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Ocean and Resources Engineering

College or University: University of Hawaii at Manoa

Type of degree: Ph.D.

Brief overview of program: Welcome to the Department of Ocean and Resources Engineering at the University of Hawaii. Our graduate program was established by Dr. Charles Bretschneider in 1966 and is one of the first of its kind in the United States. The Department offers an academic program leading to the Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degrees in three disciplines: coastal engineering, offshore engineering, and ocean resources engineering. The faculty members are known nationally and internationally for their research and educational work. Our students come from diverse cultural and academic backgrounds with the common objective to channel their prior education and work experience to ocean-related engineering careers. On this website, you will find useful information related to our academic and research programs. Prospective students may obtain additional information and apply on-line at the Graduate Division website You may download an assistantship application form here. Please email me at should you have any questions or comments about our program.

Website: Click here for program website

Number of students enrolled in 2007: 40

For the students that enter the workforce, what are the most common occupations that they pursue with this degree or certificate? engineering

Description of Facilities: Environmental Fluid Dynamics Laboratory The Department of Ocean and Resources Engineering's Environmental Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (EFDL) focuses on the study of coastal marine processes including turbulent dispersal of pollutants and nutrients, wave dynamics, and sediment transport. In addition, the laboratory is home to the Environmental Fluid Dynamics Education Laboratory, which serves as a center for teaching of fluids phenomena in support of courses within ORE and SOEST and is available to the general University community. Laboratory instrumentation includes an acoustic doppler velocimeter (ADV) which obtains high frequency, single point, 3-component velocity measurements. A laser-based Particle Imaging Velocimetry (PIV) system obtains two-dimensional fluid velocity via laser imaging techniques. An Argon-Ion laser with digital still and video cameras is used for flow visualization and measurement. The EFDL currently houses four experiment tanks, which are used for both research and teaching demonstrations. These include a 10-meter long, 30 x 10 cm wave channel and a rotating table. The tanks allow demonstration of a range of fluid flow phenomena including wave breaking, down-slope currents, internal waves in stratified fluids along with rotational effects such as spin-up, Ekman flow and geostrophy. Kilo Nalo Oahu Reef Observatory The Kilo Nalo Oahu Reef Observatory, on the south shore of Oahu, provides a window into the nearshore coral reef physical, biological and chemical environment. The setting for Kilo Nalu is the region offshore of Kakaako Waterfront Park, east of downtown Honolulu and west of Waikiki and Ala Moana. The observatory is managed and maintained by the University of Hawaii at Manoa's Department of Ocean and Resources Engineering (ORE), School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST). Kilo Nalu provides data and power connections to a suite of observational instruments that resolve waves, tides, currents and nearshore water quality. Field Work and In-Ocean Experiment The department maintains research facilities at Kewalo Basin and Snug Harbor for field workand in-ocean experiments. These facilities include field research equipment and instrumentation, access to a 17-ft motorboat and an 18-m coastal research vessel, as well as machine shop support. A 7-acre in-ocean test range off Kewalo Basin extends from 5 to 20 meters depth with test platforms equipped with land-based power supply outlets and data connections. Field equipment includes SCUBA diving gear, acoustic current profilers, current meters, wave gauges, anemometers, buoys and mooring equipment. The field research facilities support study of ocean and coastal structures and materials, wave dynamics and sediment transport. The Hawaii Undersea Research Laboratory (HURL) is one of six national laboratories comprising the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Undersea Research Program. HURL operates two deep diving (2000m) submersibles, the PISCES IV and PISCES V, and a remotely operated vehicle. The ROV and submersibles operate off the 225-foot research vessel, Kaimikai-O-Kanaloa, obtained for the university and largely supported by HURL. The submersibles, ROV and their mothership conduct a wide range of engineering and science research activities. Time on the submersibles and ROV is available to the faculty and students through submission of proposals. In addition, many students in the Ocean and Resources Engineering program find thesis projects, financial support and advisors studying various aspects of the dynamics of submersible and ROV operations as well as new instrumentation, control and equipment applications. HURL and the Department of Ocean and Resources Engineering have a very close working relationship at all levels. Computing Facility The Department of Ocean and Resources Engineering and the faculty operate four AIX and five Linux systems and a network of Pentium-based PCs. All students are given computer accounts on at least one of the Unix systems and the PC network. All PCs are installed with Win NT and MS Office. The Department has a joint research project with the Maui High Performance Computing Center (MHPCC), which provides computer accounts to research assistants working on the project. The department maintains a number of software packages that are available to the students for coursework and research. These include AutoDesk Mech. AutoCAD Automated Coastal Engineering System (ACES) Coastal Engineering Manual (CEM) COSMOS/M (finite element) Matlab MathCAD Mathematica (symbolic algebra) Microstation SE Photoshop Tecplot (graphics) Visual Fortran Students taking ORE 630 are also given access to the finite element package ANSYS, which is maintained by the Department of Mechanical Engineering.

Student Support: Depending upon background/skills, we usually offer students opportunities to participate in a wide range of studies covering theoretical, numerical and/or experimental research. Learn about our current projects here. Financial support may be available in the form of graduate assistantships, which include tuition waivers and a subsidized fringe benefit package. You can check if research assistantship in your area of interest is available here. The university of Hawaii also sometimes have scholarships available. NOTE: Visit the UH Graduate Division web site for additional information. Most PhD students in the Department are supported by graduate assistantships throughout their study, while MS students engaged in the Plan A thesis option usually receive support after the first year of coursework. Applications for financial support should be submitted to the Department by March 1 for the Fall semester and September 1 for the Spring semester. You may download an assistantship application form here.

Program Point of Contact: Cindy Hunter


Institution address: 2540 Dole St. Holmes Hall 402
                             Honolulu,HI 96822


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This project is supported, in part, by the NationalScience Foundation.  Opinions expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily the Foundation .