Last week, Oceanit’s 2023 Student Intern Program culminated in the annual Innovation Summit event as the interns presented their final innovation projects to Oceanit leadership, mentors, friends, and family members.
In over 30 years of the Student Intern Program (SIP), Oceanit has mentored more than 600 students at the Ph.D., Masters, and Undergraduate levels, and formerly at the high school level as well. SIP lets student interns apply their academics to ongoing real-world projects, encouraging them to innovate, inspiring creativity and new ideas, and fostering young ambassadors for Hawaii’s technology industry of tomorrow.
Each summer, interns are mentored by and work side-by-side with engineers and scientists on projects for the U.S. Departments of Energy, Transportation, Defense, the State of Hawaii, community organizations and more. They also have weekly exposure to various other departments, to expand their views of how innovative research & development intersects with business, commercialization, marketing, and more.
In addition, each intern is asked to conceive and develop an innovation project – something that they are personally passionate about, that can make the world a better place, and that may align with their academics or career aspirations. The interns identify problems, conduct research, conceptualize solutions and develop prototypes, which builds to the Innovation Summit at the conclusion of the summer program. The interns pitch their innovations to a panel of scientists, engineers and venture capitalists.
Katie Ching is a senior at Santa Clara University, majoring in bioengineering. This summer, Katie prepared and characterized bio-inspired marine inhibition coatings for field deployment studies, developing and optimizing the application process for novel surface treatments on various substrates. She was mentored by Katherine Uttley, Ph.D.
Katie’s innovation project was named CLYDE: an at-home lung cancer screening test. Her innovative diagnostic sought to solve the issue of late detection of cancer development in lung cancer patients. Currently, the only screening test available is an LDCT scan, but CLYDE would take the form of a simple lateral flow assay, which would detect elevated levels of a certain protein that signals the malignant transformation of lung cell nuclei. CLYDE would enable people to do screening tests at home, catching possible cancers earlier.
Christopher Norman is a senior at University of Houston, majoring in computer information systems. This summer, Christopher developed front-end software packages for two Oceanit energy sector products, integrating various back-end software into well-polished, deployable products for field use. He was mentored by Alexander Ventura.
Chris’s innovation project was called REMY: Recipe Enhancing Meal Yielder. REMY is an AI application that combines meal and nutrition planning, grocery shopping/ordering, and an AI cooking assistant. Through user inputs like allergies, dietary needs, location and available local supplies, REMY’s machine learning algorithm would make home cooked meals easier to plan and prepare, in a way that is healthier and more efficient then dining out or the typical home cooked meal. Chris sought to overcome the challenges of ensuring easy access to proper nutrition and health across all age ranges.
Noa Takeyama is a senior at University of San Diego, majoring in mechanical engineering. This summer, Noa designed and fabricated parts, and modified housings for the Oceanit CorLance and ADAPT systems, and also developed the electromechanical joystick control interface that operates Oceanit’s CorLance platform. He was mentored by Patrick Boll.
Noa’s innovation was called AQUA: Acoustic Quest for Underwater Attraction. Noa sought to address the loss of coastal corals and marine life due to factors like infrastructure intrusion, ocean acidification, and tourism and fishing industry infringement. AQUA is a restorative acoustic device that would be powered by wave energy and currents to recreate the sounds of a healthy reef, thereby attracting marine life and coral settlement to increase coral development by 20%.
Giorgio Tran is a Master’s student at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, majoring in computer science. This summer, Giorgio worked on Oceanit’s RIVEAL system, evolving early models into a unified, user-friendly control application. He also designed the storage architecture for data recording, archiving, and retrieval. He was mentored by Dylan Kobayashi, Ph.D.
Giorgio’s innovation was named CROW: Coffee Roasting Optimizing Widget. As a coffee lover, Giorgio wanted to solve the complexities of roasting consistently good coffee, and to produce an ensured balance of sweetness, acidity, and bitterness in each roast. His solution was an edge device which uses AI to perform real-time analysis of coffee in the roasting process via computer vision, first crack detection, and aroma detection. CROW determines when temperatures should be lowered or raised via an AI prediction model to output an optimal roast every time.
Kian La’i Viernes – A senior at University of Hawaii at Manoa, majoring in mechanical engineering. This summer, La’i worked to develop and fabricate a motorized, 3D-printed extendable control for a borescope, as part of the CorLance and Piggyback products. He coded control functions to handle position, speed, and recording functions for a range of visual and IR imaging systems. He was mentored by Matthew Nakatsuka, Ph.D.
Kian’s innovation project introduced a novel device called SURFLOC: Seamless Universal Repair For Locking Out Cracks. As an avid surfer, Kian wanted to improve the expensive and long process of surf board repair by creating an all-in-one handheld surfboard ding repair device. SURFLOC uses a smartphone to take 3D scans of dings or cracks. The scan is input into a resin delivery device which customizes the injection rate and shape of resin into the surfboard. The device would work anywhere, is easy to use, effective, and fast.