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University of Hawaii at Manoa - 2016

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Research Description

Research Description By Graduate Engineering Department

Civil and Environmental Engineering

The Department conducts research in traditional civil and environmental disciplines, as well as in interdisciplinary and emerging technology fields. These efforts are balanced to satisfy specific research needs at the local level and to contribute to the general advancement of science and engineering. The amount and breadth of research activities has been increasing steadily over the years as new faculty and research facilities have been added.

The faculty specialize in six areas of research: Construction Engineering, Environmental Engineering, Geotechnical Engineering, Hydraulics/Hydrology, Structural Engineering, and Transportation Engineering.

Construction engineering involves the planning and construction of civil and building engineering projects such as coastal and ocean structures, dams, airports, high-rise buildings, parking structures, residential housing, roads and highways, bridges, and freeways. The environmental engineering program at the University of Hawaii includes several key areas of modern environmental engineering. Research areas include water and wastewater engineering, hydrology and hydraulics, environmental fluid mechanics, and coastal engineering and marine environment. Geotechnical engineering deals with the study of earth materials in the context of engineering investigation, design and construction. Research areas in geotechnical engineering include soil-structure interaction, pavement geotechnics, marine geotechnics, soil mechanics, seismic engineering, and geologic engineering. Structural engineering research topics at the College include theoretical and application areas such as structural analysis and design for buildings and bridges, structural dynamics, numerical simulations and modeling, seismic and long-term monitoring of structures, wave and tsunami loading on structures, fluid-structure interactions, and hazard mitigation. Transportation engineering research includes transportation and infrastructure systems engineering, traffic analysis and simulation, pavement engineering, deterioration modeling, demand forecasting, and intelligent transportation systems.

Electrical Engineering

The Department is organized into three research tracks: computer engineering, electrophysics, and information systems.
Computer Engineering: Research areas include optical networks, network security, image processing in 3D modeling, embedded systems, VLSI CAD, computer architecture, bioinformatics, telemedicine, computational intelligence, and parallel and distributed computing. Faculty in this area collaborate with faculty in the John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM), with Hawaii high-tech companies and with researchers in the Queen's Medical Center on NIH funded projects in image-based diagnostics. This faculty has also built a general-purpose 240-processors super-computer that gives the UH community its own educational and experimental platform for reconfigurable computing in simulation, modeling, visualization and application development.

Electrophysics: Research areas include MEMS devices and simulation tools, high-frequency electronic circuits, non-invasive sensing of biomedical signals, semiconductor devices and sensor innovation, antennas, and computational electromagnetics. Present and past faculty in this area have been successful in establishing high-technology startup companies. Faculty in the area play key roles in two College of Engineering research units, the Hawaii Space Flight Laboratory (HSFL) and the Hawaii Center for Advanced Communications (HCAC).

Information Systems: The department has a long tradition of top notch research in information transmission, storage, and processing. This research produced the well known ALOHA network, the first wireless packet network, in the 1970s. Research areas include wireless communications, information theory, channel coding, information security, magnetic recording, network optimization, control theory, game theory, source coding, machine learning, and ad hoc sensor networks. Recently, researchers in this group combined with faculty in Information and Computer Science (ICS) and Mathematics to form the Coding, Communications, Networks, and Security (COCONETS) Lab. This research is focused on collaborative and multidisciplinary research and education projects in the above stated areas.

From EE website:

Mechanical Engineering

The ME faculty conduct research in the department's three primary areas:

Fluid and Thermal Sciences
Applied math and perturbation methods in heat and mass transfer, solidification, thermodynamics, combustion, fluid dynamics, multiphase flows, and Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD).

Mechanics and Design
Robotics, mechatronics, acoustics, dynamics, control, machine vision, microelectromechanical systems, rehabilitation engineering, biomedical engineering, and mechanical design.

Materials and Manufacturing
Mechanical behavior, manufacturing, and processing of advanced materials; composite, marine, intelligent, and superconducting materials; solid-state ionics, electrochemistry, and corrosion.

Areas of active research include, but are not limited to robotics, underwater vehicle design and technology, dynamical systems, corrosion, intelligent and composite materials, advanced manufacturing, combustion, multiphase flows, heat and mass transfer, perturbation methods, applied mathematics, and computational fluid dynamics.


Ocean and Resources Engineering

Recent and ongoing research projects in the department cover a variety of subject areas ranging from theoretical through practical.

Among these are computer modeling of the storm waves and surge generation, tsunami runup and coastal inundation, motions of very large floating platforms (hydroelasticity), hydrodynamics of fluid-filled membrane in gravity waves, wave modeling for insular regions, wave attenuation on a coastal zone, tidal wave numerical modeling, two- and three-dimensional hydraulic models, sediment plume dynamics, mooring dynamics, gas evolution in open cycle ocean thermal energy conversion (OTEC), thermodynamic evaluation of the OTEC process, electrodeposition of calcium carbonate from seawater for structural elements, wave and current forces on oil transport and OTEC pipelines, design and motion analysis of moored data buoys, motion and structural analysis of SWATH ships, wastewater outfall plume dynamics, baroclinic tide dynamics, numerical simulation of nonlinear fluid-structure interaction problems, and design of artificial reefs.
It is expected that future research areas will include OTEC cold water usage for aquaculture and artificial upwelling, wave energy, very large floating structure dynamics, semi-submersible ship design, manganese crust mining and processing, as well as additional work related to coastal areas and the economic development of ocean resources, such as energy and bioproducts.

Research Description By Engineering Research Center

Hawaii Center for Advanced Communications

The University of Hawaii (UH) has been one of the pioneers in the area of wireless communications technology, having developed, over thirty years ago, the first wireless packet radio system based on ALOHA protocol. Ideas used in this protocol strongly influenced the development of the CSMA/CD access protocol used in Ethernet, the network model most widely used in computer communications. More recently, and with the recruiting of new faculty, the research focus at UH has been shifting more towards the physical-layer type of projects including innovative antenna designs; DSP for smart antennas, blind-multiuser detection, and cooperative diversity; propagation prediction and modeling of wireless networks; RF and quasi-optical devices]; and the development of computationally and power-efficient iterative decoding algorithms for wireless communications systems.

The Hawaii Center for Advanced Communications (HCAC) at the University of Hawaii, Manoa Campus, is a research and education center established in 2000 by the Board of Regents in the College of Engineering. HCAC supports research and training on a wide range of advanced communications technologies. The main focus of the communications research at HCAC is in the area of broadband wireless with emphases on using electromagnetics assets (antennas, propagation modeling, radar design and signal analysis) and digital signal processing algorithms (smart antennas and algorithms for buried target detection and classification) in the design and overall optimization of advanced wireless communications and radar systems. Specific research projects with strong external funding are in antennas and antenna arrays design, propagation modeling and channel sounding, the development of signal processing algorithms for smart antennas and multi-user detection, advanced integrated design for HF radar for Homeland security applications, and the development of ground penetrating radar technologies for buried targets detection and classification.

From HCAC website: