Capabilities Enhancement (SPACE) Development Program.
Venturing into space
SPACE will run under the leadership of Filipino astrophysicist Dr. Rogel Mari Sese. The program’s main objective is to create a ten-year plan to promote space development in the Philippines. And also to prepare the country in becoming competitive in space-related investments.
Mindanao is a strategic location for such ventures. According to McNamara, being closer to the equator means less energy and expenses required to launch something into space.
But unlike other space agencies that spur opportunities in advanced industries such as launching small satellites into space, McNamara said he is more interested in the socio-economic and ecological applications of looking down at a country.
“Looking down from a satellite would be the way to go in developing nationwide capabilities. So I’m not interested in going to Mars or the Moon,” said McNamara. “I’m interested in the socio-economic and ecological applications of looking down at a country and learning about its businesses, agriculture, geography, weather understanding, peace and stability, etc. There are so many ways that business could be moved forward if there is a comprehensive view of what is going on.”
via Entrepreneur Philippines / Chiara U. Mesiona