“You never forget your first.”

This was how Adrian Sumalde describes his first job as an Instructor in UPLB. This job was the start of his academic teaching career.

Sumalde, better known as “Sir Aids”  has always been a “big man on campus”. He studied BSEE in UPLB starting in 2005, and graduated cum laude in the class of 2010. As part of the faculty in the UPLB Department of Electrical Engineering, he was awarded the CEAT Outstanding Junior Faculty TWICE, in 2014 and 2018. His biggest prize, arguably, was winning the UPLB Outstanding Teacher Award in 2014, beating out all the other contenders in the Physical Sciences Junior Faculty category in the university. Suffice to say, Sir Aids was a well-known figure in UPLB. Even now, he continues to make waves in his current career as a Research Teacher and Adviser in the Philippine Science High School – Main Campus.

Sir Aids credits the DEE for giving him an “environment where I was forced to grow and take a step forward”. He recounts how he received the support of the department as he faced various challenges, and was allowed the freedom and flexibility to explore creative solutions, starting with the subjects he taught.

He also credits the demanding workload given by the DEE as beneficial to his personal growth, specifically in fostering connections with other people in order to accomplish their common goals, and testing his determination and resilience. He was also challenged creatively and physically, when he took part in university performances for the UPLB Faculty Follies and CEAT’s Himig at Sayaw. He also discovered his calling to teach through his time as a BSEE student. To quote Sir Aids, the DEE was “responsible for a big part of my personal and professional development”.

His final advice for current BS Electrical Engineering students is threefold: (1) “Believe you can and you’re halfway there, (2) The difference between the ordinary and the extraordinary is that little extra. It is up to you though to find it .” and most importantly, (3) “Habang may UP mail pa kayo, gamitin nyo na para makapag-download ng licensed MATLAB.” (trans: “While you still have a UP mail account, use it to download a licensed MATLAB version.”) (Aryan Paula Manalo)

The DEE Featured Alumni series is a series of articles that showcase the successes and accomplishments of the many BSEE alumni from UPLB.