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College of Engineering

Student Organizations

Student chapters of professional engineering societies are active at the college, and all students are encouraged to participate. Honorary societies are represented in all three departments.

Honors and Awards

The College of Engineering and its departments provide scholarships and awards to exceptional students. For a list of these scholarships, see the “Tuition, Fees, and Financial Aid” section of this Catalog or at www.eng.hawaii.edu/prospective-students/financial-aid-and-scholarships/.

Programs

Hawai‘i Center for Advanced Communications

The Hawai‘i Center for Advanced Communications (HCAC) is a multidisciplinary research center established by the legislature and approved by the Board of Regents in 2000. Currently, with federal, state, and private funding, HCAC continues on its mission to be the leading center for innovative research in the broader areas of wireless communication and radar technologies with joint research and educational activities that promote national and international collaboration and partnership with industry. The center has tenured faculty, several full-time researchers, collaboration and partnership with industry; and graduate students working towards their MS and/or PhD degrees in Electrical Engineering.

Research activities in the center are funded by federal agencies including the National Science Foundation (NSF), Army Research Office, Office of Naval Research, Army CERDEC, as well as by large numbers of corporate sponsors including Agilent Technologies, BAE, L-3, Motorola, and Raytheon.

Faculty in the center have been recognized with several national and international awards including the 2012 IEEE AP-S Distinguished Educator Award, 2013 IEEE MTT-S Distinguished Educator Award, and both the UH Regents Medal for Excellence in Research and the UH Regents Medal for Excellence in Teaching.

National and International Collaboration: The center is a member of the NSF Industry/University Cooperative Research Center (I/U CRC), and has international partnership agreements with The State Key Lab on Microwave & Digital Communications, Tsinghua University, China; The Centre National De La Recherche Scientifique, University of Nice-Sophia Antipolis, France; Communication Research Center, Yuan Ze University, Taiwan; and Department of Signal Theory and Communications, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain.

Research Areas: Research areas include advanced multifunction and ultra wideband antenna designs, propagation modeling and characterization of wireless communication channels, digital signal processing (DSP) for smart antennas, Ground Penetrating Radar technologies for UXO and IED detection and classification, microwave methods for biomedical applications (in collaboration with JABSOM), and the development of Radio Frequency tunable devices for reconfigurable antennas cognitive radio, and solar energy harvesting applications. Recent research projects include microwave stethoscope for vital signs monitoring and measuring changes in lung water content, the development of antennas for directional networks, use of Genetic Programming for the design of ultra wideband metamaterials, and the development of textile antennas for medical and military applications.

STEM Outreach: HCAC has received significant grants from the State of Hawai‘i, National Science Foundation, and corporate sponsors to launch its STEM outreach program for middle schools in Hawai‘i (Research Experience for Teachers, RET).

Laboratory Facilities: HCAC has developed four state-of-the-art laboratories to support the ongoing research activities. This includes an indoor antenna range, a wireless communications testbed, microwave measurements lab, and the RF devices fabrication and characterization lab.

For graduate studies, all students/applicants need to fulfill the requirements of Graduate Education, manoa.hawaii.edu/graduate/, as well as those of the Electrical Engineering Department. For availability of research opportunities, visiting scholar and graduate fellowships at HCAC, contact Magdy Iskander, Director of HCAC and Professor of Electrical Engineering at magdy@hawaii.edu.

Hawai‘i Space Flight Laboratory

The Hawai‘i Space Flight Laboratory (HSFL) was established in 2007 as a multidisciplinary research and education activity bringing together individuals from diverse areas to explore, study, and advance the understanding of the space environment. Among HSFL’s goals are to provide the infrastructure for collaborative space and science research, encourage entrepreneurship and industrial relations, and provide students with a rich and exciting education for careers in space science and engineering.

Hawai‘i is located in a unique location to become a low-cost gateway to space and positions UH Manoa as the only university in the world to have both satellite fabrication capabilities and unique, direct access to orbital space. This will enable many experiments that study the earth’s oceans and continents, as well as test numerous engineering experiments in the hostile environment of space. The HSFL expands the Small-Satellite Program established at UH Manoa, College of Engineering in 2001 by merging research interests in both the College of Engineering and the School of Ocean and Earth Sciences and Technology.

Vertically Integrated Projects (VIP) Program

University of Hawai‘i (UH) is part of the Vertically Integrated Projects (VIP) Consortium, which consists of 14 universities across the country, led by Georgia Institute of Technology. VIP programs at each institution seek to foster long-term, in-depth, project-based learning to engage students and better prepare them for future careers. VIP teams are vertically integrated: they consist of a faculty mentor, graduate student researchers, and undergraduates of all levels. The teams are large (10 to 20 undergraduates each semester), the projects are long-term (at least 5 years in scope), and are based on an externally funded research topic.

Undergraduates in VIP teams earn academic credit for their participation.

Our VIP efforts are organized around the following themes:

  • The College of Engineering has a strong robotics program spanning microrobotics to marine (submersible and surface) robotics to aerospace (drones and small satellites) and surgical robotics;
  • UH Manoa has an exceptionally strong astronomy program, with access to real telescope time for developing astronomical instruments. Student-built nanosatellites have been built and launched three times since 2006, with another one being proposed for a JPL interplanetary mission. UH Manoa has just established a BS degree in astrophysics, opening up an opportunity for a VIP focus area in space and astronomy;
  • The UH System has also made it a priority for its students to be part of the “Maker Movement,” inspiring our third VIP focus area to be in rapid prototyping and re-manufacturing. Goals and objectives include cultivating and promoting innovation and entrepreneurship at UH Manoa by providing the learning resources, tools and facilities to cultivate innovation and entrepreneurship and serving as a conduit to the local startup ecosystem; and
  • Our fourth focus area is in sustainability. As the most isolated land mass in the world, Hawai‘i has a vested interest in sustainability in many areas: architecture, energy, food, water, and transportation. Indeed, this focus allows rich cross-disciplinary VIP opportunities across many academic disciplines across campus.