ARL accepting applications for Summer 2023 Student Internship Program

ARL accepting applications for Summer 2023 Student Internship Program
ARL Intership montage

ARL is NOW accepting applications for the Summer 2023 Student Internship Program

The Applied Research Laboratory (ARL) at the University of Hawai’i internship program is an annual seven-week paid internship for STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics) projects, which introduces students in high school and college to innovative approaches for solving current, real-world problems.

Program Overview

ARL serves as a center of excellence for critical Navy and national defense needs with a mission to develop agile, innovative, and cost-effective solutions to problems impacting our stakeholders, our community, and our planet. Summer interns will:

  • Gain real world experience in applied research, development, testing and evaluation.
  • Collaborate with ARL engineers and researchers on a wide array of STEAM projects. Potential projects include building artificial coral reef, designing and manufacturing rapid prototyping models, flying an uncrewed aerial system, hacking and securing a computer network, and marketing and design. 
  • Leave the program with valuable experience, communication skills and a network of resources.

Program Details

  • The ARL internship program is approximately seven weeks from June 14th – August 4th 2023
  • Interns are expected to work between 20 and 40 hours per week.
  •  Interns will be matched with at least one mentor and project for the duration of the summer based on interests and qualifications.
  • Interns will attend weekly professional development workshops and talks by subject matter experts.
  • Interns will present a final lecture or demonstration describing summer accomplishments.
  • Interns will primarily work in-person at the ARL facility in Mānoa Valley, but may also be assigned duties in the field or via telework.

What are we looking for in an ARL intern?

  • Problem-solvers with a talent for innovation.
  • Team players with strong communication skills.
  • Applicants pursuing a degree in STEAM or have experience in STEAM courses.

Student Eligibility and Requirements

ARL Internships are open to high school students (grades 9–12) and college students (undergraduate and graduate). Students MUST:

  • Complete the application and submit a resume, cover letter and two references.
  • Be a US citizen.
  • Be able to work at least 20 hours a week for the duration of the program.
  • Interns will be required to attend weekly meetings with mentors and submit bi-weekly timesheets before specific deadlines.

2023 Internship Opportunities

The following areas are open for 2023 Internships.

  • Computer Science/Software Engineer
  • Cybersecurity Analyst
  • Data Analyst
  • Electrical Engineer
  • Mechanical Engineer
  • Media, Design or Marketing Specialist
  • Mathematician

Mahalo for your interest in the ARL Internship program. To apply please click the “Apply Now” button. If you have any questions, please feel free to Contact Us.

ARL at the 2023 Pacific Operational Science and Technology (POST) Conference
ARL at the 2023 Pacific Operational Science and Technology (POST) Conference
ARL at the 2023 Pacific Operational Science and Technology (POST) Conference, hosted by the United States Indo-Pacific Command (USINDOPACOM).
UH to develop living coastal-protection system inspired by coral reefs

The University of Hawaiʻi will be awarded up to $25 million by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to develop an engineered coral reef ecosystem to help protect coastlines from flooding, erosion and storm damage. The goal of the five-year project, inspired by natural reefs, is to create an engineered structure that dissipates wave energy while providing habitat for corals and other reef life.

The ground-breaking project is a joint effort between UH Mānoa’s School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST) and the UH Applied Research Laboratory (ARL).

“The Rapid Resilient Reefs for Coastal Defense (R3D) project will be the first of its kind by taking an integrated, ecosystem-level approach to design and build a living coastal-protection system,” said Ben Jones, R3D principal investigator and Director of Ocean Science and Technology at ARL. “This is an immense challenge. We have assembled a team of experts right here in Hawaiʻi who, in partnership with Florida Atlantic University and Scripps Institution of Oceanography, will devise real solutions that will help our community and other communities around the tropical Pacific that are already facing the effects of climate change.”

Sea-level rise and wave-induced flooding during increasingly frequent storm events threaten the sustainability of coastlines and more than 1,700 U.S. Department of Defense-managed military installations in coastal areas worldwide. Natural coral reefs provide substantial protection to shorelines—absorbing and dissipating the intense energy from storms and waves. As sea level rises and coral reef degrades, existing storm mitigation solutions may prove insufficient and damage due to storm surge and flooding will continue to impact communities and infrastructure.

“This award will enable our world-class experts to develop advanced technology that will have a significant impact here in Hawaiʻi, and around the world,” said UH Mānoa Provost Michael Bruno. “We are proud to have UH research at the cutting edge of creating a solution to a global problem.“

Partnering engineering, ecology and biology

The new project integrates coastal engineering and hydrodynamics with expertise on coral reef ecology and adaptive biology to enable the team to rapidly develop a living, breakwater system that can adapt to both rising seas and increasing ocean temperatures.

“The typical fringing reef consists of a fore reef along the slope, a reef crest that absorbs much of the wave energy and a protected back reef that harbors more delicate species,” said Zhenhua Huang, SOEST professor of Ocean and Resources Engineering and lead investigator for base structure engineering. “We intend to achieve similar wave attenuation using perforated, thin-walled base structures which are low-cost, efficient energy dissipators. It’s our hope that this project can provide a win-win solution for addressing preservation of nearshore marine natural resources and shore protection.”

Healing corals over time

Establishing coral and other reef supporting organisms on the reef structures is critical to ensuring the structures have the capability to grow and heal over time. Fragments from known thermally tolerant colonies will be attached to succession modules, reef-mimicking structures that will be attached to the wave-attenuating base structures. Larvae from known thermally tolerant coral species will also be encouraged to make their home on these structures.

“Designing succession modules that attract coral larvae, and then protect them from being eaten or overgrown by algae, is essential for kick-starting a living reef,” said Josh Madin, associate research professor in the Hawaiʻi Institute of Marine Biology (HIMB) in SOEST and lead investigator for ecosystem engineering. “Larvae are really bad swimmers, and so they need to be captured by cracks and crannies in the structure. We will use 3D design and biofilm chemistry to attract larvae and encourage settlement, while discouraging algae growth. On top of this, we will use sounds that mimic a healthy reef to attract organisms that help coral growth.”

Additionally, the team will explore cost-effective ways to supplement feeding for bleached corals and even actively shade or cool the reef in the early stages of the reef development and during marine heat waves.

“Coral reefs across the planet are declining from the combined assaults of human impacts,” said Rob Toonen, HIMB professor and lead investigator for adaptive biology. “This project builds on over a decade of research at HIMB into practical solutions for farming thermally tolerant corals capable of withstanding those assaults and rebuilding the reef structure that protects our coastal roads, runways, and neighborhoods.”

The project is already garnering local support as an alternative to artificial coastal protection systems.

Rocky Kaluhiwa, president of the Koʻolaupoko Hawaiian Civic Club, said, “The Koʻolaupoko Hawaiian Civic Club strongly supports an approach like this, because it respects our traditional ways to manage our ʻaina and kai, finding a balance between the seas and the land.”

The team will be collaborating with scientists and engineers at Makai Ocean Engineering on Oʻahu, Florida Atlantic University, Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego and Ohio State University. Additional partnerships will also facilitate various aspects of this project. To scale up this revolutionary effort, Makai Ocean Engineering, a Hawaiʻi-based company, will handle major construction, anchoring and installation; and an Australian firm, Reef Design Labs, will create flexible, reusable forms to build hundreds of the succession modules.

–By Marcie Grabowski

Reefense graphic
Reefense graphic
Ben Jones
Ben Jones
Munitions in the Underwater Environment

A University of Hawaiʻi project to use high-resolution photographic and acoustic data to detect and assess World War II munitions disposed in the ocean south of Oʻahu was featured at an international panel on maritime security. Applied Research Laboratory at UH (ARL at UH) Director Margo Edwards discussed ARL at UH’s research at the European Conservatives and Reformists in the European Parliament conference in Brussels, Belgium on November 17.

Edwards was invited to participate in the discussion, alongside experts from Poland, Belgium, Canada, Finland and Germany, because UH’s work is similar to the European Union’s task of investigating and remediating World War II munitions in the Baltic Sea.

“For 15 years, I’ve been proud to collaborate with researchers working in the Baltic Sea. That collaboration has enhanced what we’re doing in Hawaiʻi, and I hope we’ve been able to help the efforts in the Baltic in return,” Edwards said. “This international partnership is something that I consider to be particularly important.”

Visit the European Conservatives and Reformists Twitter page to view the panel session or listen to Edwards discuss munitions recently located in the waters around Tuvalu with Radio New Zealand: RNZ “Deadly Remnants”.

ARL at UH Director Margo Edwards presents on an international panel.
ARL at UH Director Margo Edwards presents on an international panel.
Figure 1 – USVs built and/or operated by UH College of Engineering
USVs built and/or operated by UH College of Engineering robotics team “Kanaloa” preparing to detect munitions on the seabed in Kāneʻohe Bay.
Team Kanaloa and ARL staff launch the WAM-V USV.
Team Kanaloa and ARL staff launch the WAM-V USV.
$6M for UH wave energy conversion research

A new infusion of $6 million from the Naval Facilities Engineering Command, and Expeditionary Warfare Center will allow the Hawaiʻi Natural Energy Institute (HNEI) at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, to continue to provide critical research and logistical support to the only grid-connected wave energy testing site in the nation. The U.S. Navy’s Wave Energy Test Site (WETS), off Marine Corps Base Hawaiʻi provides a unique proving ground for pre-commercial wave energy converters (WECs) to demonstrate performance in an operational setting and advance their technology readiness level.

Marine energy has immense potential to supply persistent power to ocean observing and monitoring, desalination, aquaculture, at-sea mineral scavenging, and electrification of remote or island communities.

“We are excited by the Navy’s latest investment in our work to advance wave energy through our support of WETS, particularly as it allows us to expand our research into new areas of relevance to offshore applications, such as autonomous vehicle recharge for ocean observing purposes,” said Pat Cross, research specialist in marine energy at HNEI and principal investigator for the WETS support program.

These funds, directed to the Applied Research Laboratory at UH, working with HNEI, will allow the university to support a number of WEC deployments planned in the 2021 to 2024 timeframe in the form of environmental monitoring, power and survivability performance assessment, and additional logistics support to the Navy and to WEC developer companies.

Funds expand UH research

In addition to core support to WETS, the new funds will support an expansion of UH research related to offshore, non-grid-connected applications of wave energy.

HNEI will examine the potential for existing WETS infrastructure to support the creation of an offshore test and demonstration node, including subsea power storage as well as communications and power interfaces that would allow smaller-scale WECs to recharge autonomous undersea vehicles (AUVs) and various environmental sensing systems. The team will also design an AUV docking and charging station for use at WETS.

The new funding further supports HNEI and UH researchers to advance a number of research projects such as a power generation and management system for a floating Oscillating Water Column WEC, designed for applications such as ocean observation, navigation and equipment recharge. A novel breakwater system will also be advanced with an integrated WEC that will generate power from wave energy while protecting coastal regions. Additionally, the team will develop a small-scale WEC that can be rapidly deployed for both power generation and seawater desalination close to shore.

Hawaiʻi’s progress in making the transition to renewable energy for electric power is well-served by development of wave energy, given the availability of that resource in the state and its potential to augment and complement other forms of variable renewable energy—specifically wind and solar. Wave energy is relatively consistent throughout the day and night, and can be forecast with precise accuracy a week or more in advance, enhancing grid managers’ ability to plan for its contribution to the overall generation mix on the grid.

This effort is an example of UH Mānoa’s goal of Excellence in Research: Advancing the Research and Creative Work Enterprise (PDF), one of four goals identified in the 2015–25 Strategic Plan (PDF), updated in December 2020.

The Fred. Olsen Lifesaver wave energy converter (WEC)
The Fred. Olsen Lifesaver wave energy converter (WEC) deployed at the Navy’s Wave Energy Test Site (WETS) off Kāneʻohe during 2018/2019.

Maui High Performance Computing Center names new executive director

The University of Hawaiʻi Vanguard Center of High Performance Computing (VCHPC) on Maui has named Tiare K. Martin as its new executive director, effective July 1, 2021. The center is part of the Applied Research Laboratory (ARL) at UH and supports the U.S. Air Force’s Maui High Performance Computing Center, one of five Department of Defense Supercomputing Resource Centers nationwide.

Martin was born and raised in Hawaiʻi and graduated from Kamehameha Schools Kapālama. She has been serving as the VCHPC program manager since 2017 and will now be responsible for overseeing the centerʻs research mission, exploring emerging high performance computing technologies while lowering the barriers to the application of supercomputing to solving the challenges we face.

“Tiare is a proven leader with the knowledge, expertise and experience to guide the Vanguard Center into the future,” said UH President David Lassner. “We are thrilled to be able to hire outstanding talent from within as we work to advance the success of the Maui High Performance Computing Center, the cornerstone of high tech on the island.”

Martin has more than 20 years of engineering experience including more than 15 years managing software projects, programs and resources. She earned her bachelors degree in electrical engineering from the University of San Diego and previously held positions at Oceanit Laboratories in Kīhei, Maui, and Raytheon-Space and Airborne Systems Division in California.

“I am honored to be selected for this role and look forward to building on the decades of innovation and technology advancement accomplished by the center,” said Martin. “I know how important our work is for national defense and for Hawaiʻi’s high-tech sector. I am up for the challenge.”

Martin is a member of the Project Management Institute and the Society of Women Engineers, and currently serves as Vice Chair of the Maui Economic Development Board. She succeeds Mike Maberry, who is retiring from UH.

Maui High Performance Computing Center
Maui High Performance Computing Center
Tiare K. Martin
Tiare K. Martin
ARL supports training and CONOPS development for UAS package delivery to ballistic missile submarine

The U.S Navy successfully conducted the first at-sea drone delivery to a ballistic submarine thanks to specialized training provided by the University of Hawai’i Applied Research Laboratory. This Unmanned Aerial Vehicle re-supply was one of four events and part of U.S. Strategic Command’s expeditionary logistics in the vicinity of the Hawaiian Islands.

A long-endurance quad-copter drone delivered a small package to the U.S. Navy Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine USS Henry M. Jackson on Monday, October 19. Applied Research Laboratory at UH worked hand-in-hand with COMSUBPAC sailors over 3 months to develop customized best practices and training protocols for this unique demonstration. ARL developed and conducted rigorous training exercises with SUBPAC sailors using low-cost training equipment, including a modified boat trailer, to ensure the Navy sailors-turned-pilots were ready for the big event. The majority of trainings were held at Bellows Air Force Station where the team had space to practice taking off, landing, and delivering packages to moving vehicles.

The project is the latest collaboration between the U.S. Pacific Fleet Submarine Force (SUBPAC) and the Applied Research Laboratory (ARL) at UH that owns and operates the UAV.  

Mask or no mask? Mask-counting app developed by ARL in partnership with UH School of Nursing

Ray Farias of the ARL at UH partnered with Kris Qureshi and Gary Glauberman at the UH School of Nursing to develop and deploy an app that allows data collection volunteers to easily count passersby wearing a mask or not wearing a mask. The interface is simple but the data is important.

Volunteers click one of three buttons in the app as they watch people going about their day: 1) Wearing Mask Correctly, 2) Wearing Mask Incorrectly, or 3) No Mask. The data collected by volunteers provide for rapid reporting every weekend to assist the Hawaiʻi State Department of Health efforts to address COVID-19.

Read the KHON2 coverage.

Read more about a behind-the-scenes story from a volunteer observer of the app on the island of Kauaʻi.

Hawai‘i COVID-19 Forecast Tool Launched

An innovative COVID-19 forecasting tool, developed by University of Hawaiʻi researchers, aims to assist experts to model potential COVID-19 effects on the State of Hawaiʻi.

Baseem Missaghi, a software developer at UH’s Applied Research Laboratory, created the web application in partnership with the Hawaiʻi Pandemic Applied Modeling Work Group and others. It utilizes data on historical COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, fatalities, recoveries and active cases. The tool provides a two-week forecast and examines possible scenarios for COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and fatalities. Missaghi said the customizability is most valuable for experts.

Maui High Performance Computer Center Contract

The University of Hawaiʻi has been awarded a four-year contract valued at up to $75 million by the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory to operate the Maui High Performance Computing Center (MHPCC) via the Applied Research Laboratory at the University of Hawaiʻi (ARL at UH). 

The contract calls for UH to provide essential engineering, research and development capabilities in emerging computer technology and is intended to lower barriers to a modern High Performance Computing ecosystem and high-performance computing-backed solutions. 

“The Maui High Performance Computing Center is the largest extramural project in UH history,” said UH President David Lassner and principal investigator. “It is the cornerstone of high-tech on Maui and provides some of the best jobs on the island.”