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As part of Xavier Ateneo’s strategic goal of internationalization, the Office of the Vice President for Higher Education and the Office of International Cooperation and Networking (OICN) have institutionalized the Visiting International Faculty Program. This program provides XU students with the experience of learning from university professors abroad.

On 27 May 2024, Prof Dina D’Ayala, Professor of Structural Engineering at University College London (UCL) in the United Kingdom, delivered a special learning session on Strengthening Concrete Structures to the BS in Civil Engineering students. Most of the participants were students of the Reinforced Concrete Design class taught by Engr Dexter S Lo.

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Prof D’Ayala shared fundamental concepts on the structural behavior of buildings, comparing them to when they are retrofitted or strengthened for targeted load demands. She also provided several examples and techniques for practical applications.

In addition to her role as Professor of Structural Engineering, she holds the UNESCO Chair in Disaster Risk Reduction and Resilience Engineering (DRR-RE) at UCL. UCL is currently ranked 9th in the QS World University Rankings, having been among the top 10 universities worldwide for 13 years. Prof D’Ayala and Engr Lo have worked together on several projects for over a decade.

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Prof D’Ayala interacts with students

During the open forum, the students raised questions that Prof D’Ayala gladly answered. She, in turn, elicited thought-provoking questions, offering prizes to those who were brave and brilliant enough to respond. As the session was part of the class plan, Engr Lo then gave instructions on a related performance task, applying the lessons gained from the session.

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Engr Lo and Dr Balbutin present the Certificate of Appreciation to Prof D’Ayala.

OICN Director Dr Shiella C Balbutin joined the session. In her message, she expressed how fortunate the XU students are to have international and distinguished professors come to their classes and share their expertise.

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Participants of the VIF Learning Session with Prof Dina D’Ayala