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Ocon is first Filipino Green Talents Awardee

(OCT. 12)— Dr. Joey D. Ocon of the Department of Chemical Engineering was one of the recipients of the 2015 Green Talents Award by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). He is the first Filipino to receive the award.

The award, under the patronage of BMBF Minister Professor Johanna Wanka, honors 25 young scientists each year from across the globe for their outstanding achievements in the field of sustainability research.

“To be recognized as someone of high potential in sustainability research is very encouraging in the career of a young scientist. It is a testament also to the quality and rigor of the education and training I received from UP and from the long hours of working in the laboratory/office while studying for my PhD.,” said Ocon.

As awardee, Ocon will participate in a 2-week science forum in Germany—The Green Talents - International Forum for High Potentials in Sustainable Development. The forum aims to promote the international exchange of innovative green ideas. Ocon will also be given exclusive access to Germany’s research landscape with all its prestigious academic and research institutions and leading experts.

Ocon will have one-on-one meetings with the director of the prestigious Fritz Haber Institute of the Max Planck Society in Berlin, a professor in the University of Stuttgart, and a professor in Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin to facilitate his 3-month research stay next year.

He leaves for Germany on Oct. 16. BMBF will fund both the science forum and Ocon’s research stay next year.

Ocon, whose research interests are in material science, electrochemistry and catalysis, is the head of the Laboratory of Electrochemical Engineering. The facility trains young researchers and locally develops electrochemical energy storage and conversion systems as well as other advanced green technologies envisioned to reduce the country’s dependence on petroleum oil.

Ocon is also a recipient of the 2015 Outstanding Young Scientists of the National Academy of Science and Technology-Department of Science and Technology. He was one of the two grantees from the Philippines of the 2015 Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting in Lindau, Germany. The meeting which fosters the exchange among scientists of different generations, cultures and disciplines, brought together 67 Nobel Prize winners and 650 young scientists from nearly 90 countries.

A 9th placer in the 2009 Chemical Engineering Licensure Examinations, Ocon earned his BS Chemical Engineering, cum laude, and MSc in Chemical Engineering from UPD in 2008 and 2011, respectively. This August, he received his Ph.D. in Environmental Science and Engineering, with specialization in Electrochemistry and Catalysis, from Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology, Republic of Korea. — ACG