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Shu Lin

Professor Shu Lin, former chair of the Electrical Engineering Department, currently serves as an adjunct faculty at UC Davis.  He received his PhD from Rice University in 1965 and came to the University of Hawai‘i with a working title of “Electrical Engineer.”  He became a full professor in 1973 and left in 1982 to become a professor at Texas A&M University.  Returning to Hawai‘i in 1989, Dr. Lin served as EE department chair until 1995.  After retiring from UH Mānoa in 1999, he moved to Milpitas, California and became a professor at UC Davis where he has continued his research on coding techniques.  NASA’s Exceptional Public Achievement Medal was awarded to Dr. Lin in 2014 “in recognition of nearly 25 years of exceptional service, this award is presented to a world expert in Communications for his outstanding contributions to the NASA mission.” (link)  Dr. Lin’s code was used for the IRIS Solar observatory that was launched in 2013 by NASA to study the interface between the photosphere and corona in our sun’s lower atmosphere.

In response to an email about how he was doing, Dr. Lin said that he enjoys teaching and research as it keeps his mind sharp.  He also said that in the 18 years since he’s left Hawai‘i, he’s advised more PhD students than during his 35 years at UH Mānoa.  He just published a book last year along with some papers and travels to Taiwan and China every year to give lectures.  He is planning to finally retire in a year or two after his last student graduates.

Ronald Knapp

Professor Ronald H. Knapp received his BS degree in mechanical engineering in 1967 from UH Mānoa, an MS in mechanical engineering in 1968 from CalTech, and returned to UH Mānoa to earn his PhD in ocean engineering in 1973. He worked for the Naval Undersea Center in Hawaiʻi before becoming an assistant professor at UH Mānoa in 1975.  During his years at UH Mānoa, Dr. Knapp published numerous papers and advised many students. Professor Knapp is a fellow of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation.

As an entrepreneur, he was awarded five patents and developed software to model complex cable geometrical and structural properties.  Upon retirement in 2010, he has been able to devote his attention to running his company, Knapp Engineering, Inc. which operates as Structural Solutions.

After obtaining his professional engineering license, Dr. Knapp founded Knapp Engineering,Inc. in 1980 and has been “developing improved models that describe the structural response of electrical/optical/mechanical cables, wire rope, synthetic rope and flexible pipe subjected to tension, twist, frictional bending, internal and external pressure and thermal loads.” To facilitate validation of these models, he has developed a cable laboratory with a test machine capable of applying tension up to 100,000 pounds with applied bending and twist.

Structural Solutions has provided more than 20 man-years of employment or support to UH graduate students.

Professor Knapp continues to be active in the International Society of Offshore and Polar Engineers, serving as its President for two years and currently serves on the executive committee and board of directors. He is the local organizer for its 2019 annual conference to be held in Honolulu.

He enjoys country living where he pursues his hobby of fine woodworking.


Editor’s note:  Professor Knapp provided a couple of graphics of his work and a photo of his cable testing machine.




Gordon Dugan

Dr. Gordon Dugan, emeritus professor of Civil Engineering, earned his BS and MS from Washington State University in 1959 and 1964, respectively.  His PhD, earned in 1970 from UC Berkeley, was in Environmental Health Sciences. iDean H. Ronald Riggs has kept in touch with Professor Dugan and asked him to write a short paragraph about his retirement activities.  Here’s what iDean Riggs received.  Sounds like Dr. Dugan is enjoying retirement!

I officially retired in 1995 but stayed for one more year to complete my graduate committee commitments.  Since retiring, my wife and I alternate our time between our home in Hawaiʻi and our lakeside cabin in Washington state.  I have occasionally worked as a consultant for environmental projects, but otherwise keep active with various woodworking projects.   Over the years my projects included everything from home repairs and remodeling to building a shop and tow garages, cedar chests, jewelry boxes, rocking chairs, and other furniture for my family and friends.   However, the projects I enjoy the most involve building small-scale models of barns, churches, houses and historical structures typically out of coffee stirrers, chopsticks, and popsicle sticks.   I also mustn’t forget fishing and wildlife viewing at the lake.


Editor’s note:  On December 6, 2007, Dr. Dugan was inducted into the Honolulu Marathon’s Hall of Fame.  At that time, Dr. Dugan along with two other individuals, were the only three who finished all 34 Honolulu Marathons since it started in 1973.  His personal best of 2:56:06 was recorded in 1980.  Dr. Dugan has also done ultramarathons, including a 100-miler.  He also completed one Honolulu Marathon 16 days after getting out of the hospital after a mild heart attack.

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