Sustainable Technologies Research Group

The research undertaken in the Sustainable Technologies Group makes use of a highly interdisciplinary approach to providing effective solutions to environmental problems. We make use of the life cycle framework in most of the projects. Some of the main issues addressed in our recent and current work are:

  • Energy and transportation policy
  • Cleaner production, pollution prevention and industrial ecology
  • Evaluation of alternative energy sources
  • Industrial water conservation
  • Green supply chains

These problems require an intelligent, integrated approach to yield solutions that are beneficial on a life cycle basis. Thus we make use of advanced computing techniques such as:

  • Knowledge-based and rule-based decision support systems
  • Monte Carlo and fuzzy sets
  • Pinch analysis
  • Artificial neural networks
  • Swarm intelligence

The Sustainable Technology Research Group has laboratory and office facilities equipped with PCs and software for LCA and related computing applications. These tools include commercially available software, freeware and computer codes developed in-house for our own purposes. The group consists of research staff, including colleagues from institutions with which we have long-standing research collaboration, and research students from the Philippines and overseas.

Our research activities are funded through the assistance of the Philippine government, international agencies, and the university’s internal funds. The findings of these research activities have been used by government and industry for decision support purposes and much of the recent work has been published in ISI abstracted journals.

Main Researchers
Name Department/Institution Research Areas
Prof. Alvin B. Culaba Mechanical Engineering Department Life cycle assessment, renewable energy, cleaner production, knowledge based systems, environmental management
Dr. Raymond R. Tan Chemical Engineering Department Life cycle assessment, pinch analysis and process integration, environmental informatics, swarm intelligence


Affiliated Researchers
Name Department/Institution Research Areas
Prof. Anthony S. F. Chiu Industrial Engineering Department Life cycle assessment, cleaner production, environmental management, industrial ecology
Prof. Michael R. I. Purvis University of Portsmouth, UK Combustion engineering, renewable energy, life cycle assessment
Dr. Alexis Fillone Civil Engineering Department Transportation engineering
Dominic C. Y. Foo University of Nottingham, Malaysia Pinch analysis, industrial water and material conservation
Debbie Nacu Industrial Engineering Department Green supply chain
Dr. Ruby Henson Holy Angel University, Philippines Green productivity, expert systems


Research Students
Name Program Research Area
Manuel Biona Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering Vehicular emissions modeling, renewable energy, artificial intelligence
Liezzel Aquino Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering Bioenergy, emergy analysis
Kathleen Aviso M.S. in Environmental Engineering and Management Life cycle assessment, artificial intelligence
Hul Seingheng M.S. Chemical Engineering Industrial water conservation, swarm intelligence
Viet Nguyen M.S. Chemical Engineering Industrial solvent recovery, artificial intelligence
Kristine Col-long M.S. Chemical Engineering Industrial water conservation, swarm intelligence

Research Grants

  • Sustainable Transportation Systems Grant (2003 – 2005). Funded by the Philippine Council for Industry and Energy Research, Department of Science and Technology, Republic of the Philippines.
  • Techno-Economic Assessment of Proposed Philippine Bioethanol Program (2005). Funded by the Sustainable Energy Development Program of USAID.
  • Provision of Open Learning Units for Postgraduate and Industrial Training in Sustainable Technology (2006 – 2009). Funded under the European Commission Asia Link Programme, Project Reference Number Asia Link/ASIE/2005/109-629.

Scientific Awards

  • Professor Alvin B. Culaba and Dr. Raymond R. Tan - 2004 Outstanding Scientific Paper Award from the National Academy of Science and Technology, Republic of the Philippines.
  • Dr. Raymond R. Tan – 2004 Outstanding Young Scientist Award from the National Academy of Science and Technology, Republic of the Philippines. Dr. Raymond R. Tan – Special Citation in the 2004 National Academy of Science and Technology-DuPont Talent Search for Young Scientists

Major Publications

  1. Tan, R. R. Hybrid Evolutionary Computation for the Development of Pollution Prevention and Control Strategies. Journal of Cleaner Production (in press).
  2. Tan, R. R., Briones, L. M. A. and Culaba, A. B. Fuzzy Data Reconciliation in Reacting and Non-Reacting Process Data for Life Cycle Inventory Analysis. Journal of Cleaner Production (in press).
  3. Ku-Pineda, V. and Tan, R. R. Environmental Performance Optimization Using Process Water Integration and Sustainable Process Index. Journal of Cleaner Production (in press).
  4. Henson, R., Culaba, A. and Mendoza, G. Evaluating Environmental Performance of Pulp and Paper Manufacturing Using the Analytic Hierarchy Process and Life-Cycle Assessment (2002). Journal of Cleaner Production 6 (1): 15-28.
  5. Henson, R. and Culaba, A. (2004). A Diagnostic Model for Green Productivity Assessment of Manufacturing Processes. International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment 9(6): 379-386.
  6. Tan, R. R. (2005). Application of Symmetric Fuzzy Linear Programming in Life Cycle Assessment. Environmental Modelling and Software 20 (10): 1343 – 1346.
  7. Tan, R. R. (2005). Rule-Based Environmental Life Cycle Assessment Using Modified Rough Set Induction Methodology. Environmental Modelling and Software 20 (5): 509 – 513.
  8. Tan, R. R. and Cruz, D. E. (2004) Synthesis of Robust Water Reuse Networks for Single-Component Retrofit Problems Using Symmetric Fuzzy Linear Programming. Computers and Chemical Engineering 28 (12): 2547 - 2551.
  9. Tan, R. R., Culaba, A. B. and Purvis, M. R. I. (2004). POLCAGE 1.0: A Possibilistic Life-Cycle Model for Evaluating Alternative Transportation Fuels. Environmental Modelling and Software 19 (10): 907 – 918.
  10. Tan, R. R., Culaba, A. B. and Purvis, M. R. I. (2004). Carbon Balance Implications Of Coconut Biodiesel Utilization In The Philippine Automotive Transport Sector. Biomass and Bioenergy 26 (6): 579 – 585.
  11. Tan, R., Culaba, A. B. and Purvis, M. R. I. (2002). Application of Possibility Theory in the Life Cycle Inventory Assessment of Biofuels. International Journal of Energy Research 26 (8): 737 - 745.
  12. Culaba, A. B. and Purvis, M. R. I. (1999). A Methodology for the Life Cycle and Sustainability Analysis of Manufacturing Processes. Journal of Cleaner Production 7: 435-445.