Summer 2017

Congratulations to Prof. Ian Robertson who has been selected as the inaugural Arthur N.L. Chiu Distinguished Professor of Civil & Environmental Engineering.

Drs. Archilla and Prevedouros were interviewed and quoted in a long article about the quality of roads on Oahu in the Honolulu Civil Beat.

Congratulations to Dr. Tao Yan for his promotion to Professor and to Dr. Lin Shen for his promotion to Associate Professor with tenure.

Congratulations to our CEE student design team for winning the ASCE award for “Excellence in Civil Engineering” in the  “Make the Ala Wai Awesome” Student Design Challenge 2017. The team members were Alexander Gomes, Minhthuch Le, Hideichi Mori, and Tatiana Oje; CEE Professor Roger Babcock was the faculty adviser.

Department Chair Prevedouros attended the 2017 Conference of Civil Engineering Department Chairs organized by ASCE and hosted by BYU in Provo, Utah. During the three days of the conference, a wealth of information on curriculum, innovation, sustainability, conflict management, accreditation and related issues were presented and exchanged. 2017 ASCE President-elect Kristina Swallow also attended in the opening day and addressed the 80+ department chairs.

May 2017

The University of Hawaii at Manoa ASCE Student Chapter was awarded the 2017 Richard J. Scranton Outstanding Community Service Award. This award was named in recognition of Richard J. Scranton who promoted community service as an integral part of student chapter activities. The UH-Manoa Chapter exemplifies the tradition of public service. Congratulations to our ASCE Student Chapter and its advisor Dr. Roger Babcock!

Congratulations to Mohammadreza Hashemi (Pasha), PhD student in transportation for having been selected the winner of the ITE Western District Student Paper Award. He will be presented with a plaque at the annual meeting in San Diego and receive a check for $500. Pasha is the president of the ITE Student Chapter at UH. His advisor is Dr. Ricardo Archilla.

Congratulations to UH men’s volleyball team for reaching the national semifinals! Major contributor to the victories has been No. 21 player, CEE senior Kupono Fey.

Best wishes for the finals. Go Bows!

The 6th Workshop in A‘o in Engineering series- Alaka‘ina a me wahi noho like o ka poʻe: Leadership and community will be held on May 5, 2017 from 4:30 to 6:00 p.m. in Holmes 244.  The distinguished guests will be Dr. Michael Chun and Dr. Kā‘eo Duarte. Both are of Hawaiian ancestry and earned their PhDs in engineering. Join us as they share their experiences earning their engineering degrees, their path in industry, and how they connect their Hawaiian identity with giving back to the community. The workshop is open to all NHSEMP students and teacher education candidates in mathematics, science, and technology.

Left to right: Oceana Francis (PI on NSF BPE grant), Ron Riggs, Michael Chun (Honorary Speaker), Kā‘eo Duarte (Honorary Speaker), David Ma, Song Choi, Thanh Trúc T. Nguyễn (College of Education, Co-PI on NSF BPE grant)

April 2017

The UH Manoa ASCE Student Chapter took 50 students and their faculty advisor, Dr. Babcock, to participate in 17 technical and non-technical events at the ASCE Pacific Southwest Conference (PSWC) at UC Irvine on April 6 – April 8, 2017. The team placed 4th overall in the conference of 18 schools (1,400 students total). The Concrete Canoe team placed 6th overall, with 3rd for final product (overall canoe quality) and 3rd in race event points with 2nd in men’s sprints, 2nd in coed sprints, 2nd in men’s slalom, and 5th in women’s slalom. The steel bridge team won 1st place for stiffness and 10th place overall. Lee Schultz placed 3rd in the Technical Paper competition, the Transportation Design event team placed 4th, the Design Build Construction team placed 4th, and the Environmental event team placed 7th.  In the non-technical events, the team placed 1st in Beach Volleyball, 1st in the Mystery event, 1st in the Impromptu event, and 5th in the Scavenger Hunt.  The PSWC is the largest ASCE conference in the USA and the most competitive.

The entire team worked very hard preparing for this event and all were great competitors in Irvine CA. The UHM Conference co-Chairs were Jessica Shon and Skyler Tengan 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 – Lauren Ho; Vice-President – Briant Pham; Treasurer – Stanley Taguchi; Recording Secretary – Danielle Terukina; and Corresponding Secretary – Taylor Onizuka.

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 Irvine CA this year. The students also individually paid $600 to participate. Congratulations to all!

The department lost a dear friend and supporter, a valuable advisor and a remarkable structural engineer and pioneer in the area of precast concrete. Dr. Alfred Yee passed away peacefully on Friday afternoon, April 21, 2017.  A celebration of his life is being planned and details will be forthcoming. Dr. Yee’s legacy will be honored in perpetuity in CEE through his generous endowment for vising professors.

Congratulations to Dr. Michelle Teng who is 2017 Hi Chang Chai Teaching Award winner!


March 2017

Congratulations to Dr. Albert Kim for winning 2017 Univ. of Hawaii Board of Regents Teaching Award.

CEE PhD candidate Qiong (Linda) Wu and PhD student Zhenning Li along with their advisor Dr. Guohui Zhang attended the 2017 Pacific Risk Management Ohana (PRiMO) Conference-Navigation Towards Security and Sustainability on Mar. 20-24, 2017 at the Hawaii Convention Center, in Honolulu. Their research titled Critical Path Identification for Traffic Infrastructure Resilience Enhancement Impacted by Natural Hazards was selected for poster presentation.



A blast from the past thanks to alumna June Nakamura: A list with the first women graduates of our engineering program; 7 out of 8 were civil engineers!


On March 16, Dr. Panos D. Prevedouros was certified by the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure as an ENVISION sustainability professional (ENV SP) making him the 19th ENV SP in Hawaii.

Pi Day turns to Pie a Professor at UH College of Engineering on March 14, 2017. Chairman Prevedouros, Interim Asc. Dean Ma and Professor Ooi were … pied.


The College of Engineering and the CEE Department were pleased to host a delegation from Beijing University of Civil Engineering and Architecture including BUCEA’s President Dr. Ailin Zhang. We discussed research and education collaboration and we are working on an agreement for student and faculty training and exchanges.

February 2017

CEE Hydraulics Lab participated at the University Wide Manoa Experience on Feb 25, 2017, an open house to thousands of prospective students and their families.  Led by MS student Yaprak Onat under advisor Dr. Oceana Francis, the visiting students observed the generation of different types of waves and how wave period and amplitude changed the shape of the waves in the wave flume at the Hydraulics Lab.

Dr. Tiziana Rossetto, Director of the Epicenter Disaster Research Center at University College of London, presented her latest research on tsunami effects on structures “New Approaches for Tsunami Impact Assessment” at a standing room seminar on date arranged by Dr. Ian Robertson

Associate Professor Ricardo Archilla became member of the Surface Requirements of Asphalt Mixtures committee and the Pavement Management Systems committee of the Transportation Research Board. TRB is a unit of the National Research Council.


The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Hawaii Section will host a special event to premiere the movie “Dream Big: Engineering Our World” at Consolidated Theaters 16 on February 23, 2017 at 6 PM. The event celebrates the essential contribution of Civil Engineering to the society and aims to inspire the young generation into career in civil engineering.

A Training Seminar on “New Building Code Provisions for Tsunami Loads and Effects ” will be held on Feb. 24th, in Holmes Hall 244, from 8:00 – 11:30AM. The seminar will be presented by Dr. Yong Wei, University of Washington Joint Institute for the Study of the Atmosphere and Ocean and Dr. Ian N. Robertson, UH Manoa Dept. of Civil & Environmental Engineering.


January 2017

The Transportation Research Board (TRB) 96th Annual Meeting was held in Washington DC on January 8 -12, 2017. Four CEE professors participated as follows.

Ricardo Archilla

  • Attended as a member the meeting of “Surface Requirements of Asphalt Mixtures” Committee.
  • Presented, Resilient Modulus for Design in Mechanistic-Empirical Analysis: What Value Should Be Used?
  • Presided in session 573 – Tack Coat Bond Strength and Open-Graded Asphalt Mixes

Panos Prevedouros and past PhD student Liang Shi

  • Presided, Freeway Simulation Subcommittee
  • Presented, Lambros Mitropoulos, Panos Prevedouros and Xin (Alyx) Yu, Fuzzy and Monte Carlo Simulation Approach to Assess Transportation Vehicles
  • Liang Shi and Panos Prevedouros, Operational Analysis of Roundabouts with a Mix of Driverless Vehicles

Phillip Ooi

  • Attended as a member the meeting of “ Engineering Behavior of Unsaturated Geomaterials” committee
  • Presented, Reza Rahimnejad and Phillip Ooi, Model for Erodibility of Cohesive Soils

Guohui Zhang and PhD student Qiong Wu, postdoctoral researcher Dr. Cong Chen

  • Presided, “Sensing Technology Innovations in Multimodal Transportation” committee
  • Natalia Sanabria, Vanessa Valentin, Susan Bogus, Guohui Zhang, Elmira Kalhor, Comparing Neural Networks and Ordered Probit Models for Forecasting Pavement Condition in New Mexico
  • Shuguan Yang, Zhen Qian, Guohui Zhang, Turning Meter Transactions Data into Occupancy and Payment Behavioral Information for On-street Parking
  • Yiming Gu, Zhen Qian, Guohui Zhang, Traffic State Estimation for Urban Road Networks Using A Link Queue Model
  • See January News post for more presentations of Dr. Zhang

CEE Professor Ian Robertson has been selected as one of Engineering News-Record’s top 25 newsmakers of 2016 for his “crucial contributions to the campaign that resulted in the 2016 adoption of the world’s first standards for tsunami-resistant design“. Congratulations to Dr. Robertson!

CEE postdoctoral researcher Dr. Cong Chen, Ph.D. student Qiong (Linda) Wu and Ph.D. student Zhenning Li  along with their advisor Dr. Guohui Zhang attended the 96th Transportation Research Board (TRB) Annual Meeting on Jan 8-12, 2017 in Washington, D.C. The team had four posters presented during this conference, including “Analyzing Driver Injury Severity Outcomes in Rollover Crashes Based on a Support Vector Machine Model”, “Identifying Significant Factors for Driver Injury Severities in Rural Non-interstate Crashes: Hierarchical Ordered-Logit Analysis”, “Urban Expressway Traffic Status Assessment Based on Floating Car Data Analysis”, and “Influence of Temperature on Bus Driver’s Mood State, Reaction Ability, and At-fault Accident Risk”.

Dr. Clay Naito, an expert in structures and Associate Professor at Lehigh University, is the Alfred Yee Scholar for Spring 2017. He’s offering the graduate course CEE696 Selected Topics in Civil Engr and several seminars. Information on Dr. Naito’s research can be found at his Lehigh University faculty profile.

Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) professor Oceana Francis receives $409,402 in oceanographic and meteorological equipment from the National Data Buoy Center. The equipment will be tested and used to collect wave, current, and wind observations. “I would especially like to thank Richard Bouchard and Robert Gavigne for their tremendous help and giving me the opportunity” says Dr. Oceana Francis.

CEE professor Oceana Francis with some of the equipment. National Data Buoy Center, December 20, 2016, Photo by Robert Gavigne.

Mahalo to SSFM International for funding four full undergraduate scholarships in CEE for four years.

December 2016

UH-Manoa in collaboration with the universities of Alaska, Idaho and Washington was successful in receiving a 5-year Tier-1 University Transportation Center (UTC) from the U.S. Department of Transportation. Only 36 out of more than 400 proposals were successful. UH’s research budget share is $1.6M over five years. The focus of the research is on Transportation Safety Equity for Rural, Isolated, Tribal and Indigenous Communities. The PIs are Dr. Guohui Zhang and Dr. Panos Prevedouros.

The purpose of the UTCs is to conduct research that directly supports the priorities of the U.S. DOT to promote the safe, efficient and environmentally sound movement people and goods.  UTCs work with regional, state, local and tribal transportation agencies to help find solutions to challenges that directly impact their communities and affect the efficiency of the nation’s transportation system.

Hailing Li, a CS undergrad and mentee of CEE Asst. Prof. Gaur Johnson was awarded a $5000 grant from Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program for her project “Reliability of Punching Shear Strength Prediction for Existing Buildings.” She won 1st place in the Engineering and Computer Science category. The project was started when Hailing was a dual major in CEE and CS. Congratulations!

CEE Ph.D student Qiong (Linda) Wu and postdoctoral researcher Dr. Cong Chen, both under the guidance Dr. Guohui Zhang, attended the 10th University Transportation Center Spotlight Conference: Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety on Dec 1-2, 2016 at the National Academy of Sciences Keck Center in Washington D. C. They presented “Bayesian Network-based Pedestrian/Bicyclist Behavioral Analysis Impacted by Age, Gender, Sobriety Heterogeneity in Non-Motorist-Involved Intersection-Related Crashes.”


November 2016

On behalf of Chi Epsilon, University of Hawaii Chapter, you are cordially invited to attend our Fall 2016 Initiation Ceremony & Banquet on Dec 3, 2016 at Japanese Cultural Center, please see the event-flyer for details.



“Three-peat” of the Pacific District Chi Epsilon Cup for the UH Chapter

Nine XE students made the department proud by winning the Pacific District Chi Epsilon Cup for the 3rd time in seven years at the 29th Annual Pacific District Conference held at University of California at Irvine, November 10-12, 2016. They were the defending champions from 2015.  Students competed against 13 other California universities that comprise the Pacific District in a build-off competition, chapter presentations, quizzes, catapult construction competition, Simpson Strong Tie competition, chapter key exhibit and many other competitions.  The UH winning team members included from left to right in the front row: Megan Chang, Clara Sachs (holding the Pacific District Chi Epsilon Cup) and Jennylyn Tapat; and in the back row Skyler Tengan, Yasmeen Mansour, Kimberly Chun, Lance Lam, Lee Schultz, Jr. and Keenan Nakagawa. Congratulations to the XE chapter at UH-Manoa and their advisor Dr. Phillip Ooi!


Dr. Panos Prevedouros was the Keynote Speaker at the Annual Dinner Meeting of Hawaii’s Thousand Friends, one of the oldest environmental groups in Hawaii. He presented “The Rail. What’s Next?” at the Hale Koa hotel on November 13, 2016. Then on November 14 Dr. Prevedouros lead a similar discussion at the Lions Club of Honolulu monthly meeting.


October 2016

UH-Manoa ranks 328 out of 1,000 top global universities. Top 1/3!

UHM is the only university that represents Hawaii in this top-1,000 list.

CEE alumnus Leonard Kamp established a scholarship endowment that provides scholarships for students who pursue civil engineering at UH-Manoa. Mahalo!

Dr. Masato Niki, a Professor in the School of Marine Science and Technologies at Tokai University, Japan, is visiting the department to collaborate with Dr. Oceana Francis.

Prof. Niki has been working on coastal engineering and coastal physical oceanography. His research interests are an interdisciplinary research to link between coastal physics and marine ecosystem. Information on his research can be found at his Tokai University faculty profile.


Dr. Meiyan Xing, an associate professor from Tongji University in Shanghai, China, is visiting the department from Oct. 2016 to Oct. 2017 to collaborate with Dr. Tao Yan.

Prof. Xing’s research focuses on ecological principles of waste treatment (e.g. earthworm-assisted wastewater treatment) and new waste sludge disposal technologies. Information on her research can be found at her Tonji University faculty profile.



September 2016


Dr. Sayed Bateni receives major award from USDA’s Conservation Innovation Grants.

Dr. Bateni will be the principal investigator of Real-time Optimization of Irrigation Scheduling for Farmlands in Hawaii, Guam, and American Samoa. The $980,000 grant over three years proposes to demonstrate optimal irrigation management strategies.

A robust approach will be developed to optimize irrigation scheduling in intensive vegetable production systems across diverse climatic zones in the Pacific Islands. The University of Hawaii team will expand on proven technology developed in California and modify it for climates, soil types, and crops in the Pacific Islands. The objectives are to 1) develop a weather-based irrigation scheduling system to improve water use efficiency for selected vegetable crops, 2) design an online tool to enable real-time irrigation scheduling on a field-by-field basis, and 3) implement an outreach program targeting farmers and other agriculture professionals to enhance their awareness to adopt an irrigation management strategy that conserves water resources and enhances farm productivity.

Dr. Bateni’s partners include CTAHR and WRRC from the UH campus as well as collaborators from the University of Guam and the American Samoa Community College.

Congratulations to our faculty and staff who won awards for their distinguished service and contributions to the College of Engineering. This was COE’s 10th annual award ceremony. CEE recipients include the following professors: Dr. Ian Robertson, recipient of the 2016 Hi Chang Chai Excellence in Teaching Award, Dr. Roger Babcock, recipient of the 20 Year Service Award and Promotion for full professor, and Dr. David Ma, recipient of the 10 Year Service Award.

Dr. Panos Prevedouros was extensively quoted in the headline article Road Woes Roll On  of the September 28, 2016 edition of the Honolulu Star Advertiser, the main newspaper in the state of Hawaii.




Recent PhD graduate was awarded a WRI scholarship! Michael Bell earned his BS and MS degrees in Civil Engineering from Ohio State University and Stanford University, respectively. He was admitted to our PhD program in Fall 2012. During his study at UH, he worked under Dr. David Ma’s supervision on bridge monitoring. Dr. Bell’s research has led to the development of a new method that can be used to determine bridge deflection profiles in real time without using external references which are expensive and necessary in other methods.

The September meeting of ITE Hawaii speaker is Mohammadreza (Pasha) Hashemi, Ph.D. student and Research Assistant for Dr. Ricardo Archilla. His presentation is on potential-factors-affecting-roadway-departure-crashes-on-oahu-Hawaii , September 28 at 11:45am – 1:00PM at Wilson Okamoto Corporation.

CEE Professor Ian Robertson gave a presentation on the Development of Tsunami Design Provisions for the ASCE 7-16 Standard at the Symposium on Communicating Disaster Science which was held at University of Hawaii at Manoa on September 16 -17, 2016. Japan’s House of Representatives Teru Fukui addressed in the Opening Ceremony.

Matsubara Apartment building in Minamisanriku, Japan, that served as a successful Vertical Evacuation Refuge saving 44 lives during the Tohoku Tsunami in 2011.

Matsubara Apartment building in Minamisanriku, Japan, that served as a successful Vertical Evacuation Refuge saving 44 lives during the Tohoku Tsunami in 2011.

CEE Assistant Professor Dr. Gaur Johnson who currently serves as the chairman of state Building Code Council addressed issues of Hawaii’s building code in Storm Warning in the September 2016 issue of Hawaii Business Magazine. Distinguished CEE alumni Gary Chock and Ken Hayashida were also featured in the detailed article.

hawaii business new

Professor Panos Prevedouros joined state DOT Director Ford Fuchigami and Public Utilities Commissioner Delmond Won in a three hour session on transportation challenges in Hawaii during the 2016 annual conference of the Hawaii Transportation Association  at the Waikiki Marriott Resort on September 15.

Dr. David Mukai, an associate professor of Civil and Architectural Engineering from University of Wyoming, is visiting our department in fall semester 2016 for teaching and research. Prof. Mukai’s research focuses on theoretical fracture mechanics, reinforced concrete, and structural rehabilitation and monitoring. Information on Dr. Mukai’s research can be found at his University of Wyoming faculty profile.