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Engr. Marloun P. Sejera: Reaching for Outer Space

Article by: Reine Amabel J. Jaruda, Goven M. Barrera, and Andrea Anonuevo

Graphics by: Marianne Lois M. Boncolmo

Engr. Marloun P. Sejera’s work is not exactly rocket science, but his passion for engineering and the sciences propels him higher. And his career recently skyrocketed after working on and the deployment of Maya-2 – the Philippines’ second cube satellite – from the International Space Station last March 14.

As the nanosatellite revolves along low Earth orbit, the Mapúan alumnus and professor remains down on Earth but still continues to reach for greater heights.

Before Liftoff

Once a Mapúan, always a Mapúan and Engr. Sejera is a Mapúan through and through.

Taking electrical engineering elective classes at the then Mapúa Engineering High School sparked his interest in electronics, further capacitated by his older brother who was taking up BS Electronics and Communication Engineering at the time. This led the younger Sejera to pursue the same degree at the University.

Reminiscing the restless days and sleepless nights as a Mapúan student, the engineer admitted that complying with all the requirements and coordinating with people proved challenging. However, those experiences did solder into him better time-management and cooperation skills.

Sejera further added that the University’s core values – practicing discipline, excellence, commitment, integrity, and relevance – have helped him in his career endeavors and have prepared him for the pressure of the workplace atmosphere. “So those core values helped me with what I am doing right now, not only in school, but also in life,” the MU alumnus shared.

Setting the Flight Path

Aside from electronics, the engineer has also dabbled in different sciences. He has expanded his horizons, ranging from environmental research all the way to wearable technology.

The opportunity that steered Sejera’s path to the cosmos came when he received an invitation to a two-week short-course meeting in India about small satellites, jumpstarting yet another one of his passions – small satellite engineering. He, on behalf of the University, participated in the PHL-Microsat program of the University of the Philippines – Diliman. Said capacity-building program aimed to imbue local engineers with knowledge about space and satellite technology.

The rest, then, is history.

The alumnus’ passion goes beyond the field, extending even to the academe.

After attaining his engineering degree and license, he decided to teach at his alma mater. “After graduation, I went to [the] academe to teach, because that is also my passion, teaching, [I] like imparting what I know to students or to my fellows,” the tenured MU professor shared. He will resume as a faculty member of the School of Electrical, Electronics, and Computer Engineering after his current post at Kyushu University in Japan.

Enjoying the View

While Sejera’s career remains on an upward trajectory, he is not all work and no play. Anime and Netflix shows entertain him in his spare time. As he is currently residing in Japan, he makes sure to savor the beautiful landscapes the country has to offer – occasionally hiking and biking along mountains near his residence.

The engineer emphasizes that while it is important to remain focused on the job, it is just as important to give time for rest and leisure.

He urged young Cardinals to explore their opportunities. “Kailangan lang magexplore ng opportunities hindi lang sa Philippines, pati sa abroad,” he reiterated. Additionally, the alumnus advised Mapúans to think outside of the box. “’Wag natin i-limit yung solution sa alam na natin.

Recollecting his work in Japan, he also remarked on the importance of learning how to collaborate with others since cultures, customs, and the general dynamic between individuals can be vastly different. “Make networks. I mean, expand your network. ‘Yung people that you meet one time, may be of help to you later on in your life,” he imparted.

Engr. Sejera has soared to great heights in his career and is standing shoulder-to-shoulder with fellow giants. At this rate, he's not coming down anytime soon.

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