Engr Sirio Reyes Sr, PEE / PME

The late Engr Sirio Reyes Sr left a legacy in me. He mentored me on almost everything I knew about electrical design, some knowledge in heat engineering and mechanical engineering. He was our Technical consultant. We occupied the same room. That is why, since he is only reporting to the office, three (3) times a week in the morning, I have my own time reading his whole library of books from electrical engineering, mathematics, statistics, chemical engineering, and mechanical engineering, and the numerous publications which is a very good source of current trends and developments in the industry.

I consider Engr Sirio Reyes to be my idol. Some people just call him plainly as Mr Reyes. He was a Professional Electrical Engineer and a Professional Mechanical Engineer. He has a degree in Electrical Engineering. He worked in the public works thus he was able to get his PME license. He once mentioned to me that he became a member of the Board of Electrical Engineering examiners.

Mr Reyes is a very rounded man. He can do complex calculation mentally. That is why I need to train myself to do the same as I don't have time to use my calculator particularly when we are in a discussion.

Learning under Mr Reyes is not an easy task. I remember on time that we are planning to put a dust collecting system in one of our milling facility. The old cyclonic dust collector needed to be replaced with a bag-type dust collector to improve its efficiency. Mr Reyes is not the man who just say to the vendor, "come check my facility and replace my dust collector". He needs numbers, actual parameters to do some calculations.

I was task to do site verification. The area was so dusty, noisy and I need to walk more than a kilometer under the scorching sun just to do site investigation. Mr Reyes instructs clearly what parameters he wants and where to get it. It will be up to me however, how to get those parameters.

Since the required parameters were pressures, I need to make my own manometer to be able to read static and velocity pressures. After a long day in the dusty environment, I had my readings completed. Mr Reyes will be at the office the next day. I will be very much happy to present him my data.

A proud man was I, when I had shown Mr Reyes my data. At first glance, he was not satisfied. He knows his numbers and not convince that I have done the correct procedure to gather those data. He does not tell me why, he only tells me I got the wrong data. Well, I can't do anything. My teacher said its wrong. I am an electrical man and does not deal much with mechanical or process parameters. Anyway, I said to myself, I need to figure out why Mr Reyes knew my data was wrong.

I need to do some readings. I don't need to go far though as all the books I need is just on the cabinet in our room. My Reyes got a collection of books, great books. I even found one dated 1935. It was very interesting as the steps on how to do calculations were clearly stated. All parameters are supplied within the book.

After a long reading, I went back to the facility and took another set of reading. Since I already knew the relationship of the reading, I knew right away if I am getting the reading right else I need to redo it.

When I gave to Mr Reyes my data, he smiled. I knew he was satisfied. He then said that I need to calculate the power requirements for the motor to be used in the dust collecting system using the data that I have.

Now I knew why he is pushing me to get the right data. To be able to size equipment properly without the guess work. This lesson I never forget. I found it very useful in all my design works.

I remember when a heat engineering consultant retrofit our heat recovery dryer with a Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG) fired burner. The guy was so proud about his work. Not for long though. After a month of operation, the burner back fired and melted the whole burner which cost him thousands of dollars. This happened twice and the guy could not figure out why. Mr Reyes intervened. He don't want it to happen for the third time as it is affecting production. He instructed me to investigate.

I found out that the LPG burner was inserted in a straight duct at a 45O angle to the flow of the cold air stream. Cold air mixes with the burner hot air to produce the desirable air temperature for drying.

Since the air velocity inside the duct is constant and very laminar, any blockage on the outlet duct will cause the cold air to exit through the burner as the cold air fan is much larger that the fraction of a kW burner motor. This reverse flow of air into the burner forces the hot air to exit through the plastic burner enclosure melting it and some of its accessories.

With all these investigation results and again taking pressure readings, Mr Reyes and I were able to find a solution, increase the air velocity inside the mixing chamber. To do this, a venturi needed to be inserted into the straight duct.

Supported by calculations, we were able to design the required venturi for the application. I supervised the fabrication to be able to get the correct angles, duct size and all parameters required. When finished, we installed and tested it. Time passed, days became weeks, weeks, became months, months to years and no back firing occurred. This implied that we have done the correct solution to the problem.

Mr Reyes and I did numerous projects together, dryers, kilns, water recovery, not to mention electrical projects which he just let me do it as he knows that I am very capable.

When I took my Professional Electrical licensure examination and got first place, I can't describe how proud he is.

Mr Reyes left all his books to me except one, the Chemical Engineering handbook which he gave it to his son, Sirio Reyes Jr or Sonny.

Mr Reyes is more than a father to me, he developed me into the man I am now. I will never forget him. May he rest in peace.

About the Author

Ver Pangonilo
A Filipino Engineer, Registered Professional Engineer of Queensland (RPEQ) - Australia and Professional Electrical Engineer (PEE) - Philippines with extensive experience in concept select, front-end engineering, HV & LV detail design, construction and commissioning of Hazardous and Non-Hazardous Area electrical installations in water and waste water pipeline and pumping facilities, offshore platforms, hydrocarbon process plants and pipelines including related facilities. Hazardous area classification and design certification (UEENEEM015B, UEENEEM016B, UEENEEM017B).
  • Ver

    Thank you very much for the comments. Mr Reyes, is truly a great man and a good mentor. He influenced my life, my career and created the man I am now. I will always be proud of him.

  • fiona silverio

    i appreciate your time writing a tribute letter about my grandfather, Engr. Sirio Reyes. it brought tears and memories of him. i want to address my grandfather as daddy sirs, the name we called him. i always looked up to him and thought he was one of the smartest person i have ever known. as a teacher, he was tough and very strict. it was not easy learning under his supervision but because of him i learned independently. i thought, being my grandfather, asking for his help with my math homework he will make it easier for me but that was not the case. i remembered being frustrated and cried when i could not figure out what i was doing. i was not sure if he actually taught me or eventually, i learned to solve math problems on my own. but one thing for sure, i was pressured to memorized multiplication table at that time or else he won’t waste time with me. i should say he was a great mentor and i owed him my math skills. i am no engineer but i had to have perfect math before i can be a registered nurse. so, thanks a million to my daddy sirs, for showing me the right way to learn with confidence. love and miss you very much.

  • Ver Soriano

    I found the article interesting in that it pictured my Tio Sirio’s academic and career side which I had little knowledge of. He was a brother of my mother, Lilim Reyes Soriano, and he was also my “Ninong” (baptism sponsor), but we were not close. I admired him for being an engineer.

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