Date: July 20, 2019
Curtis Beck, P.E., F.NSPE, outgoing Big Island Chapter Director, is taking on a new top leadership role in 2019–2020: chair of the Board of Governors for the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies. Beck was installed at the Professional Engineers Conference in Kansas City in July.
NICET is a division of NSPE that certifies engineering technicians and technologists and helps ensure a qualified engineering team.
Beck has been semi-retired since 2013; he previously was manager of the Hawaii Electric Light Company’s Energy Services Department. He now works part-time as a consultant and construction manager for Bowers and Kubota Consulting of Waipahu. He is also a partner with Mahilani Partners LLC, of Hilo, which owns and manages a farming community and visitor center, and raises a variety of tropical products such as cacao and coffee. Beck was born in Ohio but has been a resident of Hilo since 1979 and raised a family there.
The professional engineer has been a member of NSPE since 1981, and has served his chapter, state, and national society in several officer and board roles, including as chapter president, state president, Professional Engineers in Industry chair, Board of Ethical Review chair, and NSPE Board of Directors member. He has also been active in MATHCOUNTS.
Read about Beck’s recent leadership on a PE requirement with the Hawaii Society of Professional Engineers’ Big Island Chapter.
Date: July 8, 2019
(Left to Right) (HiSPE officers unless noted as Maui Chapter officers.) Mike Silva, HoD Rep, Mike Lum, Past Pres, Tom Roberts, Sara Doi, Pres, Majella Stevenson, F.NSPE, Pres-elect, Travis Ching, Maui Chapter Pres, Irina Constantinescu, Treas, Mikki Klee, Maui Chapter Sec, Curt Beck, NICET Pres, & Eric Takamine, Maui Chapter VP.
ATTENDEES AT LUNCHEON TABLES DURING THE INSTALLATION CEREMONY.
NSPE 2017–18 PRESIDENT TOM ROBERTS, P.E., F.NSPE ADDRESSING THE GROUP BEFORE THE INSTALLATION OF OFFICERS.
Date: June 25, 2019
An effort to remove the PE requirement for the director of public works for Hawaii County was recently thwarted by the Hawaii Society of Professional Engineers’ Big Island Chapter.
In June, the Hawaii County Charter Commission held hearings about 28 proposed charter amendments for the 2020 ballot, including a proposal to remove the PE requirement. The proposal (CA-26) placed only one significant requirement on the position: five years of administrative experience. The current department director David Yamamoto and deputy director Allen Simeon are both PEs.
Commission Chairman Doug Adams, sponsor of the proposal, believes that a lack of a professional license in a technical field doesn’t necessarily mean the director can’t manage those who have one, according a Hawaii Tribune Herald article. “I think that it helps with identifying, increasing, expanding the potential for directors, good people, solid people that will have had experience in [a] public works department whether it is here or in other locations, and not necessarily create this small niche of those with a PE degree,” he was quoted as saying in a June 9 article.
Under the leadership of Big Island Chapter Director Curtis Beck, P.E., F.NSPE, chapter members spoke against the commissions’ proposed amendment. Ten chapter members, which included former directors of public works, provided testimony to the commission. The commission was also presented a letter addressing the critical need to have a licensed engineer in responsible charge of decisions that directly affect the health, safety, and welfare of county citizens. Nearly 60 PEs and architects who opposed the amendment signed onto the letter.
The commission responded to this outreach and testimonies by voting down the amendment, 7-2. “It felt good to make a difference,” Beck stated on an NSPE Communities post.
Date: May 15, 2019
HSPE Maui Chapter held a lunch meeting on Friday, May 10th at Tante’s Restaurant in Kahului, Maui. Audrey Cabrera from Brown and Caldwell presented on the company’s Lanai Wastewater Reclamation Facility Liner Replacement Project, which won the 2019 HSPE Project of the Year award.
The project ensured uninterrupted wastewater operations at the sole municipal wastewater treatment facility on the island of Lanai, while protecting endangered Hawaiian stilt and coot bird species.
In 2014, a liner failure was discovered in one of the lagoons used for treatment. To preserve the endangered species and maintain a reliable wastewater system, the County of Maui collaborated with US Fish & Wildlife service and hired Brown and Caldwell and Kiewit Infrastructure West Co.
The project involved the design and installation of 20,000 square yards of ultraviolet-resistant, high-density polyethylene geomembrane laid over a geotextile cushion to replace the chlorosulphonated polyethylene liner. Lagoon 2 served as the primary treatment lagoon while Lagoon 1 was out of service.
The installation was completed in February 2018, eight months ahead of schedule, using an expedited five-month plan in order to not disturb the stilt nesting season.
VIEW OF THE POND DURING LINER INSTALLATION
POND BACK IN SERVICE WITH NEW LINER AND SAFETY LADDER IN LINER
Date: Tuesday, February 23, 2019
HSPE BOARD AND DIRECTORS
HSPE SCHOLARSHIP WINNER JULIANNA ANDRADE
KEYNOTE SPEAKER TARA OWENS
MANAGING DIRECTOR SANDY BAZ
See attached flyer for event details.
Date: Friday, December 21, 2018
This fall, Hawai’i’s US Senator Brian Schatz (D) authored legislation to authorize funding for STEM education facilities that serve rural and Native American communities, including American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian. Called the INSPIRES Act, it calls on Congress to allocate $200 million so that rural and Native-serving institutions can either build new STEM education facilities, or make improvements to existing ones. Senator Schatz has long supported and advocated for improved educational opportunities, going back to his time as a state representative, during which he served on the Higher Education Committee.
HSPE applauds Senator Schatz’s commitment to making STEM education accessible and beneficial to all students.
Date: Thursday, December 13, 2018
In conjunction with the activities of Engineers’ Week 2019, the Hawaii Society of Professional Engineers (HSPE) is soliciting nominations for the Hawaii Engineer of the Year Award. The selected engineer will receive their award at the 2019 Engineers’ Week Banquet in February, 2019. Completed nomination forms and letters of support must be received no later than Friday, December 28, 2018.
For more information please download the announcement and nomination form.
Date: July 31, 2018
From July 18–22 in Las Vegas, at Caesars Palace, NSPE members enjoyed an exciting week full of exceptional education programs, speakers, and great networking.
IMAGES COURTESY OF NSPE AND CHRISTIE'S PHOTOGRAPHIC STUDIOS