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Profiles: Two Summer 2013 Akamai Interns

E'lisa Lee

E’lisa Lee soldering a wire lead on an amplifier circuit board. Photo by Gary Fujihara.

The Akamai Workforce Initiative (AWI) prepares Hawai‘i college students for science and technology jobs with internships on Maui and Hawai‘i island. Last summer, Thomas Kackley and E’lisa Lee were two of the interns who worked on Hawai‘i island on projects related to telescopes on Maunakea.

Thomas “Tip” Kackley spent the first five years of his life in Sunnyvale, California, before his family moved to Hilo, Hawai‘i. The son of two mechanical engineers, Kackley grew up in an environment filled with construction toys that included wood blocks and LEGOs. Kackley transferred from Waiākea complex public schools to the Kamehameha School Hawai‘i campus in the fourth grade. While at Kamehameha, Kackley took classes in AutoCAD and machining, and he designed and fabricated the baseball team’s bat rack, which was used for several seasons. After graduating from Kamehameha in 2010, Kackley enrolled in Seattle University in Washington state, where he is majoring in mechanical engineering as a senior this fall.

Kackley learned about the Akamai internship program from his father, who works as a software engineer at Subaru Telescope. Kackley worked with IfA Instrument Technician Marc Cotter to design and fabricate a telescope primary mirror cover actuator system, and hoped his prototype would be adapted for use at the IfA’s UH 2.2-meter telescope located on Maunakea.  

E’lisa Lee calls Rancho Palos Verdes in Los Angeles, California home. A senior at University of Hawai‘i at Hilo (UHH), she is majoring in astronomy and minoring in Japanese. The interest in Japanese began in middle school from her love of manga and anime, and growing up in Japanese communities. Lee has enjoyed volunteering at the Maunakea Visitor Information Station, helping visiting tourists find their way around the night sky at the facility located at the 9,200-foot elevation of Maunakea.

Lee also worked with Cotter. Her project was to build a telescope simulator. The model telescope is controllable by a user on a computer, through a computer board that interfaces with the drive motors. Her experience as a UHH Robotics Club member and with information learned in entry-level computer science courses helped Lee understand how hardware and software interact for her project.