UH researchers recognized by the Board of Regents

University of Hawaiʻi
Arlene Abiang, (808) 956-5637
External Affairs & University Relations
Posted: Aug 30, 2006

HONOLULU—The University of Hawaiʻi Board of Regents have selected UH researchers Milton Garces, Albert Kim and Tobias Owen as the recipients of the 2006 Regents‘ Medal for Excellence in Research. The award recognizes their scholarly contributions that expand the boundaries of knowledge and enrich the lives of students and the community.

Milton Garces is an associate professor in the Hawaiʻi Institute of Geophysics and Planetology at UH Mānoa. Garces is considered a forefront in the field of infrasonics, in which he has developed unique research potential. He participated in the analysis of the Space Shuttle Columbia accident, providing detailed information of the initial break-up of the spacecraft over California. Garces has also developed new techniques, based on his research of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, that may lead to distant detection of large tsunami waves that might hit Hawaiʻi. In addition, his approach to monitor and interpret the force of surf breaking on beaches will help to predict coastal hazards in Hawaiʻi.

Albert Kim is an assistant professor in Civil and Environmental Engineering at UH Mānoa. Kim‘s research achievements, considered groundbreaking by his peers, include: identifying effects of particle interactions on membrane filtration performance; the first development of a complete analytic solution for membrane filtration in a simple shear flow; investigation of dynamic aggregation process and scavenging using Stokesian dynamics; and the first theoretical development of aggregate-enhanced membrane filtration. Since 2002, 10 of Kim‘s scientific papers have been published or accepted in significant journals. His potential has also been recognized by the National Science Foundation with a CAREER award, a competitive and prestigious five-year grant.

Tobias Owen is an astronomer in the Institute for Astronomy at UH Mānoa. Owen has been with the university for 16 years. He is a respected international leader in planetary exploration and an influential figure in solar system research. Owen was involved in all of NASA‘s major planetary missions over the past 40 years, including the recent planning and launch of the Cassini-Huygens mission to the Saturnian system. Owen‘s recent scientific achievements include the successful scientific return of data from the Huygens Titan probe; the discovery of methane on Mars; and determining the importance of deuterium and other isotopes for the history and formation mechanisms of our solar system.

Recipients of the 2006 Regents‘ Medal for Excellence in Research will be recognized for their contributions to the university along with other UH award winners at a systemwide ceremony in September.

For more information, visit: http://www.hawaii.edu/about/awards/research.php