Wen Phan

Nguyen "Wen" Phan is a busy young man. He is a Regent's Scholar at the UH College of Engineering, works part-time at AdTech, a local engineering firm, participates in outreach programs including Xtreme! ENGINEERING, and is the leader of the UH micromouse team.

Wen knows how important outreach programs are from his own experience. He was inspired to attend the College of Engineering after a visit to Kaimuki High School by Dr. Wayne Shiroma, an electrical engineering professor. "He led us through some problem-solving exercises," said Wen, "I realized then that engineering would be an exciting and challenging career."

Since enrolling at UH, Wen has thrown himself into engineering activities both in and out of the classroom. As leader of one of the micromouse teams, he and his teammates compete with other colleges and universities around the country to build an electronic mouse and program it to solve a maze. Each mouse must be built for under $500, and the mouse that takes the least time to solve the maze wins. The UH team won first place in the central region in both 1996-1997 and 1997-1998, and Wen hopes to win another trophy in April or May of this year. [See the UH micromouse home page for more details]

Wen in the classroom

In addition to the micromouse project, Wen has designed a robotics workshop for Xtreme! ENGINEERING. He travels to area elementary, intermediate and high schools and leads students through the process of designing and building simple robots. He enjoys working with kids, and hopes to inspire them to become engineers.

For his achievements in school, Wen has been awarded a University of Hawaii Regent's Scholarship for Academic Excellence. He gets a full tuition waiver, a $2000 stipend for each semester, and a $2000 travel award.

While engineering is important to Wen, it's not the only thing he's interested in. He likes playing basketball, watching movies, going to the beach and playing video games. "As long as I'm hanging out with my friends, I'm happy," he said, "Family and friends are the most important things in life."


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