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Technical Tours


Date: Wednesday, June 24 and Thursday, June 25, 2022

Maximum Capacity: Two groups at 80 participants each per day

Tour Cost: $25.00 per person, per day


The University of Hawaii at Manoa tour will focus on civil, mechanical, and bioengineering as it relates to Hawaii and the earth’s environment and will include three engineering labs.

The UH Hydraulics Laboratory will feature the Tsunami Wave Loading Demonstration. The Civil Engineering Department’s hydraulics lab at UH occupies about 3000 square feet and is equipped with a large wave tank and a smaller wave flume. Existing instrumentation includes state of the art TSI 3D Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV) and TSI 3D Laser Doppler Velocimetry (LDV). Other instruments include resistance and capacitance wave gages, load cells, LabView data acquisition system, GE miniature pore pressure sensors, and cameras. The lab supports both teaching and research in hydraulic and coastal engineering. Current funded research projects utilizing the hydraulic lab include: tsunami impact on structures (NSF), tsunami inundation on vegetated beaches (NSF), sediment transport (NSF), highway culvert improvement (HDOT), wave energy and conversion devices (DoE), among others. For this tour the hydraulics lab will show a demonstration of a tsunami bore impacting components of a typical coastal building.

The UH Bioengineering Laboratory features the Human-Robot Interaction Lab and demonstrations of a compact teleoperated robotic surgery system, and two magnetic levitation systems. The UH robotic surgery system provides functionality equivalent to current commercial systems, yet it is immersible in fluids and sterilizeable by autoclave, and is portable, easier to set up and use, and occupies no floor space due to its small size and novel design. The magnetic levitation systems include a Lorentz force system used to levitate a set of coils in a thin spherical shell with 50 mm translation and 60 degree rotation motion ranges in all directions, and a planar array of coils used to levitate one or more magnets with unlimited rotation ranges in all directions and a planar motion range limited only by the area of the coil array. Both levitation systems are in development as force-reflecting handheld tool interfaces to investigate high-fidelity haptic interaction.

The UH Nanotechnology Laboratory (HNL) is the next stop on the tour. Presently, they are carrying out research projects on nanomaterials (e.g., single-walled & multi-walled carbon nanotubes, and nanoparticles), nanodevices (e.g., multifunctional nanobrushes), nanostructures (e.g., nano-foams), nanocomponents (e.g., catalyst layers and gas diffusion layers of proton exchange membrane fuel cells as alternative energy), nanocomposites (e.g., nano-resin using nanoparticles and carbon nanotubes), hierarchical nanocomposites (e.g., nanoparticle-enhanced continuous fiber ceramic composites for high temperature applications), three-dimensional multifunctional hierarchical nanocomposites (e.g., nano-forest 3D nanocompoites), and the use of Nanotechnology in Renewable Energy such as Solar Cells, Fuel Cells, Wind Turbines, Wave Rotor, Rechargeable Batteries, and Ultra Capacitors. In addition, you will see structural characterizations, properties measurements, and theoretical modeling and simulations being carried out at HNL. They are also working on the multifunctionality aspects of 3D nanocomposites as related to the structural damping, thermoelastic response dimensional stability, thermal management, electrical conductivity, and through-the-thickness and interlaminar properties enhancements in terms of strength, stiffness, and fracture toughness. Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) method is used to produce vertically aligned carbon nanotube films/foams/coatings and other nanostructures. Sonicators, mixers, and convection ovens are available for nanoresin manufacturing. Automated manufacturing equipment, such as autoclave, filament winding, resin transfer molding, compression molding hot press, and high temperature furnaces are available for the manufacturing of thermoset-, thermoplastic-, and ceramic-based nanocomposites.

The final portion of the tour convenes at the UHCEE/SCD Hurricane Debris Impact Test Facility for a Wind-borne Debris Impact Demonstration. The Civil and Environmental Engineering Department of the University of Hawaii at Manoa (UHCEE) has constructed a wind-borne debris test facility in conjunction with the Hawaii State Civil Defense (SCD). This facility consists of a wind-borne debris cannon capable of firing small and large missiles at various velocities, and a cyclic wind pressure test panel. The facility was constructed to evaluate window and door protection systems for hurricane damage mitigation in Hawaii. The facility will also be used to develop economical saferoom designs appropriate for Category 3 hurricanes, considered the design standard for Hawaii. This demonstration will show the effect of a 2×4 timber travelling at various speeds when impacting plywood sheathing, or other protective panels, forming part of a saferoom or window protection system. The test facility is equipped with high speed video cameras for immediate slow motion playback of the impact on both front and back of the test panel.


Wednesday, June 24 and Thursday, June 25, 2022
Group A: (Maximum capacity 80)
1:45 p.m.          Bus departs Hawaii Convention Center
2:00 p.m.          Tour of labs and SCD at the Diamond Head facility
4:45 p.m.          Bus arrives at the Sheraton Waikiki Hotel

Group B: (Maximum capacity 80)
3:15 p.m.          Bus departs Hawaii Convention Center
3:30 p.m.          Tours of labs and SCD at Diamond Head facility
6:15 p.m.          Bus arrives at the Sheraton Waikiki Hotel