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Dr. Ooi In The Soils Lab

Dr. Phillip Ooi named Arthur N.L. Chiu Distinguished Professor at UH Mānoa

In a testament to his exemplary career and dedication to the field of engineering, Dr. Phillip S.K. Ooi has been awarded the prestigious Arthur N.L. Chiu Distinguished Professorship Endowment in Engineering. This distinguished honor, beginning July 1, 2024, will support Dr. Ooi’s critical research into developing landslide warning systems across the state of Hawaiʻi.

Arthur N.L. Chiu, a towering figure in Hawaiʻi’s engineering community, is remembered for his leadership and contributions to the field. Dr. Chiu held significant positions such as President of the Hawaiʻi Section of the American Society of Civil Engineers and the Structural Engineers Association of Hawaiʻi. He also served as Chair of the Civil Engineering Department and Associate Dean for Research at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, earning the Board of Regents Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Reflecting on his relationship with Dr. Chiu, Dr. Ooi shared, “We are both from Southeast Asia and often reminisced about the foods using languages from that part of the world. I am grateful that he was my friend and mentor.”

Currently, Dr. Ooi serves as Chair of the Civil, Environmental, and Construction Engineering Department at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. His career spans over four decades, during which he has authored over 60 publications and taught numerous courses. He has been recognized with the Hi Chang Chai Excellence in Teaching award in 2008, 2014, and 2024.

The endowment will allow Dr. Ooi and his team to advance their research on landslide warning systems, a vital area of study given Hawaiʻi’s unique geological and climatic conditions. His team has already developed a warning system for a slope on Oahu and plans to extend this work to Hawaiʻi Island and Maui, particularly in wildfire-ravaged areas vulnerable to landslides and debris flow.

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