As a wholly coastal state, with an economy that is dependent upon safe and efficient transfer of goods and services from the ocean to the coast, and vice versa, Hawai‘i relies upon ocean engineers for a wide variety of professional services to ensure the economy remains productive, coastal populations remain safe, and the built infrastructure of the State is preserved.
SOEST is the only school within the region that trains ocean engineers, and our graduates find quick and stable employment within the local engineering sector, or elsewhere around the globe.
Our students and faculty lead their peers in modeling the impact of storm waves and surge generation, as well as tsunami runup and coastal inundation. The deepest cabled ocean observing system on the planet, as well as shallow-water real-time systems, provide natural laboratories for our students and faculty to develop new technologies, test advances in engineering techniques, and study the interaction of moored buoys, structural elements, and power generation systems with the ocean environment. Hawai‘i has led the development of ocean thermal energy conversion (OTEC), and students within the School continue to work on solutions to ocean power generation, design of advanced ship hulls, and the design of artificial reef systems for coastal ecosystem preservation and restoration.