A record attendance of approximately 1,000 witnessed first-hand the excellence of University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa engineering students at the 23rd College of Engineering banquet, April 21, at the Hawaiʻi Convention Center.
More than 25 student projects from formula race cars to underwater robots were featured. Approximately $330,000 in funds raised will help to support projects like these during the upcoming academic year.
“I think our alumni and industry partners look forward to our annual engineering banquet as much as I do because we get to see old friends and build new friendships,” College of Engineering Dean Brennon Morioka said. “And we know our industry partners love engaging with our students and their projects because they know their sponsorships for the banquet is our industries’ investment in Hawaiʻi‘s workforce. And sometimes there’s no more rewarding thing than to see how our next generation of leaders are being groomed and mentored.”
Mechanical engineering student Tyler Maruno added, “Being able to network with some of the biggest and best local engineering companies all in one place in the matter of a few hours is an unparalleled opportunity that I am extremely grateful for. Further, the ability to show off our own project to industry professionals and receive their praise and admiration instilled a true sense of pride in our team. I can’t think of any other event where I would be able to converse and receive valuable feedback from some of the top engineers in the state.”
Among the attendees included a strong representation from the state’s engineering community, with dozens of industry sponsors and VIPs, including Department of Transportation Director Ed Sniffen, on behalf of the Gov. Josh Green’s office, and College of Engineering alumnus Haku Milles, director of the City and County Department of Design and Construction, on behalf of Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi’s office. Guests were also treated to musical performances by College of Engineering students and a formal program emceed by Augie T.
“Annually, the College of Engineering Banquet is to highlight one of our missions—to educate our students for technical competency and communication proficiency,” Assistant Dean Song K. Choi said. “This year the event allowed us to showcase many of our student projects—VIP (vertically integrated projects), capstones projects, club projects, and even individual projects—as these are supported and sustained by the generous donations and contributions of our alumni, friends, and industry. We are eternally grateful to all our supporters!”
The College of Engineering also presented three awards:
- Distinguished Alumni: Leonard Leong, Royal Contracting Co.
- Dean’s Award of Excellence: Roy Abe, HDR Inc.
- Outstanding Service: Jalene Kanani, Noho Home
Kanani also designed the college’s new logo, which was unveiled at the banquet. The logo integrates elements of the college’s identity as engineers and as a Native Hawaiian Place of Learning, one of the goals in UH Mānoa’s Strategic Plan.