Sponsored by:

Comment, blog & share photos

Log in | Become a member
The Honolulu Advertiser

Updated at 7:54 a.m., Friday, April 6, 2007

Dam expert at UH wins community service award

Advertiser Staff

As associate professor at the University of Hawai'i at Manoa has been given the 2007 Robert W. Clopton Award for outstanding community service.

Peter G. Nicholson of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering has been with the university for 16 years. The award is given to the faculty member who has played a socially significant role by applying intellectual leadership and academic expertise to the improvement of the community.

For the past 15 years, he has continued to provide technical expertise to assist the State Department of Land and Natural Resources with dam inspections. Nicholson also responded as a local volunteer to a number of geo-related disasters, including the rockfalls at Makaka Towers and Sacred Falls, and the Koloko Dam failure on Kaua'i last year. He was recently one of three expert engineering faculty to form a reconnaissance team to assess the damage from the Oct. 15 Kiholo Bay and Hawai'i earthquakes on the Big Island, a UH news release said.

Nicholson served the national community in a special role inspecting the hurricane protection system and causes of the catastrophic failures resulting from the 2005 Hurricane Katrina landfall on the Gulf Coast. He and his team wrote the first report to be released on the causes of the levee failure, for which he was asked to testify before the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, and the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.

He recently received the Outstanding Civilian Service Medal for his contributions to the Hurricane Katrina Interagency Performance Evaluation Task Force. This award is one of the highest Army honorary decorations that can be awarded to a civilian.

Nicholson will be recognized for his contributions to the university along with other UH award winners at the annual Convocation Awards scheduled for Sept. 18.