1989 Honolulu ARCS Scholar Alum Luke Flynn has been named the University of Hawai‘i System’s Employee of the Year for 2017. As director of the university’s Hawai‘i Space Flight Laboratory and Hawai‘i Space Grant Consortium, he has overseen development and launch of the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa’s first rocket and satellite and collaborated with University of Hawai'i Community Colleges on a program involving undergraduates in development of small payloads for space flight.
Dr. Flynn is “an inspiration, catalyst, and driving force for engaging University of Hawai'i Community College students and faculty in aerospace education and career awareness,” University of Hawai’i President David Lassner noted in announcing the honor. “He has almost single-handedly created a space program within the State of Hawai'i,” bringing tens of millions of dollars to the state in the process.
Among the graduate students Flynn has mentored or employed are 2012 ARCS Scholar Bryson Padasdao, associate director of the Hawai‘i Space Grant Consortium and an instructor at UH Leeward Community College, and 1987 ARCS Scholar Eric Pilger, systems engineer with University of Hawai’i's Hawai‘i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology.