Energy is the thing!

Our MPX 10 students were blessed to have a visit from a Mid-Pacific alumni: Yoh Kawanami c/o ‘97. He is currently the Director of Demand Response Programs at Hawaiian Electric Company (HECO). Koh reached out to the school through his work with HECO and in particular with his interest in sustainability, resource management, and global interdependence, especially Japan and Asia. He agreed to come and meet the students, and gave us a presentation on energy sustainability with an emphasis on the challenges facing HECO with their work to move towards better resource management and the eventual goal of energy interdependence by 2045. Over the course of his talk with the students he shared his pathway after leaving Mid-Pacific, going to the University of Washington, and then to Duke before relocating to the islands to do work in Department of Defense and engineering resource management. The students were very appreciative of him sharing his knowledge and passion around this topic and our hope is to continue to connect to the work he is doing in the community.

Although our curriculum changed this year so that we were not doing as much with energy sustainability, Yoh’s visit reminds me how important it is to get back to the question about sustainability and the role Hawaii can play in helping the world see resource management: energy, water, agriculture, waste to name a few as problems that we can tackle with the right amount of energy and commitment. My hope is that we will continue to work closely with him and expand our relationships we have established with organizations like Hawaiian Electric, Blue Planet Foundation, Energy Accelerator, Kapiolani Community College, Mari’s Gardens and others. The task of doing real work with our students in the community is an ongoing process…

Yoh explaining the energy consumption profiles of different countries. Yes – the US is the Red bar on the right side!

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