University of Hawaii VIP Program

2540 Dole StreetHolmes Hall 483
Honolulu, Hawaii , United States

University of Hawaii

2540 Dole Street Holmes Hall 483
United States
Latitude: 21.296932
Longitude: -157.816041

The Institution

The University of Hawai`i (UH) system includes 10 campuses across the state. The University of Hawai`i at Manoa (UH Mānoa) is the flagship of the ten-campus University of Hawai`i system. UH Mānoa spends the most on research per student of the 8 colleges that are in the Mountain West Conference. UH Mānoa has the most first-year applicants of the 14 colleges within 500 miles. UH Mānoa has the most minorities of the 48 colleges that play division I/FBS football.

The Program

Our VIP efforts are organized around the themes of robotics, astronomy, rapid prototyping, and sustainability. The College of Engineering has a strong robotics program spanning microrobotics to marine (submersible and surface) robotics to aerospace (drones and small satellites) and surgical robotics. UH Mānoa has an exceptionally strong astronomy program, with access to real telescope time for developing astronomical instruments. UH Mānoa has just established a BS degree in astrophysics, opening up an opportunity for a VIP focus area in space and astronomy. The UH System has also made it a priority for its students to be part of the “Maker Movement,” inspiring our third VIP focus area to be in rapid prototyping and re-manufacturing. Finally, as the most isolated land mass in the world, Hawai`i has a vested interest in sustainability in many areas: architecture, energy, food, water, and transportation. Indeed, this focus allows rich cross-disciplinary VIP opportunities across many academic disciplines across campus.


Aaron Ohta
Wayne Shiroma

VIP Teams

  • Develop a better understanding of the effects of photon energy on the electrical properties of graphene.
  • Design, fabrication, testing, and analysis of various reconfigurable electronic devices using liquid metal.
  • To develop core competency in the physics of and the precision engineering principles necessary to develop astronomical instruments.
  • Design and implementation of hardware, microfabrication, and various control systems for sub-millimeter-sized microrobots.
  • Design, fabrication, and implementation of both hardware and software for distributed, crowd-source power quality monitoring and analysis to support distributed renewable energy.
  • Construct circuits, packaging, and complete systems
  • The overarching goal of the SCEL is to gather, process, analyze and make decisions about energy and environmental data on the UH Manoa campus. This involves building sensor networks to get environmental, building energy, and electric grid data. We are also analyzing and modeling the data and then making decisions by performing demand response algorithms to control loads using optimization and...
  • Design, fabrication, testing, and analysis of space and aerial robotic platforms.