by KIM Quilinguing, UP MPRO
University of the Philippines Associate Professor Franz Asunta de Leon, PhD, has been appointed as the new Director of the Department of Science and Technology – Advanced Science and Technology Institute (DOST-ASTI). He was sworn into office on 15 April 2021 at the DOST-ASTI Building in Quezon City, in the presence of Science and Technology Secretary Fortunato de la Peña, DOST Undersecretary for Research and Development Rowena Cristina Guevara, and other officials of the institute.
De Leon is the 9th Director of the DOST-ASTI, since its creation in 1987. Prior to his appointment, he served as the Acting Director of the institute, after its previous head, fellow UP faculty member, Prof. Joel Joseph Marciano, PhD, was appointed as Director-General of the Philippine Space Agency.
Director de Leon finished his Bachelor of Science in Electronics and Communications Engineering degree at the University of the Philippines Diliman in 2003, and his Master of Science in Electrical Engineering degree, also in UP Diliman, in 2005. He earned his PhD in Electronic and Electrical Engineering degree at the University of Southampton, in the United Kingdom, in 2014.
Speaking on his appointment at the time of the pandemic, de Leon said “there is a need for solutions and applications that will uplift our spirits and help us adjust to the new normal. As the new ASTI Director, I want to make the Filipinos enjoy the benefits of innovative solutions in the field of ICT, microelectronics and space technology.”
Secretary de le Peña congratulated de Leon and issued a marching order to the new Director saying “the field that has been assigned to ASTI is something that will really transform the Philippines, and so we expect a lot of innovations and transformations that will come out of ASTI.”
A member of the UPDEEEI Digital Signal Processing Laboratory, de Leon’s research interests include digital signals processing for audio and communications engineering, particularly in indigenous music. His group works closely with the UP Center for Ethnomusicology. He headed
the development of the DOST-UPD-EEEI Philippine Indigenous Instruments Sounds Database, also known as the Kalipunan ng Katutubong Tunog or KATUNOG. He is also part of a group studying the application of machine learning techniques in multimedia.
Created by virtue of Executive Order No. 128 in 1987, the Advanced Science and Technology Institute (ASTI) is an agency attached to the Department of Science and Technology (DOST). It is mandated to undertake scientific research and development, as well as technology transfer, in the advanced fields of information and communication technology, computing and electronics.
-With reports from DOST-ASTI, UPD-EEEI
A video of the oath-taking of UP Associate Professor Franz A. de Leon as the new DOST-ASTI Director. Video courtesy of DOST-ASTI on Youtube.