UH Civil Engineering students Alexander Gomes, Minhthuch Le, Hideichi Mori, and Tatiana Oje were announced as the winners of the ASCE award for “Excellence in Civil Engineering” for their entry in the “Make the Ala Wai Awesome” Student Design Challenge at the 2017 World Youth Congress earlier this month. With Professor Roger Babcock serving as their faculty adviser, the team was one of more than three dozen from around the world that submitted designs. Titled “Wai Pono”, their design incorporated routine dredging, detainment, and the use of flood plains as a part of a comprehensive plan to fix one of the nation’s most polluted bodies of water.
The “Make the Ala Wai Awesome” Student Design Challenge was announced on September 5, 2016 at the IUCN World Conservation Congress by University of Hawaiʻi President David Lassner. The aim of the challenge was to showcase innovative student design concepts and increase awareness for the complex challenges plaguing the Ala Wai with inspiring ideas and partnerships. The student teams were challenged to develop a comprehensive, systems-thinking approach toward watershed management from mauka to makai.