1-2-3 finish for teams with engineering ties in UH business competition

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Eric R. Matsunaga, (808) 956-7584
Director, Marketing & Public Affairs, College of Engineering
Posted: May 12, 2011

PloXimer Materials
PloXimer Materials
Renewable Water Technology LLC (RWT)
Renewable Water Technology LLC (RWT)
InFLOWmation, Inc.
InFLOWmation, Inc.
Technologies developed by faculty and researchers at the University of Hawai`i at Mānoa College of Engineering played key roles in each of the top three winning teams at the recent UH Business Plan Competition (BPC). 
First place was awarded to PloXimer Materials. Mechanical Engineering Professor Lloyd Hihara and Researcher Atul Tiwari developed a patent pending chromate-free coating, called SiloXelTM, to protect aluminum. Unlike earlier chromate-based coatings, it is non-carcinogenic, contains titanium dioxide that provides natural UV protection and applies clear for more aesthetic appeal. Other team members are Douglas Cullison, Lena Mobin and David Schmidt.
Second place was awarded to Renewable Water Technology LLC (RWT). Mechanical Engineering Associate Professor Weilin Qu and Researcher Riley McGivern developed the technology for a solar/waste heat driven humidification-dehumidification (HDH) seawater desalination process that will eliminate the high cost, high energy use of traditional desalinization systems. Team members also include Ryan Sato and Jeremy Uota.
Third place was awarded to InFLOWmation, Inc. Electrical Engineering Assistant Professor David Garmire and Researcher John Hirano provided the technology for a small and accurate, low-cost and self-contained anemometer to measure wind speed. Team members also include Kuenzang Dorji, Firaas Hakim, Jenna Nishita and Josiah Nishita.
“To be successful, today’s engineer must understand technology as well as the essential principles of business,” said Engineering Dean Peter E. Crouch. “I’m pleased that our faculty and students are embracing the spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship.”
The annual competition, coordinated by the Pacific Asian Center for Entrepreneurship (PACE) at the Shidler College of Business, is an intense and unique learning opportunity for UH students to pursue a business idea and develop their business savvy. Winners were awarded substantial cash prizes. 
“I’m pleased to see multi-disciplinary teams shining in the BPC," said Susan Yamada, PACE executive director. “The beauty of the BPC is that it provides the opportunity for business students to collaborate with scientists and researchers on real-life projects. This is exactly the kind of synergy that we strive for at the University.”
Photo credit: Shidler College of Business