Arturo P. Alcaraz (March 21, 1916-March 10, 2001) is considered as the Philippines' Father of Geothermal Energy Development, due to his contributions to studies about Philippine volcanology and the energy derived from volcanic sources.
He earned his Bachelor's degree in Marine Engineering from the Mapua Institute of Technology in 1937, and finished his Master of Science in Geology at the University of Wisconsin in 1941, through the help of the Philippine Commonwealth government. He also received further training and education from other United States universities, such as the University of Berkeley, where he received a Certificate in Volcanology after attending two semesters.
Career and Contributions
Alcaraz started as an aide in the Geology division of the Bureau of Mines, and after further education ascended to the positions of Assistant Geologist and Chief Geophysicist in different government agencies. His chief contribution was the study and establishment of geothermal power plants in the country, particularly in the regions of Tiwi, Albay, Mt. Makiling and Mt. Banahaw (Mac-Ban), and Leyte. In the 1980s, the Philippines even attained the second highest geothermal generating capacity in the world, besting mentor countries Italy and New Zealand.
The Philippine government, the scientific community and his alma mater have all recognized Alcaraz’s contribution over the years. In 1962 Mapua Institute of Technology gave him its award as Outstanding Alumnus in the Field of Science and Technology in Government Service; in 1968 he received the Presidential Award of Merit for his work in volcanology and his initial work in geothermy; and in 1971 he was given an Award for Science from the Philippine Association for the Advancement of Science (PHILAAS). Awards of Appreciation were presented him in 1974, 1977, 1981 and 1982 by the organizations and colleagues with whom he worked, and in 1980 he was the recipient of both the Gregorio Y. Zara Memorial Award in Basic Science from PHILAAS and the Geologist of the Year Award from the Professional Regulatory Commission. He was also the Ramon Magsaysay Awardee for Government Service for 1982.
- Arturo Alcaraz biography at rmaf.org (Accessed on June 7, 2007).