Akamai Interns placed at Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope (CFHT)

Each year CFHT scientists, engineers, and technologists provide projects and mentor local students through the Akamai Internship Program. Students get training that will prepare them for future jobs at telescopes or other high tech industry positions, and at the same time make real contributions to CFHT. By collaborating with Akamai, CFHT contributes to a statewide effort to build a local workforce. The Akamai program has provided more than 350 internships to college students from Hawaii – more than 150 are now in STEM jobs, about 2/3 in Hawaii. There are many more Akamai outcomes. Below are the 16 Akamai interns placed at CFHT to date.

Eric Dela Rosa (Honoka’a High graduate, Hawaii Island): Eric was accepted into Akamai in 2007, when he was a student at Hawaii Community College. He was placed at CFHT where he developed a user interface to setup of one of the main instruments at CFHT. His interface automated many steps and saves several hours of setup each time this instrument is put on the telescope. Eric is now the Technology Director at Parker School in Waimea.

Amber Imai (Waiakea High graduate, Hawaii Island): While working on her engineering degree at University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, Amber was accepted to the Akamai program in 2008. At CFHT she worked on the observatory automation project at CFHT, setting up a server that stores audio and video streams from cameras installed inside the building. This archive is used every time a strange sound is heard in the dome or when visual inspection of some kind is needed. Amber earned her degree and is now an avionics engineer at Hawaii Space Flight Lab.

Justen Dela Cruz (Mililani High graduate, Oahu): Justen was accepted into the Akamai program in 2009, when he was a student at UH Mānoa studying mechanical engineering. For his project, he helped CFHT improve the process of applying an aluminum coat to CFHT’s primary mirror. He performed tests with a vacuum chamber and dummy mirrors at the summit that improve the reliability and quality of CFHT’s coating process. Justen graduated and is now an engineer at Nan, Inc. in Honolulu.

Rodolf Sabalburo (Waipahu High graduate, Oahu): Rodolf was a student at Honolulu CC when he was accepted to Akamai in 2009. For his project he estimated the amount of airborn particles that enter the dome during observations. He setup and configured a particle counter and interfaced it to CFHT’s network at the summit. The apparatus is still used today to monitor dust levels inside the dome. Rodolf is working as an engineer in a cyber security company overseas.

Chihiro Sasaki (Waiakea High graduate, Hawaii Island): In 2010 Chihiro was accepted into Akamai while she was enrolled at UH Hilo. At CFHT she created an electronic checklist for instrument exchanges. She developed the system and integrated older paper checklists. Her system is now used every few weeks by the engineers to make sure that all the steps necessary to exchange instruments are being done. Chihiro is now Software Engineer at General Dynamics C4 Systems in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Anthony Sylvester (Waiakea High graduate, Hawaii Island): Anthony was enrolled in UH Mānoa, majoring in mechanical engineering when he was accepted into the Akamai program in 2011. At CFHT he created an electronic model in three dimensions of the CFHT declination gear system using computer aided design software. He included all the parts of the gear system and created an animated assembly/disassembly tutorial that will prove useful when CFHT encounters problems with this system. Anthony is now a co-founder of a robotics start-up in Hilo.

Yu Xian He (McKinley High graduate, Oahu): Yu Xian was a student at UH Mānoa when she was accepted into Akamai in 2012. At CFHT she developed an instrument procedure for MegaCam, the most productive instrument at CFHT. She integrated paper copies into the checklist and developed a user interface and automated some of the steps. Her software is used every time MegaCam is removed from or installed on the telescope. Yu Xian is now an IT Specialist at University of Hawaii.

Aaron Pigott (Kauai High graduate): Aaron was enrolled at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University when he was accepted into Akamai in 2012. At CFHT he designed and tested the prototype of a ventilation system for the CFHT computer room. His system used outside ambient air to cool the room, and a range of other modifications that will significantly decrease CFHT’s electricity cost.

Jeffrey Dorough (from Kauai): Jeffrey was accepted to Akamai in 2013 when he was a student at Kauai CC. At CFHT he developed and installed a system that monitors the pressure on the secondary mirror when it is off the telescope, allowing engineers to catch problems before the secondary mirror is installed on the telescope thus minimizing technical down time. Jeffrey is now an electronic technician at Ke Aki Technologies at the Pacific Missile Range Facility on Kauai.

Jayson-Micah K. Hayworth (from Oahu): Jayson was a student at Honolulu CC when he was accepted into Akamai in 2013. At CFHT he upgraded the software that is used to align the primary and secondary mirrors of the telescope. He converted old Mathcad routines to C programs that are faster and that can be ported to any computer at CFHT. These routines are used every time the secondary mirror is put on the telescope.

William Kaeo (Nanakuli High graduate, Oahu): William was a student at Kapiolani CC when he was accepted into the Akamai program in 2015. At CFHT he created an integrated SolidWorks model of the Canada-France-Hawai‘i Telescope.

Raycen Scott Wong (Waiakea High graduate, Hawaii Island). Raycen was a student at UH Manoa when he was accepted into the Akamai program in 2015. At CFHT he work on heat mitigation in Canada-France-Hawai‘i Telescope’s Wide Field Infrared Camera.

Daryl Albano (Kea’au High graduate, Hawaii Island): Daryl attends University of Hawaii Hilo, and is majoring in computer science. In 2016 he was accepted into the Akamai program at was placed at CFHT. His project there was to Design an observatory asset management system. In 2017, Daryl completed a second Akamai internship at the Thirty Meter Telescope International Observatory in Pasadena, CA.

Kyle Mauri (born and raised on Maui): Kyle attends Colorado State University where he is pursuing a degree in mechanical engineering. He was accepted to Akamai in 2016, and was placed at CFHT. For his project, he designed, fabricated and installed a new declination pin that holds the telescope in place.

Nicole Tabac (born and raised on Hawaii Island): Nicole attends Northern Arizona University where she is a major in mechanical engineering. In 2016 she was accepted into the Akamai program and placed at CFHT. For her project, she worked on the mechanization of the scale model of the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope.

Nikki Imanaka (from Kane’ohe, Oahu): Nikki is pursuing a degree in mechanical engineering at University of Idaho, and was accepted into the Akamai program in 2017. She was placed at CFHT, and her project was to redesign a camera mount for the telescope.