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.


CEE News

The 7th CECAR conference was held in Honolulu in late August. It opened with a keynote speech by Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard. Four CEE faculty participated as follows.

  • Dr. A. Ricardo Archilla presented a paper on Overlay Performance Under High Temperature Conditions.
  • Dr. Roger Babcock moderated a session and presented a paper titled Hydrologic and Hydraulic Evaluation of a West Maui Watershed and Its Sediment Retention Basin with Potential Retrofits to Reduce Nearshore Pollution During Storm Events.
  • Dr. Panos Prevedouros presented a paper on A Practical Assessment Model for Sustainable Transportation.
  • Dr. Lin Shen presented a paper on A Statistical Model on the Performance of Fly AshBased Geopolymer Concrete.


CEE professor Ron Riggs takes over as Interim Dean of the College of Engineering on September 1.

Professor Panos Prevedouros was retained by the World Bank to consult on traffic safety and related university curriculums in Nepal. [August 2016]

Assistant professor Oceana Francis and professor Panos Prevedouros participated in the U.S. Navy’s Subject Matter Expert Exchange (SMEE) program, a part of Pacific Partnership 2016. Dr. Francis provided day long seminars in Malaysia and Indonesia. Dr. Prevedouros provided day long seminars in Malaysia and The Philippines. [July, August 2016]

Assistant professor Sayed Bateni received a $25,000 fellowship from CIRA (Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere), a subset of NOAA. Under this fellowship, Dr. Bateni was Visiting Scientist at the National Center for Weather and Climate Prediction (NVWCP) in College Park, Maryland. [July 2016]

Spring 2016 PhD graduates in civil engineering and their advisors. Congratulations!
2016 PhDs


NSF logo

It’s official, NSF awards $20M EPRSoR grant to UH for groundbreaking study of water sustainability issues. The Civil Engineering department is a partner in this effort. [May 2016]

Congratulations to Melia Iwamoto (PhD, geotechnical) for her 2016 ARCS award. Also pictured, EE PhD student Robert Nakata. Both make the College of Engineering proud. [May 2016]

CEE PhD student Hamed Bahrami Jovein and Assistant Professor Lin Shen published Correlating Aggregate Properties and Concrete Rheology to Dynamic Segregation of Self-Consolidating Concrete in the Journal of Materials in Civil Engineering. Their article was selected to be featured in Advances in Engineering in May 2016 as a “key scientific article” contributing to excellence in engineering, scientific, and industrial research. Advances in Engineering is highly selective; the invited articles are the 0.1% of the published literature. [April 2016]

Congratulations to Dr. Ian Robertson for winning this year’s Hi Chang Chai Teaching Award!

CEE PhD candidate Liang Shi took second at UHM inaugural Three Minute Thesis competition at UH-Manoa with over 50 competing graduate students. [April 2016]

The ASCE Student Chapter at the University of Hawaii at Manoa has been selected by the Committee on Student Members to receive a Certificate of Commendation for its outstanding activities as recorded in the 2015 Chapter Annual Report. This is a distinction earned by only the top 5% of the ASCE student chapters. Congratulations! [April 2016]

The UH Manoa ASCE Student Chapter took 55 students and their faculty advisor, Dr. Babcock, to participate in 18 different events at the Pacific Southwest Conference (PSWC) in Long Beach, CA on March 31 – April 2, 2016. The team placed 9th overall in the conference of 18 schools (over 1,300 students total). The Concrete Canoe team placed fourth overall and dominated the race events, placing first in Men’s sprints, first in Coed sprints, first in Men’s slalom, second in Women’s sprints, and second in Women’s slalom. In other events, Kiana Yamat placed 4th in the Technical Paper competition, the Transportation event team placed 6th, the Concrete Bowling team placed 6th, the Environmental event team placed 7th, and the team placed 4th in both Tug-O-war and Scavenger Hunt. The entire team worked very hard preparing for this event and all were great competitors in Long Beach. The PSWC is the largest ASCE conference in the USA and the most competitive. The UHM Conference co-Chairs were Reyn Sugihara and Jessica Shon 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  Kiana Yamat; Vice-President  Colin Nguyen; Treasurer Preston Matsuo; Recording Secretary Arshia Taeb; and Corresponding Secretary Keith Migita.

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 Long Beach this year. The students also individually had to pay $600 to participate. [April 2016]

Kamal Gautam
Kamal Gautam

The investigative work of our PhD graduate Kamal Gautam made headlines in Uganda concerning the covering up of shoddy work at Karuma, Isimba. Dr. Gautam, a member of an Austrian engineering consulting firm, identified several lapses that have impaired the delivery of large hydro-power plants. See news story. [April 2016]

According to a Ka Leo O Hawai’i article on UH Mānoa’s demographics, Civil Engineering is the fifth most popular major![March 2016]

UH Manoa Majors

Congratulations to CEE alum Dr. Brennon Morioka for his distinction as 2016 Hawaii Engineer of the Year. Dr. Morioka is currently the Deputy Executive Director for HART. He has previously served as the Director of the Hawaii DOT, and as Vice President with CH2M HILL. Dr. Morioka received his BS and MS degrees in Civil Engineering from the University of California at Berkeley and his PhD from our department in 1999. [January 2016]

The Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) Western District Technical Committee has approved the University of Hawaii at Manoa ITE Student Chapter’s proposal to conduct the 2016 Data Collection project. The ITE Student Chapter at UH-Manoa competed against 12 other schools and was one of five proposals selected. Congratulations! [January 2016]

ITE Students

Magazine cover

Our May 2015 BSCE graduate Isaiah Sato is the cover feature of the American Indian Science and Engineering Society “Winds of Change” magazine. Congratulations! [November 2015]

Second Pacific District Chi Epsilon (XE) Cup for the University of Hawaii at Manoa XE Student Chapter: 8 XE (a national civil engineering honor society) students brought the Pacific District Chi Epsilon Cup home to Hawaii for the second time from the 28th Annual Pacific District Conference held at San Jose State University from November 6 through 8, 2015. Students competed against thirteen other California universities in the Pacific District in a build-off competition, presentations, etc. [November 2015]

Chi Epsilon winners

Standing L to R: Tyler Tsuchida, Emma Finley-Jacob, Jeff Aguinaldo, Kelsie Sasabe, Aren Bumanglag, Briant Pham, and Brandon Cezar. Kneeling: Alec Toshi


Big thanks to CCPI Hawaii for their generous gift for civil engineering student scholarships. Thanks to extensive industry support, the department awards more than $150,000 in scholarships every year. [October 2015]