Electric vehicle executive to speak at UH Manoa engineering banquet

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Eric R. Matsunaga, (808) 956-7584
Marketing & Public Affairs
Posted: Mar 17, 2009

Pete Cooper, a representative of a California-based startup company that has partnered with the State of Hawaii and Hawaiian Electric Company to introduce a network of zero-emission battery powered vehicles to the islands, will be the guest speaker at the 9th Annual University of Hawaii at Manoa College of Engineering Banquet. The event, a fundraiser for the college, will be held on Thursday, April 16, 2009 at 6:30 p.m. in the Hilton Hawaiian Village‘s Coral Ballroom.

Cooper is a global development team representative for Better Place, a company that has agreements in Australia, Denmark, Israel and California to build new infrastructure networks to support electric vehicles. Under the plan, consumers would buy or lease electric cars from automobile dealers and Better Place would supply recharging services and replacement batteries. Better Place expects their Hawaii infrastructure of electric car charging stations to be in place by 2012.

"Sustainability is critical to Hawaii‘s energy survival and it has become a focal point for our efforts at the college," said College of Engineering Dean Peter Crouch. "We are thrilled to have Mr. Cooper on our program to give us the details on his company‘s exciting and ambitious plan to help the state reduce its dependence on oil."

The program will also feature the presentation of two special awards. Brenda McCaffrey, a 1985 engineering graduate and founder/president of Kolea Technology, will receive the college‘s Distinguished Alumni Award. Russell Figueiroa, president and CEO of the R.M. Towill Corporation, will be honored with the college‘s Outstanding Service Award.

The cost for individual banquet seats is $200 per person and table sponsorships are also available at the following levels: Platinum: $10,000; Gold: $5,000; Silver: $3,000 and Bronze: $2,000. Individual seats and table sponsorships can be purchased by calling the UH Manoa College of Engineering at (808) 956-2287.

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The University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa College of Engineering has launched thousands of successful careers in Hawaiʻi and throughout the world. Graduates occupy key roles with engineering firms, government agencies, defense contractors, and as entrepreneurs. Many of its 9000 alumni have made significant engineering contributions to the state‘s infrastructure and are now set on accomplishing similar tasks abroad. The College‘s respect for the Hawaiian culture is reflected in its successful mentoring program for under-represented science and engineering students. As the College celebrates 100 years of engineering education at Mānoa, it is focused on becoming a major contributor to Hawaiʻi‘s renewable energy and sustainable future.