After 48 years on the faculty, Dr. N. Thomas Gaarder retired in May 2015, and is currently an Emeritus Professor. Professor Gaarder was born and raised in Wisconsin, then moved to California to attend Stanford where he earned his MS and PhD. He worked at the Stanford Research Institute and from 1965 to 1967 he was an assistant professor in EE at Cornell University. He came to UH Manoa in 1967 and is a specialist in communication and information theory, with particular emphasis on multi-user communications. He has taught hundreds of students over the years (including children of those students), and is well known for always having an open door to help with homework problems. The current Department Chair Wayne Shiroma, who took Dr. Gaarder’s EE 341 (renamed as EE 343) 20 years ago, recalls this class as the single most challenging undergraduate EE course, and wonders whether the course number is based on the fact that it took most students until 3:41 AM in the morning to finish their homework. Professor Gaarder and his wife have been spending time in California and he’s been back to the College to teach.
After 31 years of teaching, research and service, Professor Clark Liu retired in December 2011 and is now an Emeritus Professor. During his retirement, Professor Liu continued to be very active in scholarly activities. Over the last five years, he served as academic advisor of visiting scholars from Chongqing University, Zhejiang University, and Peking University in China. Some research results have been published in well received journal papers. In addition, Professor Liu was appointed by Sichuan University in China to be a chair professor (2013-15) to conduct teaching and research at their State Key Laboratory of Hydraulics and Mountain River Engineering, and was appointed a visiting professor by Peking University (2012-15) to conduct research in its College of Environment and Energy. Besides his scholarly activities, Professor Liu has been hiking, swimming, singing and spending time with his 5 grandchildren. He and his wife Dianna have been world travelers for the last few years.
Bruce Liebert came to the Department of Mechanical Engineering as a visiting assistant professor in 1977 directly out of the Materials Science and Engineering program at Stanford to teach ME 431, Electronic Properties of Materials, which was his specialty and one of two electives for EE students. He expected to stay a year and then return to the mainland but won an NSF grant (precursor to the Young Investigator award) on amorphous metals for OTEC, which kept him in Hawaii for another year and the department converted the visiting position into a tenure-track position. In 1979, he met his wife, who was an assistant professor of English so moving back to the mainland went out the door. Professor Liebert broadened his repertoire with Introduction to Engineering Design and lab courses in thermofluids and dynamic systems and he won a Regents Medal of Excellence for Teaching in 1990. It was never his intention to join an administrative track but he became chair of the ME department in 2000 and then interim associate dean in 2007, a position he retired from in 2015. He’s currently traveling and enjoying retirement with his wife who retired before he did.