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The College of Engineering is proud to be home to students with a variety of experiences and backgrounds from all branches of the U.S. Military. We continue to be inspired by the accomplishments and service of our veteran and military-connected students and are committed to supporting them in their academic journeys.



Get to know a few of our outstanding veteran students achieving success in the classroom.


Khaldoon Ishmael in Army fatigues

Khaldoon Ishmael analyzing an electrical sensor


Khaldoon Ishmael

I am in my 2nd year in the Ph.D. program. Biosensor technology is my research area, and Doppler radar sensor is one of my research study’s biosensors.

Doppler radar technology detects the presence of human “life signs” such as respiration and heartbeat. Detection life signs can provide information that we can be analyzed and be used in different applications, such as:

• Provide the number of occupants inside the room, which allow implement advanced smart-building systems and realize the power cost savings

• Sleep and emotional monitoring

• Diagnose of early cardio activity illness

• Recognition identification

• Identify life signs in a remote area

My Biography:

2017 Bachelor’s degree UHM
2018 Master’s degree UHM
2019-current Ph.D. UHM

Engineering fascinated me because it is the foundation of all technology. I started my beginning level engineering classes in August 2014 at Leeward Community College (LCC) under the supervision of Dr. Bryson Padasdao (who is Dr. Olga Lubecke’s graduate).

My first undergraduate research project was with him in biosensor technology. The research involved harvesting energy from the human body and sensing physiological signals to create a zero-net energy biosensor. This work was my stepping-stone for more advanced research in the biosensor field under the supervision of Prof. Olga Lubecke at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. In my last year of undergraduate studies, I had an additional interest in Electrochemical Biosensors and started researching Nanoparticle Quantum Dot Material. This is in relation to the optical biosensor field and flexible wearable devices. This work guided me to pursue my study and obtain a master’s degree in the optical biosensor field. In 2019 I was selected to receive the DOD SMART Program scholarship, which helped me work towards a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering with research activities in Electrophysics track of biosensor technology.

My main goal is to graduate at very high standing while completing research and internships along with my high-level courses.
I took advantage of the University of Hawaiʻi and Leeward community college VA office, and both places offer support, a place to study, tutoring, and connect with other veterans.

Advice to fellow students:

For the person facing an obstacle in their life, I am proof that good things come to those who believe, better things come to those who are patient, and even better things come to those who don’t give up. The most challenging life lessons make you stronger. You, too, are capable of amazing things. Never forget your roots, never forget where you came from and never forget who helped you get there.



Veteran Student Resources

The University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Office of Veteran Student Services

The Office of Veteran Student Services (OVSS) is committed to enhancing the veteran and military-connected student experience, supporting academic success, and providing services that assist in the transition from military service to higher education.

Veterans to Energy Careers (VTEC)

Offering internships and job placements for veterans in STEM fields.

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