By: Patricia Esteban
Jay Peneyra is a student turned educator who helped invent their school’s version of banana chipper. He was a beneficiary of DOST-TAPI’s Industry-Based Invention Development (IBID) program, which assists inventors to test, debug, refine, and optimize their inventions’ commercial prototypes.
Learning doesn’t end inside the confines of a classroom. It starts when one decides to go outside it and explore the unknown. Learning becomes associated with the people we meet, the people we teach, and the people who educate us.
For inventor and educator Jay Peneyra, he maximizes education through the power of collaborations.
Learning with the help of his classmates
It hasn’t always been an easy ride for Jay. He had to bounce back from learning curves he experienced along the way, including one in college. Along with his thesis mates, he worked on a coir decorticating machine, an invention designed to turn coconut husks into ropes, coco net, and other handicrafts to help farmers in Palawan.
But while developing their invention, their contractor backed out from the project. The machine was also not delivering their desired results. It was such a challenging time for Jay and his thesis mates that they thought they might not be able to graduate.
But Jay chose not to give up. He and his partners solved each problem in their project little by little with the help of their teachers and dean.
Learning with his colleagues and teachers
Jay is now an educator who still aims to innovate and push research forward for his students. He inspires them to rise above every challenge, especially when they feel like they are at the end of the line. He reminds his students to constantly have the thirst for research and be future-forward with their thinking.
“Tuloy-tuloy talaga ‘yung research, innovation, [at] improvement. Hindi talaga tumitigil,” he shared. “Huwag nating isipin na wala na tayong ma-momodify, wala na tayong ma-iimbento. Kung baga, meron pa.”
Jay also collaborated with his colleagues and teachers in developing the coir decorticating machine designed to separate coco fiber and coconut peat from the husk.
Above pictures show the rear and front view of the coco coir decorticating machine funded by DOST-TAPI.
They performed several tests before finally arriving at a perfect solution. He and his team had to throw ideas around and rule out those that didn’t seem feasible.
“Siyempre hindi lang naman ikaw. Mas maganda kung team at iba-ibang discipline, multi-disciplinary na research,” he said. “Tsaka kukuha ka ng idea sa mga kasama. Posible ba ito o hindi. Tanggapin mo ‘yung mga suggestions na ‘yan mag-work, ‘yan hindi magwo-work.”
With the help of colleagues at Western Philippines University, Jay and his team submitted two of their research proposals to the Department of Science and Technology - Technology Application and Promotion Institute (DOST-TAPI). They then received a grant to move forward with commercialization of their invention. He said that funding from DOST-TAPI was a huge help for their research since funds from their university didn’t suffice to help move the process along.
Apart from being an engineer and a professor, Inventor Peneyra is also a husband and a father to his children. (Image source: Jay Peneyra/Facebook)
Because of these experiences, Jay was able to show how learning and believing in the power of collaboration could take one into unexpected turns and rewarding victories. He took all these learnings—from his students, his colleagues, and people who made an impact in his life—to help him pivot his negative thoughts into encouraging ones.