via Ka Leo O Hawaii: UH Manoa Student College Newspaper & Media – $1 million research grant seed money for sustainability project.

By Junghee Lee


Published: Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Updated: Monday, August 3, 2009



university of hawai’i – UH Mānoa’s electrical engineering research team, led by Dr. Anthony Kuh (second from right), will explore new, more sustainable forms of renewable energy.

The UH Mānoa electrical engineering research team was awarded a $1 million grant in an internal competition for their proposal on Renewable Energy and Island Sustainability.

“The biggest and essential expense is energy, and Dr. Kuh and his team did an excellent job in proposing the idea,” said Gary Ostrander, vice chancellor for Research and Graduate Education.

The REIS proposal fulfilled the three criteria of the competition by including a plan to establish a program in renewable energy, assisting local and national energy industries by providing training, and helping the nation toward energy independence.

“The result was decided by internal and external committees, and it was agreed that the proposal was well-balanced and related to Hawai’i energy, and the probability of success was high,” said Ostrander.

The purpose of this project was to develop renewable energy technologies and to improve the existing energy infrastructure, according to the REIS Web site.

REIS is formed of several projects, including wind forecasting, auxiliary drive devices, solar photovoltaic water pumps and nanotechnology in renewable energy.

“In addition, we will be implementing an experimental test bed, the Green Holmes Hall Initiative, to generate energy and store renewable energy and more efficiently monitor and control the energy used in Holmes Hall,” said Mehrdad Nejhad, professor of mechanical engineering. “The GHHI will have different phases, with the initial phase used to recruit and educate students in renewable energy and energy-efficient technologies.”

The $1 million grant was funded from the returning of the Research and Training Revolving Fund to Ostrander.

“The team would be given the fund after they propose an agenda of how they are going to use the money,” said Ostrander.

Anthony Kuh, chairman of UH electrical engineering, said the grant is “seed funding that will allow us to engage in high tech transformational renewable energy research and development, and to leverage them to obtain more significant funding from the National Science Foundation, Department of Education, defense agencies and industry.”

“The funding will be used to build a research and education infrastructure by supporting students, conducting research, publishing research and educational results in journals and conference proceedings, and building experimental test beds such as the GHHI,” continued Kuh.

Ostrander said while the world is going through financial troubles, this is a great opportunity to research.

“We shouldn’t stop research because of the economic crisis,” said Ostrander. “We should research more of Hawai’i’s issues and find a way to solve them.”