Sumera, 70

Image from the Outstanding Young Scientists, Inc. Facebook page

Chemistry professor Florentino C. Sumera, PhD passed away on Oct. 18. He was 70.

Sumera started teaching at UP Diliman (UPD) in 1976 as an instructor and eventually became a professor, a post he held until his retirement in 2016.

He served as director of the UPD Institute of Chemistry from 1993 to 1996. Sumera was also the coordinator of the Materials Science and Engineering Program (MSEP) from 2006 to 2009. MSEP is a partnership between the College of Science and the College of Engineering that offers graduate studies leading to professional careers as materials scientists and engineers in the industry, academia, or the public sector.

Sumera taught organic chemistry and specialized in the design, synthesis, and characterization of polymers and nanomaterials. His numerous studies were published in ISI and local journals. He also presented his research in many international and local chemistry conferences and symposia.

For his outstanding works in chemistry, Sumera received many awards such as the Outstanding Young Scientist by the National Academy of Sciences and Technology in 1991, the Federation of Chemical Societies Award for Chemical Research in 2007, the National Research Council of the Philippines Achievement Award for Chemical Sciences in 2013, and the 2014 Outstanding Professional Award in Chemistry by the Philippine Regulation Commission.

He was a recipient of the UP Centennial Professorial Chair in 2005, 2008, 2009, 2012, and 2013; the UP International Publication Award in 2000, 2006, and 2007; the Antonio de Leon UP Chemistry Award in 2008; and the 2008 Gawad sa Natatanging Publikasyon sa Filipino by the UP Sentro ng Wikang Filipino for hisFilipino book in organic chemistry.

Sumera mentored over 80 undergraduate and graduate students in their theses and dissertations. Many of his former students paid tribute to Sumera in their Facebook posts, expressing their appreciation of Sumera’s selfless guidance. He treated them not as mentees but as friends.

He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry in 1974 and a Master of Science in chemistry in 1980 from UPD. In 1985, he earned his doctoral degree, with highest honors, from the École Nationale Superieure de Chimie de Rennes, Université de Rennes, France. He was invited for fellowships abroad, such as the IDP Fellowship in Australia in 1986, and the UNESCO Fellowship at the University of Auckland, New Zealand in 1987.