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]