October 2018

A major contribution to updating structural engineering guidelines for tsunami forces by Prof. Ian N. Robertson. Congratulations!


National Science Foundation awarded a new research grant “RAPID: Molecular and Metagenomic Understanding of Coastal Water Quality and Health Risks After Hurricane Lane” to the CEE Department. By studying the impact of Hurricane Lane, PI Dr. Tao Yan and his research team aim to investigate how coastal water quality is impacted by the different pollutant sources associated with major storms like Lane and to develop a comprehensive understanding of microbial health risks in such storm-impacted water with emerging molecular and metagenomic tools.


This year again Civil Engineering is in top five (3rd) of majors with the most international students.


Many thanks and congratulations to Asc. Prof. Guohui Zhang for the successful planning of the ISETT conference in Waikiki (International Symposium on Emerging Trends in Transportation.) Organized and sponsored by the Chinese Overseas Transportation Association (COTA), the CEE Department of the University of Hawaii, and the Transportation Research Board (TRB), this inaugural conference was held at the Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach, Hawaii on October 4-6, 2018.



Prof. Panos Prevedouros along with CEE graduate students Rafaela Barros and Flavia Medeiros, and CEE undergraduate student Arianna Kirschenbaum are working with the North Shore community on options to alleviate the chronic traffic congestion problem and the pedestrian jaywalking risks at the very popular Laniakea beach, also known as turtle beach. Community forums were held in August and September. On October 3, Prevedouros and Barros visited the 4th grade class of Ms. Emily Fox at Sunset Beach Elementary; one of their classroom projects looks into traffic solutions for Kamehameha Highway along Laniakea beach. Quite smartly, the students call their project, Slow as a Turtle.




Congratulations to the CEE faculty members who won awards for their distinguished service and contributions to the College of Engineering, as announced at the 2018 award ceremony. CEE recipients include professor Tao Yan, recipient of the 10 year Service Award; Associate Professor Guohui Zhang, recipient of Research Award; and professor Roger Babcock  Jr.,  recipient of the 2018 Hi Chang Chai Excellence in Teaching Award, 2018 ASCE Outstanding Faculty Advisor Award and Faculty Service Award.



September 2018

CEEG (the Civil and Environmental Engineering Graduate Student Club) organized a successful “Welcome Back” social on Friday, Sept 7 in Holmes Hall 244 to socialize and share helpful resources with new students. Future events were discussed, including coffee hours on the Holmes lanai, beach BBQs, and other gatherings.



CEE welcomes two new Assistant Professors Chunhee Cho and DoSoo Moon  and two visiting faculty Drs. Gonzalo Corral and Eftihia Nathanail  who have joined the department in Fall.

Dr. Chunhee Cho obtained his Ph.D. degree in Civil Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology. His dissertation title was “Passive Antenna Sensor Design through Multi-Physics Modeling, Simulation, and Optimization.” Dr. Cho’s area of research specialty are  Passive (battery-free) Wireless Sensor Design, Multi-Physics (electromagnetics-mechanics) Simulation, Low-Cost Multi-Functional Sensor, Data-Driven Monitoring System, and Structural Health Monitoring. He is teaching Structural Analysis CEE 381 in Fall 2018.

Dr. DoSoo Moon obtained his Ph.D. degree in Civil Engineering (Structural Engineering) from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His dissertation title was “Integrated Seismic Assessment and Design of Plan-irregular Structures”. Dr. Moon’s research interests include: multi-hazard sustainable and resilient infrastructures; risk assessment and mitigation, structural health monitoring with smart sensing, and earthquake engineering. In Fall 2018, he’s offering the graduate course Modern Structural Analysis CEE 681.

Dr. Gonzalo Corral joined the CEE Department in the Fall of 2018 to collaborate in geotechnical research and teach Geotechnical Engineering II (CEE 455) and Soil Behavior (CEE 696). His research interests are related to computational geotechnics, numerical modelling, constitutive models, soil behavior and earthquake geotechnical engineering. Dr. Corral received his PhD from MIT, his MSc from Universidad de Chile, and his structural engineering degree from Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile. He’s been a researcher and professor at different universities and a geotechnical consultant in national and international projects.

Dr. Eftihia Nathanail is TTlog’s Director and Associate Professor in Transportation Systems Design and Evaluation of the Department of Civil Engineering, at the University of Thessaly. She has joined CEE for fall semester 2018 and spring semester 2019, when she will be teaching Urban and Regional Transportation Planning (CEE 464) and Freight Transportation and Logistics (CEE 696). Her fields of research are transportation planning, transportation system design, intelligent transportation systems, behavioral modeling, intermodal transportation, logistics, multicriteria evaluation and optimization.

Summer 2018

Dr. Panos Prevedouros gave a presentation “Autonomous and Driverless Vehicles: Hype, Reality and Sample Major Impacts” to ASCE Hawaii section on August 16, 2018.


Congratulations to Dr. Oceana Francis for her promotion to Associate Professor with tenure and Dr. Guohui Zhang for his promotion to Associate Professor

Our 1985 BSCE graduate Ed Shikada takes the helm as Palo Alto’s city manager. Congratulations!


The department is very proud to graduate its first native Hawaiian Doctorate student, Dr. Melia Iwamoto.  Her PhD dissertation is titled “A Landslide Warning System for a Soil Slope on Oahu” and her advisor was Dr. Phillip Ooi. Dr. Iwamoto earned BS and MS degrees from our department in 2011 and 2014, respectively.  During her studies at the UH, Melia won six prestigious awards including the Kresser ARCS® Award in Engineering, the Ford Foundation Dissertation Fellowship, the ‘Imi Na’auao Scholarship endowed by the Legacy of Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop. She has produced four scientific publications and is currently working on more papers from her research findings. Dr. Melia Iwamoto teaches CEE 455: Geotechnical Engineering II for the department in summer 2018.


Beginning in the Fall 2018 semester, CEE majors will have the opportunity of choosing between three senior year tracts, the General one, the Structures track and the new Sustainability and Innovation (S+I) track.  In the coming year, the advisors for the S+I track will be Dr. Oceana Francis and Dr. Panos Prevedouros.

The new CEE check sheet is posted: 2018 CEE Check Sheet. Students have the option to keep the check sheet they are currently on, or to switch to the latest one.


UH-Manoa College of Engineering 2018 promotion video is now posted for viewing.


The ASCE Committee on Student Members selected Dr. Roger Babcock to be one of the two recipients in 2018 for ASCE’s Outstanding Faculty Advisor Award. Dr. Babcock was chosen due to his outstanding work and dedication as a Faculty Advisor to the University of Hawaii at Manoa ASCE Student Chapter.

From all of us at CEE, many thanks and congratulations!



Dr. Prevedouros joined the invitation-only Scholars Strategy Network.

May 2018

Congratulations to 2018 Civil and Environmental Engineering Outstanding Graduating Senior Leah Miyasato !
Leah was a dynamic student chapter leader and graduated with a GPA of 3.98, and a minor in communications.  She was the president of the student chapter of ASCE and the captain of the chapter’s steel bridge competition which won first place in stiffness in 2017.  Leah  placed 1st in the Technical Paper competition in 2018 ASCE Pacific Southwest Conference (PSWC).

A Moanalua High graduate, Leah was a Board of Regents Scholar at UH for four years. We are very proud of her doing so well at UH, and continuing for her Masters degree at Stanford in the Fall.


Soon after graduation the graduate students of our department  (CEEG) had a fun gathering in the friendly confines of Holmes Hall.


A new study led by Tao Yan, professor of civil and environmental engineering at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa surveyed Honolulu’s municipal wastewater system and determined that bacterial pathogen information collected matched those collected through the state’s health laboratories. Yan’s research was published in Environmental Science & Technology and selected by Nature Sustainability as its research highlight of the month. (Read more.)

April 2018

The UH Manoa ASCE Student Chapter took 52 students and their faculty advisor, Dr. Roger Babcock, to participate in 10 technical and 11 non-technical events at the ASCE Pacific Southwest Conference (PSWC) at Arizona State University on April 12 – April 14, 2018.  The team placed 7th overall in the conference of 18 schools with a total of 1,500 students total.   The Steel Bridge team won 4th place overall, including 2nd place for display, 4th place for lightness, and 6th place for speed, stiffness, economy and efficiency.  The Concrete Canoe team placed 12th overall, and 4th in race event points with 4th in Men’s sprints, 4th in Women’s sprints, 7th in coed sprints, 4th in Men’s slalom, and 5th in Women’s slalom. Leah Miyasato placed 1st in the Technical Paper competition, the Geowall event team placed 3rd, the Transportation Design event team placed 9th, the Design Build Construction team placed 10th, and the Sustainability event team placed 10th.  The entire team worked very hard preparing for this annual conference and all were great competitors in Tempe AZ. The PSWC is the largest ASCE conference in the USA and the most competitive.  The UHM Conference co-Chairs were Arilyn Au and Jeff Zheng who worked tirelessly to ensure everything worked out well and everyone had a good time.  The chapter was led in this past year by the following officers: President – Leah Miyasato; Vice-President – David Nemoto; Treasurer – Cathryne Kimura; Recording Secretary – Charlie Belmes; and Corresponding Secretary – Yasmeen Mansour.

The Student Chapter is very grateful to the 30 companies, the College of Engineering, ASCE Hawaii Section, and UH Manoa SAPFB who together made donations/grants totaling over $40,000 to help enable the team to prepare for and participate in PSWC in Tempe AZ this year.


UH research on traffic safety. Initial tests with professional taxi drivers on a driving simulator for driving and reading text. Team lead by Dr. Panos Prevedouros assisted by graduate students Kishor Bhatta, Mintu Miah, and Rafaella Melo.


Congratulations to MS student Manuela Melo who was awarded a Design-Build Institute of America (Western Pacific Region) scholarship. Ms. Melo came to the UH from Brazil to study in the area of construction management. Her advisor is Dr. Amarjit Singh, and her Master’s research project is on the “Installation of Asphalt Strain Gauges in a Taxiway.”



We are very proud of Dr. Michael Foley for being named as one of Pacific Business News’ 40 Under 40 for 2018. Dr. Foley earned his Ph.D. at our department under the direction of Dr. Amarjit Singh. He studied the application of submerged breakwaters (artificial reefs) designed to provide coastal and harbor protection. Dr. Foley works at the large local technology firm OCEANIT, where he leads the firm’s Resilient Sustainable Engineering (RiSE) team which develops projects to “produce innovative solutions that interweave usability and aesthetics with practical solutions for Hawai’i.” Congratulations!


We are saddened by the passing of our graduate, benefactor and prominent local civil engineer Don Kim. Mr. Kim graduated from our department with a degree in civil engineering in 1958. He also chaired the Board of Regents of the University of Hawaii, presided over the University of Hawaii Alumni Association, and served as a trustee of the University of Hawaii Foundation. In the mid 1990s, Dr. Kim made a very generous gift to the College of Engineering to develop the 1,000 ft2 Don Kim Lab, the most advanced teaching and software demonstration lab at the UH at that time. The lab is still in regular operation. Don Kim played a significant role in the engineering and management of several local firms, as detailed in his obituary. A University of Hawaii In Memoriam Don Kim has also been created.


The department facilitated a hands-on demonstration by U-Haul on driving safely while towing a trailer. Over 100 UH students had a hands-on experience on the simulator with correct and incorrect loading of the trailer.


Captain Kristin A Dembia was awarded the highly selective 2018 ARCS Bretzlaff Scholarship.  From Hamilton, Virginia, Kristin is proud to serve as the Operations Flight Commander for AFROTC Detachment 175, at the University of Hawaii.  She commissioned as an Air Force Civil Engineer in 2012 with a BSCE in Structures from the Ohio State University and MSCE in Water Resource Management from Colorado State University. She’s currently pursuing her PhD study in Environmental Engineering at CEE. Her research centers on urban storm water management with focus on Green Roof system design, model development and optimization using a two-part catchment system with guidance by Dr. Roger Babcock Jr.

Founded in 1974, the Honolulu chapter of ARCS has awarded more than $1.7 million to doctoral students in science, mathematics, engineering, medicine and nursing at the University of Hawaii.

Congratulations to Kristin and Mahalo to Honolulu ARCS!

March 2018

Prof. Phillip Ooi was awarded a 2018-2019 Fulbright research award to collaborate with Prof. Teruo Nakai, emeritus professor at the Nagoya Institute of Technology. Dr. Nakai, who also taught a graduate course in Fall 2015 at our department, is renowned for the development of the “tij constitutive model” for soils.  Prof. Ooi’s research in Nagoya, Japan will take place in the summers of 2019 and 2020; it will be on Numerical Load Testing of Geosynthetic Reinforced Soil.

CEE Associate Professor Albert S. Kim explored storm inundation risk in a preliminary study using static information of the initial stages of hurricane events and specific modeling for risk assessment to better calculate how to reduce risk and loss of life and property.

February 2018

CEE Grad Students on UH News!
A group of CEE Environmental Engineering graduate students Michelle Chu (MS), Kristin Dembia (PhD), Sabrina Diemert (PhD),  Shelby Fillinger (MS), Bing Hu (PhD), Lelemia Irvine (PhD), Bo Li (PhD), Sheldon Milan (MS), Prakit Saingam (PhD), and Elahe Tajfar (PhD) have recently attended Pacific Water Conference held February 6–8, in Honolulu. PhD candidate Lelemia Irvine and MS student Sheldon Milan took the first and third place of Hawaiʻi Water Environment Association poster award, respectively; MS student Shelby Fillinger received the second place of American Water Works Association poster award. Congratulations!

From Left to Right: 2 Lelemia Irvine,; 3 Sheldon Milan; 4 Sarah Lin

HWEA poster award (from left): Jayson Tasaka (HWEA Student Activities Chair, RMTC, PE), Lelemia Irvine (CEE PhD Candidate, 1st place), Sheldon Milan (CEE MS, 3rd place), Sara Lin (BE BS, 2nd place), and Audrey Haerle (HWEA President, The Limtiaco Consulting Group, GIS Analyst/Staff and Environmental Planner)

From Left to Right: 3 Shelby Fillinger

AWWA poster award (from left): Jessica A. Agsalda (AWWA Hawaii Poster Session Chair, The Limtiaco Consulting Group, PE), Kacie Niimoto (BE BS, 1st place), Shelby Fillinger (CEE MS, 2nd place), and Sarah Lin (BE BS, 3rd place)


CEE PhD graduate (2011) Dr. Lambros Mitropoulos and professor Panos Prevedouros co-authored the fifth chapter of the newest book on lithium batteries Behaviour of Lithium-Ion Batteries in Electric Vehicles published by Springer.  Their chapter is titled  Conventional, Battery-Powered, and Other Alternative Fuel Vehicles: Sustainability Assessment

January 2018

The 97th annual meeting of the Transportation Research Board, January 7-11 in Washington DC marked the first time when a dozen professors, graduate students and researchers directly affiliated with CEE attended this multidisciplinary meeting focused on transportation. Guohui Zhang and his PhD students Qiong (Linda) Wu and Zhenning Li, and post doc researchers Cong Chen and Hao Yu made presentations and participated in poster sessions, technical committee meetings, and workshops. They reported their latest research progress in connected and autonomous vehicle management, safety modeling and analysis, and traffic operation strategies that are in progress the transportation program at UH. Oceana Francis presented a transportation safety paper coauthored with Karl Kim of Urban Planning at UH. Ricardo Archilla presented a paper and participated in two pavement committee meetings; his MS student, Grant Karr, received the 2017 University Transportation Center student of the year award. Phillip Ooi presented a paper on laser analysis of soils and his PhD student Melia Iwamoto presented a paper on a landslide warning system. Panos Prevedouros chaired the meeting of the freeway operations and connected and autonomous vehicle simulation subcommittee.  David Ma attended sessions at TRB and met with NSF officials. (Photo: professors Francis and Prevedouros at the evening reception of the Transportation Center of Northwestern University.)

December 2017

CEE Associate Professor Michelle Teng retired on Dec. 31, 2017 after 25 years with the department. “I enjoyed my work at UH completely and love the time I spent with all my colleagues and students. I will cherish all the happy memories of the last 25 years and will miss everyone as I move to the next phase of my life. I care about the UH and will continue to be a supporter of the CEE department and college,” Dr. Teng said.

A great teacher, lab coordinator, advisor and mentor, Dr. Teng will be missed by students and faculty.

The Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Hawaii at Manoa is pleased to be a part of the NASA Sponsor’s THP proposal titled “Improving snowpack estimation through advanced snow emissivity modeling and multivariate data assimilation” in response to the NNH17ZDA001N-THP solicitation. The University of Hawaii Investigator on this project is Dr. Sayed Bateni.


Kekoa Moriwaki was the Outstanding Graduating Senior for CEE in fall 2017 semester. He graduated with Honors from Kamehameha School and completed the civil engineering degree in 3 ½ years! Kekoa has some solid work experiences by part-timing at local civil engineering companies, Yogi Kwong Engineers and the R.M. Towill Corporation. Congratulations!

The Envision sustainability assessment tool developed at Princeton University is a comprehensive assessment of sustainability credits that is applicable to any type of infrastructure project. Those who pass the exam become Envision Sustainability Professionals or ENV SP. Adding Envision to the course CEE 444: Infrastructure: Project Impacts, Policy and Sustainability would have been a small success if about a dozen students tried the exam and maybe half of them passed it. It would have been a clear success if ten passed (i.e., more than a quarter of the class). It turns out that nearly all of them took the Envision exam and 30 out of 36 passed. Twenty six of our undergraduates have a professional certification before they actually have their degree! Plus four graduate students. Congratulations to all, and many thanks to ENV SP engineer Jon Young and LEED engineer Amber Takenouchi, PE who helped professor Panos Prevedouros with the Envision section in CEE 444.

Civil Engineering is a top-5 degree choice among all international students who enrolled at the UH-Manoa in the Fall 2017 semester.


November 2017


Pacific District Chi Epsilon Cup goes to the University of Hawaii at Manoa Chapter for the third year in a row! This is the fourth win in five years. Congratulations!

Twelve Chi Epsilon students participated at the 30th Annual Pacific District Conference held at San Diego State University from November 9 through 11, 2017. Students competed against thirteen other California universities in chapter presentations, quiz (on civil engineering and Chi Epsilon), Jenga construction competition, banner stand design and construction, Simpson Strong Tie competition, and other events.  The UH winning team members include from left to right: Keenan Nakagawa, Jesse Yamada, James Cowper, Kimberly Chun, Aaron Trang, Yasmeen Mansour (President – holding the Pacific District Chi Epsilon Cup), Taylor Onizuka, Joon Hyung Yim, Megan Chang, Lidek Boryszewskiand, Torri Yoshizawa and John Sword.

Invited by Dept. of Civil & Environmental Engineering, renown Civil Engineering historian and author, Dr. Henry Petroski of Duke University is the Fall 2017 speaker in UH’s series For a Better Tomorrow. Thank you to Hawaii News Now for covering our guest, Duke University civil engineering professor and infrastructure historian Dr. Henry Petroski.