2016–2017: Vincent Varamo

Vincent Varamo
Vincent Varamo: 2016-2017 Outstanding Student

The annual Outstanding Graduate Student Award was presented to Vincent Varamo this past semester. Vincent grew up in Charlotte, NC, and graduated from the University of North Carolina Wilmington with a B.S. in Physics in 2013. Upon graduating, he worked as a Research Assistant for Dr. Frederick Bingham on NASA’s Salinity Processes in the Upper Ocean Regional Study (SPURS) project. He started at the University of Hawaii as a M.S. student in August 2014 under Pro-fessor Bruce Howe to work on underwater acoustics. His thesis was sponsored by the Office of Naval Research and is titled: “Reliable Acoustic Path Tomography at the ALOHA Cabled Observatory.” Vincent developed and tested an experiment to measure acoustic travel times from a shipboard source down to a bottom mounted hy-drophone. He created a model to compute the sound speed field for the surrounding area using these travel times. The results have been presented at the ASA/ASJ ‘16 in Honolulu, Hawaii and will be pre-sented at the UACE ’17 conference in Greece. When Vincent is not at the university he enjoys surfing, hiking, or doing some climbing around the island.

ORE would like to thank Vincent for all his hard work during his time as a graduate student and wishes him all the best in his bright future.

2013–2014: Betsy Seiffert

Betsy Seiffert: 2013–2014 Outstanding Student
Betsy Seiffert: 2013–2014 Outstanding Student

Betsy grew up in Dubuque, IA, and graduated from the University of Iowa with a B.S. in Mathematics in 2002. She received her M.Oc.E. from Oregon State University in May 2010 under Professor Harry Yeh. Her master’s thesis was titled “Flow visualization for wake formation under solitary wave flow.” She used data extracted from particle image velocimetry (PIV) along with vector and tensor visualization techniques to study wake formation behind a vertical cylinder under solitary wave flow. Betsy started at the University of Hawaii as a Ph.D. student in August 2010 under Professor Ertekin as a member of the coastal bridge and port vulnerability to tsunami and storm surge project funded by the Hawaii Department of Transportation.

Her dissertation is titled: “Tsunami and storm wave impacts on coastal bridges.” Betsy has developed and executed an extensive set of laboratory experiments to investigate wave loading on coastal bridges, providing a valuable benchmark to validate numerical calculations and providing guidelines for full scale bridges. These experiments have included measuring horizontal and vertical forces due to solitary and cnoidal waves on a flat plate, a bridge model with girders, and a bridge model with different percentages of air relief openings between girders for both fully and partially inundated conditions. She has been published in the Coastal Engineering Journal, has presented results at MTS/IEEE OCEANS ’12 in Yeosu, South Korea, and presented results at OMAE 2014 in San Francisco, CA this June. Before she got too busy, she paddled 6 man outrigger canoes with the Hui Lanakila canoe club. When she gets a chance, Betsy tries to make it to a yoga class, get out for a jog or read fiction.

Past Recipients

The annual Outstanding Graduate Student Award is presented to the OE student whose research, course work and/or teaching ability merit special commendation. The recipients are recognized for their potential to make significant contributions in the field of Ocean Engineering.

The Award was initiated in 1993–1994 academic year and the receipients up to now are listed below.

  • 2016–2017: Vincent Varamo
  • 2013–2014: Betsy Seiffert
  • 2012–2013: Justin Stopa and John Casilio
  • 2010–2011: Masoud Hayatdavoodi
  • 2009–2010: Yoshiki Yamazaki
  • 2004–2005: Vasco Nunes
  • 2002–2003: Yong Wei
  • 2000–2001: Raymond Rojas
  • 1999–2000: David A. Smith
  • 1998–1999: Dingwu Xia
  • 1997–1998: Amal C. Phadke
  • 1996–1997 Co-Recipients: Todd Ericksen and Charles (X.Q.) Liu
  • 1995–1996: Carmela Chandrasekera
  • 1994–1995 Co-Recipients: Dan Greeson and Hari Sundararaghavan
  • 1993–1994: Bala Padmanabhan