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Dr. Aura C. Matias is a Professor at the University of the Philippine in Diliman and recently served as Dean of the College of Engineering and Executive Director of the National Engineering Center from August 2010-September 2016.
She earned her BS and MS degrees in Industrial Engineering from the University of the Philippines and later obtained her doctorate in Industrial Engineering specializing in Human Factors at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, USA.
Dr. Matias has been involved in teaching, research and extension work for government, academe and industry specializing in human factors engineering or ergonomics, particularly in the area of work measurement, productivity, optimization, quality management and occupational safety and health; and pioneering efforts towards the advancement of the Industrial Engineering profession manifested by her involvement in being a key founder of the Philippine Institute of Industrial Engineers (PIIE) in 1998 and of the Philippine Ergonomics Society (PHILERGO) in 2003.
She has received national recognition for her work as an educator, researcher and professional achievements. Dr. Matias was named as one of “The Outstanding Women in the Nation’s Service” (TOWNS) in the field of Industrial Engineering last October 2004, the 2006 Outstanding Achievement Award for Engineering Research from the National Research Council of the Philippines (NRCP). In 2007, she received two awards from the University of the Philippines. She received the Outstanding Engineering Professor Award from the UP Engineering Research and Development Foundation (UPERDFI) and the Outstanding Professional Achievement in Science and Technology Award from the UP Alumni Association. She was conferred the title of ASEAN Engineer and listed in the ASEAN Engineer Registry in 2008.
She was elected to the National Academy of Science and Technology as Academician in the field of Industrial Engineering in 2011. In 2015, she received the National Science and Technology Week (Dioscoro L. Umali Medal) Outstanding Science Administrator Award for her significant contributions to S&T through effective management and implementation of plans and programs.
As a member of the Technical Committee for Industrial Engineering, she has actively participated in the drafting of the recommended standard minimum curricular guidelines and requirements for the undergraduate program in Industrial Engineering to be implemented and enforced in all engineering schools in the Philippines by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED). To date, she continues to serve the CHED as a member of the Task Force for Industrial Engineering Programs and the Task Force for Monitoring Centers of Excellence/Centers of Development. She now also serves as Interim Director of the Institute for Information Infrastructure Development (IIID) of the Philippine-California Advanced Research Institutes (PCARI) Project implemented by CHED intended to advance research training of S&T manpower in collaboration with the University of California, USA.
She has published her research work in referred journals like the Ergonomics Journal, Occupational Ergonomics, and the Philippine Engineering Journal. She is currently a member of the Editorial Board of the International Journal on Human Factors in Manufacturing and the Regional Editor of the International Journal on Industrial & Manufacturing Engineering.
She is a respected resource person among industrial engineering professionals and academe. She is often called upon to offer expert opinion with regards to engineering education, sustainable development and environmental management. She endeavors to organize multi-disciplinary teams particularly in projects that involve environmental management, resource and manpower development and assessment of public services such as electricity and water. Her professional involvements have been characterized by both application of her expertise and her creativity in generating new knowledge that form the basis of government policy formulation and decision-making structures, providing valuable operational and business planning information, and increasing public awareness through the development and implementation of a performance based rating systems, increasing commitment of industry to uplift the quality of life of the Filipino workers through improved health and better working conditions by pursuing health promotion and advocacy.