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Arif Rahman

The University of Hawaiʻi is a key driver of the state’s economic development and diversification efforts. In a post COVID-19 world, innovation and entrepreneurship through talent from UH’s students, faculty and staff will play a significant role in helping to shape our future. How UH has and will continue to impact innovation in Hawaiʻi and across the world will be on display at A UH Innovation Virtual Conference hosted by the UH Office of the Vice President for Research and Innovation, November 15–17.

The virtual conference is free and open to the first 1,000 participants. Register online. Innovation is the topic for the third and final day of the conference on November 17, 8–10 a.m. The journeys of three successful UH innovations will be featured:

  • Battery Health is by Matthieu Dubarry, an assistant researcher from UH Mānoa’s Hawaiʻi Natural Energy Institute. Dubarry conducts research in battery testing and modeling. His research on battery performance, charging and degradation, led to his development of the ʻAlawa Toolbox, a powerful tool for battery diagnosis and prognosis.
  • Nanotech is by Mehrdad Nejhad, a UH Mānoa mechanical engineering professor. Nejhad has partnered with Goodman Technologies LLC to apply advancements in nano-composites into real world applications for the Department of Defense and NASA. Together they have won multiple Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer awards totaling more than $4.5 million.
  • Hawaiʻi Innovation Lab is led by Arif Rahman, an electrical engineering postdoctoral fellow. They are developing a low-cost liquid metal coating for concentrated solar power polymeric mirrors. This technology was developed out of Professor Aaron Ohta’s lab in the UH Mānoa College of Engineering.

A live panel discussion, “Perseverance, Partnership and Place—What It Takes to Succeed,” moderated by UH Office of Innovation and Commercialization Interim Director Steve Auerbach, will feature Olga Boric-Lubecke, UH Mānoa electrical engineering professor and co-founder and president of Adnoviv, LLC; Heidi Kuehnle, founder of Kuehnle Agrosystems, Inc.; Keoni Lee, chief executive officer of Hawaiʻi Investment Ready; and Cindy Wu, co-founder of Jelly and founder of Experiment. Kirsten Leute, previously the director at Stanford’s Office of Technology Licensing and now at Osage University Partners—a company investing in university innovation, will deliver the keynote address to kickoff the session at 8 a.m.

“Come see and hear from innovation and entrepreneurship leaders as they share more about how to take one’s idea from the lab to the market and how partnerships and collaboration with the private sector is foundational for a thriving innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem,” Auerbach said. “One of the key tenets of our mission is to bridge connections and build partnerships between UH, the community and the world, strategically advancing discoveries, and inspiring researchers, innovators and entrepreneurs to create new opportunities for Hawaiʻi and beyond.”

Conference sessions

  • Connecting Hawaiian Indigenous Culture with Modern Astronomy: Monday, November 15, 8–10 a.m.
  • Conservation of our Ahupuaʻa: Tuesday, November 16, 8–10 a.m.
  • UH Innovation and Commercialization: Wednesday, November 17, 8–10 a.m.

For more information, go to the conference website.

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