Filipino Assistant Scientist Dr. Benilda S. Ebarvia was awarded the 2019 Developing Economies National Metrology Institute (DEN) Award in rites at Le Montage in Sydney, Australia, on December 4, 2019. Ebarvia was the first DEN winner for the Philippines.
She bested others from 16 countries, including Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, North Korea, Pakistan, Zimbabwe, Fiji, India, Indonesia, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam.
Dr. Toshiyuki Takatsuji, of the NMI of Japan and chairman of the Asia Pacific Metrology Programme (APMP), handed the award to Ebarvia.
Ebarvia is the head of the Metrology in Chemistry (MiC) Laboratory of the National Metrology Laboratory (NML) of the Industrial Technology Development Institute-Department of Science and Technology (ITDI-DOST).
She received the award for having played a key role in establishing the MiC lab at NML-ITDI-DOST, and raising funds for its operations, including raising awareness of metrology among stakeholders in the country.
However, she is best represented by her work in developing the first reference materials (RMs) in the Philippines. RMs are means to confirm methods and to assess accuracy of measurement results for use by measurement laboratories to analyze, for example, content of properties in foodstuffs, e.g., aflatoxin in milk powder, and aflatoxins B and G in peanut butter products, among others.
These are useful also in proving what makes up a particular food, its micronutrients, or the extent of its authenticity.
Further, Ebarvias RM work supports results of measurement laboratories to ensure that local commodities can pass stringent international trade standards on food quality and control.
APMP established the DEN Award in November 2010. It aims to highlight contributions and to recognize outstanding achievements of an individual from APMPs 17 member-economies in advancing metrology efforts in their country and within the Asia-Pacific region.
It gives the award to only one individual every year, with APMP reserving the right to declare no winner within an award year.
AMGuevarra/S&T Media Service