More than 800 supporters, alumni, students and faculty of the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa College of Engineering came out to celebrate at the 17th annual banquet at the Hawaiʻi Convention Center on April 20. The banquet provided the opportunity for engineering students to showcase about three dozen of their research projects.
Banquet guests included Governor David Ige, Senate President Ronald Kouchi, and Mayor Kirk Caldwell. Governor Ige recognized the college’s contributions to Hawaiʻi and said how heartwarming it was to know that the College of Engineering was part of the National Centers of Academic Excellence, an organization that he and his fellow governors depend on to help solve the nation’s most vexing problems.
Rudy Mina, senior vice president and area general manager of AECOM’s operations in Hawaiʻi and Guam, was recognized for his leadership and awarded the college’s Distinguished Alumni award. During his acceptance speech, Mina told the crowd about his youthful dreams of becoming a rock star.
Recognized for his contributions to the college, John Katahira, president and principal of The Limtiaco Consulting Group, was honored with the Outstanding Service award. Katahira shared his experiences as a young engineer and attempting to use golf as a vehicle to fit in with his more experienced peers.
Following the dinner, undergraduate students in one of Associate Professor Aaron Ohta’s VIP (Vertically Integrated Project) teams gave a presentation on their work with microscopic-sized bubble robots that are controlled and powered with light. The robots are designed to improve healthcare.
“Our annual banquet is always a great opportunity for alumni and friends to mix with each other and with students, and to see what the students are doing,” said Interim College of Engineering Dean H. Ronald Riggs. “It also demonstrates to the students what a strong engineering ʻohana we have here in Hawaiʻi.”
View more photos on the College of Engineering Flickr site.