Dr. Aura C. Matias is one of the newest elected Members of the National Academy of Science and Technology, Philippines (NAST Phl) in recognition of her invaluable contributions as a researcher, mentor, and professional in the field of industrial engineering for imparting her expertise with regard to engineering education, sustainable development, and environmental management. Her involvement in various governmental projects has been characterized by both application of her skill and her creativity in generating new knowledge that form the basis of government policy formulation and decision-making structures. Academy membership is by peer recognition that have demonstrated and earned distinction in various scientific and technological undertakings.
Her research interests covered human factors engineering and ergonomics, occupational safety and health, operations research, productivity and quality management, and energy and environmental planning and/ or optimization.
For 21 years, Dr. Matias has been involved in many research and extension projects such as manufacturing, banking and management companies specializing in human factors (engineering or ergonomics), specifically in the area of occupational health and safety.
She has been involved with the Public Assessment of Water Services (PAWS) project as the project manager and principal consultant for the past 9 years in the creation of a monitor and evaluation tool of the two concessionaires, Manila Water Company, Inc. (MWCI) and the Maynilad Water Services Inc. (MWSI). The project aimed at assisting the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System Regulatory Office (MWSS-RO) in its decision making process, provide the concessionaires with valuable operational and business planning information, and increase public awareness.
Also, Dr. Matias 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 in all engineering schools in the Philippines by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED). Her active participation in the Philippine Institute of Industrial Engineers has contributed significantly towards the professionalization of the Industrial Engineering practice.
At the national level, she is called upon to provide expert opinion in various government initiatives by the Development Academy of the Philippines (DAP) such as the 4-day work week policy, evaluation of the Philippine Quality Awards (PQA) system and the IDS Corruption Resistance Employee Survey. She was also involved in various transactions with other government agencies such as the Department of Energy (DOE), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), and the Department of Labor of Employment (DOLE).
A dynamic resource speaker, Dr. Matias conducts continuing engineering education seminars for professional engineers not only in the field of industrial engineering but for other engineering disciplines as well. She has represented the country in various international and local conferences and symposia as a government official and as a member of the academe.
She holds key positions in many international and local organizations, namely; Senior Member of the Institute of Industrial Engineers, Council Member of the International Ergonomics Association, and as President of the Philippine Ergonomics Society, among others. She has earned many academic awards, like The Outstanding Women in the Nation’s Service or TOWNS (2002), Outstanding Engineering Professor (2007), and Top 100 Outstanding Engineers (2010).
Dr. Matias holds her B.S. and M.S. degrees in Industrial Engineering at the University of the Philippines Diliman (1982 and 1989 respectively). She obtained her Ph.D in Industrial Engineering at Purdue University (1996).
At present, she served as Dean and Professor of Industrial Engineering at the University of the Philippines Diliman and as Executive Director at the National Engineering Center. Luningning Samarita, Executive Director, NAST