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April 2019

Sabrina Diemert, a third year CEE PhD student with Dr. Tao Yan as her PhD advisor, won first place and the people’s choice award (as voted by the audience) at the third annual UH Mānoa Three Minute Thesis competition on Saturday, April 27. The event challenged graduate students to summarize their research to a non-specialist audience under three minutes. Sabrina won over judges and audiences by discussing her research on wastewater, and how it can be used to track foodborne illness outbreaks like salmonellosis. See UH students win over judges with 3 minute thesis for more news coverage.

Sabrina previously honed her science communication skills (including a three-minute thesis) by participating in the 2018 C-MAIKI #mahimicrobe competition and placing in the top 10. She was also the recipient of the 2019 American Water Works Association (AWWA) Scholarship and the Hawaii Water Environment Association (HWEA) Scholarship

3MT 2019 Winners. From Left: Sabrina Diemert and Brooke Friswold. (Photo credit: Chase Nuuhiwa)
2019 HWEA Scholarship Recipients
Sabrina Diemert and Sara Lin (CEE MS)

CEE students now have the option for an accelerated Masters degree! The department’s new BAM (Bachelors and Masters ) program combines Bachelors and Masters. Students need a B or better in the gateway course (CEE 361) and a B average. Qualified CEE juniors can double count two courses and finish a Masters degree earlier. CEE’s BAM program is now accepting applications from CEE Juniors for Fall 2019. Accepted students will be given high priority consideration for a Teaching Assistant position after they complete their BSCE (free tuition and ~$25,000 per year stipend.) For more information please contact CEE Graduate Chair Dr. Babcock.


The UH Manoa ASCE Student Chapter took 45 students and their faculty advisor, Dr. Babcock, to participate in 10 technical and 10 non-technical events at the ASCE Pacific Southwest Conference (PSWC) at California Polytechnic University San Luis Obispo on April 3 – April 6, 2019.  The team placed 7th overall in the conference of 18 schools (1,500 students total).   The Concrete Canoe team placed 4th overall, and 2nd in race event points with 2nd in all races including Men’s sprints, Women’s sprints, Coed sprints, Men’s slalom, and Women’s slalom. The Sustainability event team placed 2nd, the Transportation Design event team placed 4th, the Surveying event team placed 6th, the Design Build Construction team placed 7th, the Environmental event team placed 7th, and Joshua Agpaoa placed 9th in the Technical Paper competition.  In the non-technical events, UH placed 4th in Ultimate Frisbee but not in the top 5 in any of the other events this year.  The entire team worked very hard preparing for this annual conference and all were great competitors in San Luis Obispo CA. The PSWC is the largest ASCE conference in the USA and the most competitive.  The UHM Conference co-Chairs were Paige Avery and Alisa Tseng 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 – Joshua Agpaoa; Vice-President – Tracey-Anne Panlasigui; Treasurer – Melody Macebo; Recording Secretary – Elmo Gonzales; and Corresponding Secretary – Mari Kajiwara

Unfortunately, the Steel Bridge broke during loading (as did all but one bridge this year) and the Geowall also failed during loading (as did 6 others). 

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 San Luis Obispo CA this year. The students also individually had to pay $700 to participate.

Awards Banquet 2019
Canoe Team 2019

Congratulations to PhD student Sabrina Diemert who won the Yu-Si Fok UH Foundation Scholarship. Sabrina attended the UH Foundation Scholarship dinner on April 10 and met with UH retired faculty Drs. Yu-Si and Agnes Fok, the benefactors of the award. Dr. Yu-Si Fok is Emeritus Professor of CEE; he specialized in hydrology and was also researcher at UH’s Water Resources Research Center (WRRC). Dr. Agnes Fok is Professor Emeritus of Biology. Mahalo to Drs. Yu-Si and Agnes Fok for their generosity and continued support!

From left: Ednah Fok ( daughter), Dr. Yu-Si Fok, Dr. Agnes Fok and Sabrina Diemert

Congratulations to UH Chi Epsilon (XE) chapter member Siu Fung Tang for winning the XE Bertram Tallamy $2,000 Scholarship awarded by Chi Epsilon National!

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