Masoud Hayatdavoodi, a PhD student in UH Mānoa's Department of Ocean and Resources Engineering (ORE) in the School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST) has won the prestigious Link Foundation Ocean Engineering Fellowship for 2011-2012. This $25,000 award is the largest student prize in ocean engineering in the world.
Hayatdavoodi has been working on his PhD under the guidance of ORE Professor R. Cengiz Ertekin and has done ground breaking work looking at the loading and damage to coastal bridges from storm surges and waves. Starting this summer, he will become one of the research assistants working on the “Coastal Bridge and Port Vulnerability to Tsunami and Storm Surge” project funded by State of Hawaiʻi’s Department of Transportation.
Hayatdavoodi is currently studying the wave loads on submerged coastal bridge spans (see Figure 1) by numerically solving the Green-Naghdi equations that are nonlinear and dispersive shallow water equations. With the ever increasing recognition of the damage caused by storm waves and tsunamis, and the growing recognition of the increasing severity of storm surges partially because of global warming, this work is particularly timely.
The Link award is provided by the Link Foundation to honor its namesake Edwin A. Link, pioneer in aviation, underwater archeology and ocean engineering. Link made his fortune by inventing the ‘Link Trainer,’ commercialized in 1929 and initiating the now multi-billion dollar flight simulation industry. The Trainer resulted from the cost of flying lessons being too high in the great depression and a clever engineer (Link) adapting bellows, supports and other pieces of his father’s organ building business into the Trainer which pitched and rolled on its pedestal like a real aircraft. Link patented and delivered over 7,000 of the Trainers to the U.S. military by the end of World War II. His fortune made, he turned to ocean engineering, pioneering lock-out submersibles, decompression chambers and a variety of equipment for deeper, longer lasting and more secure diving. With 27 patents in hand, he established the Link Foundation in 1953, which has subsequently passed out $12 million dollars of Link’s personal fortune to aspiring engineers, most recently to Hayatdavoodi.