Latest News

Save the Date: June 22 - Meeting on Maui with NSPE President

Date: May 20, 2024

The Hawaii Society of Professional Engineers Maui Chapter is hosting a meeting with NSPE President Bill Atkinson, on Saturday, June 22. This meeting will also include installation of state officers and Maui Chapter officers. Stay tuned for additional meeting information, including location and registration details.


2024 Academic Scholarship Winners

Date: May 20, 2024

The Hawaii Society of Professional Engineers Maui Chapter is pleased to offer $1,500 academic scholarships to outstanding graduating high school seniors in Maui County or students currently enrolled at the University of Hawaii Community Colleges who will be attending an accredited college of engineering in the fall. We congratulate all of our winners and wish them the best on their future endeavors! We know they have bright futures ahead and will continue their impressive contributions to the community and society.

2024 Scholarship Recipients
Carla Agrade, of Lahainaluna High School, is interested in pursuing a degree in mechatronics, mechanical, or aerospace engineering.
Talan Toshikiyo, of Lahainaluna High School, is interested in pursuing a degree in civil or electrical engineering.
Penelope Tupou, of Baldwin High School, is interested in pursuing a degree in civil engineering.

Thanks to Our Sponsors and Volunteer Judges!
These scholarships would not be possible without the generous support of the numerous business and individual sponsors noted on our website. We would like to express our deep appreciation to this year's contributors, whose support allowed us to present three $1,500 scholarships. We would also like to thank our volunteer judges who had the tough task of reviewing applications.


State Licensing Board Meeting

Date: May 20, 2024

The Hawaii Board of Professional Engineers, Architects, Surveyors, and Landscape Architects will hold its next meeting on Thursday, June 6. Access meeting information here.


Attorney General Releases Phase One Report on Maui Wildfires

Date: May 20, 2024

Hawaii Attorney General Anne Lopez has released Phase One of a three-part investigation into how state and county governments responded during the Maui wildfires. The Phase One report – the Lahaina Fire Report and Timeline - will inform the Phase Two analysis and Phase Three recommendations for improved safety in Hawaii.

Attorney General Lopez selected the independent, third-party Fire Safety Research Institute (FSRI) to assess the performance of state and county agencies in preparing for and responding to the wildfires, according to a news release. FSRI has extensive experience researching fire dynamics, structure-to-structure fire spread and near-miss firefighting incidents.

"This comprehensive Lahaina Fire Report and minute-by-minute timeline focuses on the events that occurred prior to, during and immediately following the Lahaina fire. This includes factors such as preparedness efforts, weather and its impact to infrastructure, and other fires occurring on Maui for the time period beginning at 14:55 (2:55 p.m. HST) on August 8, 2023, and concluding at 08:30 (8:30 a.m.) on August 9, 2023," said Steve Kerber, Ph.D., P.E., vice president and executive director of FSRI. "The Lahaina wildfire tragedy serves as a sobering reminder that the threat of grassland fires, wildfires and wildfire-initiated urban conflagrations, fueled by climate change and urban encroachment into wildland areas, is a reality that must be addressed with the utmost urgency and diligence – not just in Hawaii." Read more.

HI Mathletes Get Ready for National Competition

Date: April 22, 2024

Congratulations to the student team that will represent Hawaii during the 2024 Raytheon MATHCOUNTS Competition finals, May 11-14 in Washington, DC. The event is a celebration of the incredible mathletes, educators, volunteers, alumni, and education advocates who make MATHCOUNTS possible. The thrilling Countdown Round will take place on May 13 and is open to the public (registration required). Access information about the mathletes and competition events here.

Hawaii MATHCOUNTS Team
Evan Ho (8th grade) - Washington Middle School - Honolulu, HI
Alex Hudson (8th grade) - Iolani School - Honolulu, HI
Noah Shin (8th grade) - Punahou School - Honolulu, HI
Austin Uezu (7th grade) - Iolani School - Honolulu, HI
Joe Guillou (Coach) - Iolani School - Honolulu, HI


Reminder: Licensure Renewals

Date: April 22, 2024

All engineer, architect, surveyor, and landscape architect licensees must renew their licenses with the Hawaii Board of Professional Engineers, Architects, Surveyors, and Landscape Architects by April 30, 2024, regardless of the date that the license was issued. Access more information here.


Hawaii to Get $5.2M+ to Make Kamehameha Highway 'More Resilient'

Date: April 22, 2024

Hawaii will receive over $5.2 million in federal grants to make transportation infrastructure more resilient to climate change, the Biden-Harris Administration recently announced, according to a Hawaii News Now report.

The federal funding was approved for two Hawaii Department of Transportation projects focused on making Kamehameha Highway more resilient to coastal erosion and protected against rockfalls. This comes after frequent calls for action to address the worsening erosion on the key coastal highway. The state DOT will receive $2.4 million to install a coastal barrier to prevent erosion from destabilizing the northbound lane of Kamehameha Highway.

Officials say the project will ensure that the most threatened location of the highway road, that links the Koolauloa district and Honolulu metro area for 13,000 daily users, is protected from waves, erosion, and increasing impacts of climate change. In addition, the DOT will receive over $2.8 million to replace 1,000 feet of an existing rockfall impact fence to provide protection from rockfalls on a heavily travelled corridor of Kamehameha Highway. Read more.


AES Hawaii Launches First Solar Plus Storage Facility on O'ahu

Date: April 22, 2024

AES Hawaii recently celebrated the launch of its West O'ahu solar-plus-storage project in Kapolei – the company's first facility to combine solar generation and battery energy storage on O'ahu. The launch was commemorated with a blessing ceremony at the project site and reception at the nearby University of Hawaii-West O'ahu campus, according to a news release.

Dignitaries joining AES Hawaii leadership at the commissioning of O'ahu's newest utility-scale solar project included Governor Josh Green, Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi, and University of Hawaii-West O'ahu Chancellor Maenette K. P. Ah Nee-Benham.

Located on 66 acres of open University of Hawaii land, the West O'ahu solar-plus-storage facility is generating 12.5 MW of clean energy for O'ah's power grid, supported by a 50 MWh battery energy storage system, under a 25-year power purchase agreement with Hawaiian Electric at a cost of $0.115 cents per kilowatt-hour. The energy produced will reduce O'ahu's use of fossil fuels by 750,000 barrels of oil and the associated pollution and greenhouse gases emitted over the project's lifetime.

Bernerd Da Santos, AES Hawaii executive vice president and president, global renewables, said the West O'ahu project epitomizes the company's commitment to collaborate with community partners for the benefit of Hawaii's long-term energy future.

"This is a momentous day for AES Hawaii as it is our first solar and storage project on O'ahu and one that is providing a multitude of benefits over many years that extends far beyond the low-cost, clean energy we are generating for the people of O'ahu," said Da Santos. "We are partnering with a premier educational institution in the University of Hawaii-West O'ahu, helping to reduce Hawaii's dependence on imported oil and utilizing the land to support the island's agricultural needs." Read more.

State Licensing Information

Date: March 29, 2024

Licensure Renewals
All engineer, architect, surveyor, and landscape architect licensees must renew their licenses with the Hawaii Board of Professional Engineers, Architects, Surveyors, and Landscape Architects by April 30, regardless of the date that the license was issued. Access more information here.

Upcoming Meeting
The state licensing board will hold its next meeting on Thursday, April 11. Access meeting information here.


Maui Wildfires Investigation Report Set for April Release

Date: March 29, 2024

Attorney General Anne Lopez recently announced that the Phase One report on the independent investigation into the Maui wildfires will be released on April 17, according to a news release.

The Phase One report analyzes how the fire incident unfolded, based on science, during the first 24 to 72 hours of the fire and its aftermath, and includes a comprehensive timeline of events. The Fire Safety Research Institute (FSRI), part of UL Research Institutes, is widely recognized as the premier fire safety science organization in the world and was selected to provide its scientific analysis of the fire event and recommendations for the future.

The FSRI research team encountered unexpected delays when gathering the critical facts for review, which had a direct impact on the rescheduled Phase One report release date. In November 2023, the Department of the Attorney General served three subpoenas upon the Maui Emergency Management Agency, the County of Maui Department of Public Works and the County of Maui Department of Water Supply seeking documents relevant to the investigation.

"Our team appreciates the willingness of community members, firefighters, police officers and other emergency workers to share information and their experiences as the wildfires started and began to spread," said Steve Kerber, Ph.D., P.E., vice president and executive director of FSRI. "Being able to review all of the data, which is extensive, has a tremendous impact on the comprehensive analysis of the fire incident and our recommendations to make Hawaii a safer place to live, work and play." Read more.


Kahului EV Charging Station Opens

Date: March 29, 2024

The Department of Transportation (HDOT) dedicated the first electric vehicle charging station in Hawaii, funded by the federal National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) program, on February 28.

The EV charging station at the Kahului Park & Ride on Maui consists of four 150 kW DC fast chargers with Combined Charging System (CCS) and CHArge de MOve (CHAdeMO) ports. The station, along Kuihelani Highway (Route 380), according to a news release.

Design and construction of the NEVI station at the Kahului Park & Ride cost $3 million; with $2.4 million coming from federal funds and $600,000 from the state highway fund. The NEVI program seeks to accelerate the adoption of EVs, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, help the US lead global transportation electrification efforts, and build out alternative fuel corridors through construction of a national network of electric vehicle chargers.

"Providing drivers with the opportunity to choose alternatives to vehicles with traditional internal combustion engines is a critical part of the strategy to get Hawaii to a clean energy portfolio by 2045," said Hawaii Department of Transportation Director Ed Sniffen. "When we began planning our department's conversion to EVs we calculated an estimated annual reduction in CO2 emissions of 8,700 pounds per vehicle, which is roughly the amount of energy used by an average American home in half a year. We're excited to have federal support for the electrification of transportation." Read more.


New Center to Help Protect Hawaii's Water

Date: March 29, 2024

Organizations working to protect Hawaii's fresh water resources can tap a new center established to help secure federal funding for water initiatives and job training, the Honolulu Civil Beat reports.

The Hawaii Community Foundation's Hawaiian Islands Environmental Finance Center won't be providing grants, said Dana Okano, the center's director. Instead, it will provide technical assistance and support to organizations trying to get federal money available for water projects. "There's lots of hoops when applying for federal dollars," Okano said. The center wants to make that process easier for people to navigate.

To finance the operation, the Hawaii Community Foundation landed a $3.2 million dollar grant from the US Environmental Protection Agency. It's one of 29 such centers established with money from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Act, which President Joe Biden helped push through Congress in 2021.

The mission of the centers is to provide "technical assistance to local governments, states, tribes, territories, and non-governmental organizations to protect public health, safeguard the environment, and advance environmental justice." Read more.

Hawaii PEs Named Top FEYA Finalists

Date: February 23, 2024

NSPE recently announced the top 10 finalists for the Federal Engineer of the Year Award. The award winner will be announced during a ceremony at the National Press Club in Washington, DC, on February 23. Sponsored by the Professional Engineers in Government, this award honors engineers employed by a federal agency that employs at least 50 engineers worldwide.

Lt. Cmdr. Matthew Haith, P.E.
US Public Health Service
US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Honolulu District

Reyn Hashiro, P.E.
US Department of the Navy
Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command (NAVFAC) Pacific
Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii

Learn more about the FEYA finalists.


PE Licensure Renewals

Date: February 23, 2024

All engineer, architect, surveyor, and landscape architect licensees must renew their licenses by April 30, 2024, regardless of the date that the
license was issued. Access more information here.


Initiative Launches New Interisland Transportation Effort

Date: February 23, 2024

A new coalition has launched an effort to use all-electric vehicles known as Seagliders to transport passengers and cargo between the islands, Hawaii News Now reports.

The Hawaii Seaglider Initiative has the backing of the governor and the state Department of Transportation, along with major companies including Hawaiian, Alaska, Japan, United and Mokulele airlines. Mokulele hopes to be the first to fly the planes interisland.

Regent Craft, based in Rhode Island, has been doing test flights of a small scale prototype of the all-electric, zero emissions Seaglider since 2021. The vehicle sits in the water, rises on hydrofoils, and then flies just 30 to 60 feet above the water's surface at up to 180 miles per hour.

"We're moving into the full-scale prototype testing, which would then launch the commercial assembly of this vehicle," said David Uchiyama of the Hawaii Seaglider Initiative. "We're looking at mid-decade here, so, you know, 2026 is right around the corner." Read more.


Hawaiian Electric Selects Firm for Maui Renewable Energy Project

Date: February 23, 2024

With a goal to reduce Hawaii's dependence on imported oil for power generation, Hawaiian Electric selected Ameresco Inc. to develop a firm renewable energy project on Maui, Spectrum News reports. "Firm" resources differ from "variable" resources such as solar and wind in that firm resources are always available.

Ameresco's proposed 40-megawatt biofuel-powered generator is expected to move the state closer to its clean energy goals while adding a reliable source of power. The facility will be built on property owned by Hawaiian Electric at Waena across from the Central Maui Landfill – Refuse and Recycling Center on Pulehu Road, according to a news release.

This latest project is part of a recent round of clean energy procurements that includes a total of 16 firm and variable renewable energy projects on Maui, Hawaii Island and Oahu. Three solar-plus-storage projects and a wind project were also selected for Maui.

Moving forward, Hawaiian Electric stated in its news release that it will begin contract negotiations with project developers selected for these projects. And for the first time, developers will be required to conduct community outreach in the areas they plan to build. Read more.


NSPE's Job Board is your one-stop resource for professional engineering employment. Whether you are on the hunt for your next career move or looking for today's top engineering leaders and talent, you will find it here. 

Featured Job
Quality Improvement Engineer I
Honolulu, HI


NSPE to Monitor Key Hawaii Legislation

Date: January 19, 2024

NSPE has flagged proposed carry-over legislation from 2023 that could impact licensing and licensing board procedures in Hawaii. NSPE will track this legislation and collaborate with the Hawaii Society of Professional Engineers to take appropriate action as needed.

Under S.B. 212/H.B. 102, eligibility for licensure as a professional engineer would be extended to individuals with "professional-level government employment" engaged in the lawful review of engineered plans and calculations, conducted under the direct supervision of an appropriately licensed engineer.

S.B. 847 proposes eligibility for a PE license based on completion of four years of either full-time or equivalent part-time professional-level government employment (performing lawful review of engineered plans and calculations under the direct supervision of an applicably licensed engineer).

S.B. 1523 proposes amendments to Section 464-1 and Section 464-9 of the Hawaii Revised Statutes, specifically related to the State Board of Professional Engineers, Architects, Surveyors, and Landscape Architects.


State Licensing Information

Date: January 19, 2024

Licensure Renewals
All engineer, architect, surveyor, and landscape architect licensees must renew their licenses by April 30, 2024, regardless of the date that the license was issued.
Access more information here.

Upcoming Meeting
The Hawaii Board of Professional Engineers, Architects, Surveyors, and Landscape Architects will hold its next meeting on Thursday, February 8.
Access meeting information here.


Hawaii Completes Oahu Energy System, Critical Infrastructure Assessment

Date: January 19, 2024

The Hawaii State Energy Office (HSEO) recently concluded work on an initiative called the O‘ahu Energy System and Critical Infrastructure Vulnerability and Resiliency Assessment, the Daily Energy Insider reports.

The assessment involved a comprehensive hazard and risk assessment of O'ahu's critical energy infrastructure (CEI), including major supply, distribution, and demand networks. It also identified interdependencies with community lifelines, such as hospitals, first responders, water/wastewater, or shelters. The assessment was funded by the Federal Energy Management Agency's Hazard Mitigation Grant Program.

The data that was collected during the project was used to create a GIS tool to view the energy system on O'ahu. The tool enables it to visually depict community lifeline impacts of CEI node loss, develop, and prioritize mitigation actions and strategies that enhance energy resilience, and reduce the energy vulnerability of Hawaii and O'ahu residents and property.

The results from the project will be used to harmonize and update other state plans, such as the Hawaii Hazard Mitigation Plan. Read more.


Hawaii Construction Boom Will Require Mainland Workers

Date: January 19, 2024

The Hawaii construction industry is in the early stages of a boom, which economists predict will be a big boost for the state's struggling economy this year. But Hawaii doesn't have the labor force to support that surge in construction, meaning the state will need to import workers, according to a leading economist, Honolulu Civil Beat reports.

The Senate Ways and Means Committee was briefed on the state's economic outlook, which was mixed. Chief State Economist Eugene Tian warned that places that send most of the tourists here including other states will likely see slower growth in their economies this year.

That likely means fewer tourists coming to Hawaii, and the University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization predicts tourism from Japan likely won't fully recover to pre-pandemic levels for years to come. Meanwhile, the number of Hawaii home sales has plummeted as interest rates have risen. Read more.

Governor Seeks Additional Funds for Maui Recovery

Date: December 20, 2023

Hawaii Governor Josh Green is asking for $326 million for the operating budget and an additional $890 million in general obligation funds in his supplement fiscal year 2025 budget, The Center Square reports. Much of what was released includes funding to rebuild Maui, which was devastated by a wildfire in August.

The request would set aside $186.2 million for ongoing recovery costs and $200 million for the Risk Management Revolving Fund to pay for claims due to the fire. An additional $10 million would be designated for general fire and emergency response equipment.

Green asked for $35.4 million in the capital improvement budget to improve wildfire mitigation. Most of the funding is federal – $26.4 million – while $2.4 million is in general obligation bond funds and $6.6 million is in revenue bonds.

"In addition to disaster preparation and mitigation, many of the proposed funds will advance key priority initiatives across the state, such as increasing access to quality healthcare, fully resourcing our public education systems, and accelerating the development of affordable housing and essential infrastructure," Green said.

The governor asks lawmakers to convert some capital improvement funds to general obligation bond funds. The projects include:

  • $25 million for capital renewal and deferred maintenance for the University of Hawaii and the state's community college.
  • $30 million for system modernization at the University of Hawaii.
  • The Hawaii Housing Finance and Development Corporation's Dwelling Unit Revolving Fund would have $50 million and another $180 million for the agency's Rental Housing Revolving Fund. Read more.

Cyber Army is Invading Critical US Services, Including in Hawaii

Date: December 20, 2023

China's cyber army is invading critical US services, including Hawaii's infrastructure. The Washington Post reported that according to US officials and industry security officials, the Chinese military is ramping up its ability to disrupt key American infrastructure.

They're specifically targeting power and water utilities as well as communications and transportation systems. Hackers affiliated with China's People's Liberation Army have hacked into the computer systems of about two dozen critical entities over the past year.

The intrusions are part of a broader effort to develop ways to sow panic and chaos or snarl logistics in the event of a US-China conflict in the Pacific, experts said.

The Post also mentioned one of the targets was "a water utility in Hawaii." Though it's not yet clear exactly which water utility was impacted. Also among the victims is a major West Coast port and at least one oil and gas pipeline. Read more on hawaiinewsnow.com.


Honolulu DOT Services Wants Higher Skyline Metro Rail Ridership

Date: December 20, 2023

The Skyline metro rail system started running its first segment from East Kapolei to Aloha Stadium six months ago and officials say they would like the ridership numbers to be higher, Spectrum News reports.

Honolulu Department of Transportation Services Deputy Director Jon Nouchi recently discussed Skyline's ridership numbers during a Stadium Authority meeting. "Although we'd like it to be higher, it has stabilized," said Nouchi.

On weekdays, an average of about 3,200-3,300 people ride the Skyline. Nouchi said there is a bump on Wednesdays when the Aloha Stadium hosts the swap meet with about 3,500-3,700 riders. About 2,300 people ride the Skyline on Saturdays and a little over 2,000 people ride on Sundays. On major holidays, about 1,200 people use the Skyline.

Skyline opened with much fanfare on June 30, when the Honolulu Department of Services offered five fare-free days to riders. During the free days, between 8,942 riders and 18,108 riders got on the Skyline. But in the first five days of regular fare operations, the numbers dropped significantly to between 3,203 to 4,312 riders. Read more.


NSPE-HI Seeks College Alma Mater Volunteers

Date: December 20, 2023

We are asking for volunteers to be potential resources for your college/university alma mater. Please fill out this form with your college information. If your school or a potential student applicant is looking for help, we will connect them with you so you can share your experience and insight.

Hawaii Lawmakers Recommend Disaster Response Changes

Date: November 16, 2023

A working group of Hawaii lawmakers examining the state's food and supply response to the Lahaina wildfires recommends upgrades to the state's distribution management plan, The Center Square reports.

The Food, Water and Other Supplies working group meets Wednesday to discuss a draft report based on surveys of residents and government officials and research. The group is one of six studying the state's response to the fires in West Maui that devastated Lahaina.

One of the top obstacles to the Lahaina fire response was the lack of a comprehensive distribution plan for supplies. "This absence can lead to inefficiencies in disaster response, potential misallocation of resources, and a lack of transparency in decision-making processes," they said.

Lawmakers said a state law creating a plan overseen by the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency would eliminate the need for board meetings, but an advisory board would allow for more feedback.

The working group said more funding for food bank reserves that includes food for pets. The state's food bank, which usually has about three weeks of food on hand, was already low when the fire broke out in August, the draft report said. Storage and funding are the current challenges, the group said. Read more.


Utility Regulators Are Still Waiting to Take a Hard Look at Hawaiian Electric

Date: November 16, 2023

The Hawaii Public Utilities Commission (PUC) generally hasn't backed away from investigating Hawaiian Electric Industries' power subsidiaries, Honolulu Civil Beat reports.

When an earthquake on the Big Island caused much of Oahu and Maui to lose power in 2006, the PUC opened an investigation looking at causes beyond the earthquake, whether the outages could have been avoided and what penalties to impose on Hawaiian Electric. The PUC launched a similar investigation in 2008 after a thunderstorm caused an island-wide blackout on Oahu.

But the Maui wildfires are a different story. The PUC has been conspicuously passive since the August fires that killed at least 99 people, destroyed much of Lahaina, including its power distribution system, and spawned dozens of lawsuits blaming Hawaiian Electric for starting the fires.

Other government agencies have not hesitated. The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is investigating the cause of the fire. Hawaii Attorney General Anne Lopez has brought in the nonprofit Fire Safety Research Institute to assess how state and county agencies prepared for and responded to the Maui wildfires. Even Congress has gotten involved, with several committees calling on Hawaiian Electric, the PUC, and the state to explain their actions in regard to the fires and their aftermath.

But Hawaii regulators have shown no sign they will take a hard look at the utility they're supposed to regulate. Read more.


State Licensing Board Meeting

Date: November 16, 2023

The Hawaii Engineers, Architects, Surveyors and Landscape Architects Board will hold its next meeting on Thursday, December 14. Access meeting information and a zoom link here.


Maui Chapter Supports Kāpili Maui Scholarship Fund

Date: November 16, 2023

HSPE's Maui Chapter has partnered with the state chapters of ACEC, ASCE, the American Water Works Association, Engineers and Architects Hawaii, IEEE, and SEA to form the Kāpili Maui scholarship endowment fund for students whose lives have been impacted by the fires. Kāpili translates to build, put together, mend, fix, repair or unite. Information on how to donate is posted on the chapter website - hspemaui.org.


NSPE-HI Seeks College Alma Mater Volunteers

Date: November 16, 2023

We are asking for volunteers to be potential resources for your college/university alma mater. Please fill out this form with your college information. If your school or a potential student applicant is looking for help, we will connect them with you so you can share your experience and insight.

Maui Chapter Supports Kāpili Maui Scholarship Fund

Date: October 19, 2023

HSPE's Maui Chapter has partnered with the state chapters of ACEC, ASCE, the American Water Works Association, Engineers and Architects Hawaii, IEEE, and SEA to form the Kāpili Maui scholarship endowment fund for students whose lives have been impacted by the fires. Kāpili translates to build, put together, mend, fix, repair or unite. Information on how to donate is posted on the chapter website - hspemaui.org.


Red Hill Defueling Underway

Date: October 19, 2023

The US Department of Defense recently began defueling Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility, nearly two years after a spill into the area's water forced thousands from their residences, The Center Square reports.

The DOD is draining 20 tanks located 100 feet underground through a series of pipelines that run through three miles of tunnels, the DOD said in a news release. About 104 million gallons will be removed from the tanks built in the 1940s to hold up to 250 million gallons of fuel. The process is starting months earlier than expected.

"The Department of Defense has worked closely with the Hawaii Department of Health and the US Environmental Protection Agency to ensure we are good stewards of the environment as we work toward the timely and safe closure of Red Hill," said Kathleen Hicks, deputy secretary of defense. "Beginning the defueling process earlier than initially planned is a testament to the Department's commitment to safeguarding the aquifer and protecting the health of the people in Hawaii."

The Hawaii Department of Health ordered the DOD to close the fuel storage facility in March 2022 after giving the DOD conditional approval for the defueling last week. As part of the agreement, health officials will monitor the defueling. The DOD must also provide daily updates to the health department. The defueling process will take until mid-January, the DOD said. After that, closure begins, which the department said could take several years. Read more.


Hawaii Start-Up Presents Wave Energy Tech

Date: October 19, 2023

Wavr, a Hawaii-based start-up company, has presented a prototype of its floating hinged-raft wave energy device, which can be combined and integrated with other renewable energy technologies, Offshore Energy reports.

Wavr's wave energy device prototype has a consumer-sized design that makes it easy to scale up and integrate with other renewable energy technologies, according to the company.

As peak solar power generation averages less than seven hours per day, wave power generation is nearly constant. Therefore, Wavr's devices do not suffer from the intermittency issues of other renewable energy technologies and therefore can be used in combination with them, the wave energy start-up claims. Aside from solar, wave energy is suitable for use together with wind technologies and water turbines, which can be integrated into Wavr design to achieve a hybrid system.

Clyde Igarashi, founder of Wavr, said: "We believe the technology to generate reliable power is there. We are pleased with the first prototype and look forward to seeing what the future holds."

The current prototype is suitable for use in low-power marine applications for data buoys and IoT devices. According to the company, the modular design allows the power output to be scaled up by increasing the number of modules to accommodate applications with high energy requirements. Read more.


NSPE-HI Seeks College Alma Mater Volunteers

Date: October 19, 2023

We are asking for volunteers to be potential resources for your college/university alma mater. Please fill out this form with your college information. If your school or a potential student applicant is looking for help, we will connect them with you so you can share your experience and insight.


HAPI Scholarship Program Accepting Applications

Date: October 19, 2023

The Hawaii Asphalt Paving Industry (HAPI) is offering two $1,000 scholarships to students attending a four-year college/university and one $500 scholarship to a student attending a community college, and a $250 scholarship for a student attending a trade school. For additional information and to apply, please visit the HAPI Scholarship Program webpage. Applications are due by October 31.

NSPE-HI Seeks College Alma Mater Volunteers

Date: September 22, 2023

We are asking for volunteers to be potential resources for your college/university alma mater. If your school or a potential student applicant is looking for help, we will connect them with you so you can share your experience and insight. Please fill out this form with your college information.


HAPI Scholarship Program Accepting Applications

Date: September 22, 2023

The Hawaii Asphalt Paving Industry (HAPI) is offering two $1,000 scholarships to students attending a four-year college/university and one $500 scholarship to a student attending a community college, and a $250 scholarship for a student attending a trade school. For additional information and to apply, please visit the HAPI Scholarship Program webpage. Applications are due by October 31.


State Licensing Board Meeting

Date: September 22, 2023

The Hawaii Engineers, Architects, Surveyors & Landscape Architects Board will hold its next meeting on Thursday, October 12. Access meeting information here.


$95 Million Approved for Hawaii's Electric Grid

Date: September 22, 2023

The US Department of Energy will provide $95 million to Hawaiian Electric through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to strengthen the power grids on Hawaii's wildfire-ravaged islands, Reuters reports.

The island of Maui was devastated earlier this month after the deadliest US wildfire in more than a century swept through the resort town of Lahaina, leaving 115 people dead and 338 missing.

"This investment will help reduce the likelihood of outages, reduce restoration times following outages, reduce risk of wildfire events, and increase grid operational resilience," the White House said in a statement.

The federal funding would pay for half of the Hawaiian Electric's proposed $190 million climate adaptation plan and would help cut its cost to customers in half, the company in a press release. Read more.


US House to Hold Hearing on Maui Fires

Date: September 22, 2023

A US House committee will hold a hearing on Hawaiian Electric's reaction to the Maui fires later this month, The Center Square reports. House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), and Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations Chair Morgan Griffith, (R-VA) said there were questions about a downed power line sparking dry grass and contributing to the fires. The committee also wants more information on the utility company's work on its power grid in recent years.

"We must come to a complete understanding of how this disaster started to ensure Hawaii and other states are prepared to prevent and stop other deadly wildfires," Rodgers and Griffith said in a joint statement. "In our capacity as chairs of the Committee on Energy and Commerce of the US House of Representatives and its respective energy policy and oversight subcommittees, we are empowered to oversee energy supply, reliability of all power, and regulation of energy resources throughout the country. To that end, we seek a fuller understanding of the role, if any, of the electric infrastructure in this tragic event."

Shelee Kimura, president and CEO of Hawaiian Electric, will testify at the September 28 hearing. The utility's chairman, Leodoloff Asuncion Jr., and Mark Glick, the chief energy officer for the state, will also appear, according to the committee.

Maui County sued Hawaiian Electric last month. The suit alleged the utility company's failure to shut off the power lines during a red flag warning on August 7 led to downed power lines sparking the dry grass. The official cause of the fire is under investigation by the state attorney general's office. Read more.

Supporting Maui's Recovery and Building Resilience

Date: August 18, 2023

Greetings NSPE Members in Hawaii,

In the wake of the recent devastating wildfire on Maui, we extend our heartfelt support to our members and the entire Maui community. Together, we stand resilient, determined to rebuild, and overcome these challenges.

A Surprising Devastation
The wildfire, fueled by dry conditions and strong winds, has left destruction in its wake. Homes and communities have been impacted, and the historic town of Lahaina has faced significant losses.

United for Recovery
NSPE stands by you as you navigate the journey towards recovery. We're here to provide resources and support:

  • Shared Insights: Share your experiences and perspectives, shaping strategies for disaster preparedness and resilience.
  • Resource Hub: Find articles and best practices on disaster recovery, sustainable engineering, and rebuilding efforts.
  • Learning: Participate in webinars on disaster response, assessments, and resilient community building. Let us know what you need at memserv@nspe.org.

A Brighter Tomorrow
Drawing inspiration from the spirit of "aloha," let's work together to rebuild, supporting each other along the way. As engineers and a community, we can contribute to Maui's recovery. NSPE remains committed to standing beside you.

Wishing you strength and courage,

Rodneikka N. Scott, MSc, CAE
NSPE's Vice President of Member and State Engagement


Emergency Management Agency – Wildfire Response and Resources

Date: August 18, 2023

The Hawaii Emergency Management Agency is supporting wildfire response and recovery efforts in Hawaii and Maui counties, including the extensive damage in Lāhainā. The agency will regularly update its website to reflect new information.

  • Visit Maui County's comprehensive website with information on how to get relief, volunteer, and make donations. 
  • For updates on Maui, visit the County of Maui website.
  • Civic alerts (most updated information)
  • For updates on Hawaii Island, visit the Hawaii County website
  • Disaster-related Emergency Proclamations are viewable here.
  • View news releases from the Office of the Governor here.
  • View general State of Hawaii news releases here.
  • View updates from the Governor here.

Access the full response and resources page.


Honolulu City Council OKs Building Code Changes

Date: August 18, 2023

The Honolulu City Council has adopted two separate but related pieces of legislation focused on boosting energy efficiency in new construction dwellings and reusing old construction materials to reduce the stream of solid waste on Oahu, the Honolulu Star Advertiser reports.

To promote green building practices, the Council voted unanimously to pass Bill 4 — co-introduced by Chair Tommy Waters and Council member Matt Weyer earlier this year — which amends the city's Building Energy Conservation Code to match 2020 updates in the adopted Hawaii State Energy Code.

Bill 4, as approved Wednesday, is intended to lower energy costs, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase the energy resilience of new construction as a result of climate change. In addition, the bill lays the groundwork for solar and electric vehicle readiness in new construction.

But there are exceptions. Among them, affordable housing units offered for sale need only provide 20% of electric vehicle chargers to the total number of stalls. Conversely, affordable housing units offered for rent do not need to provide any electric vehicle chargers.

Meanwhile, other building code updates will require new homes to include plans for solar photovoltaic equipment, including installation of conduit and reserve panel capacity for future PV installation. Read more.


Hawaii Lawmakers Ask for $4 Million Bill to Study Red Hill Effects

Date: August 18, 2023

Hawaii's legislative delegation is asking for $4 million to study the effects of the fuel leakage at the Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility, The Center Square reports.

Thousands were sickened, and some were forced from their homes in November 2021 when fuel leaked from the facility into the water system. A separate incident happened a year later when more than 1,100 gallons of aqueous film-forming foam were released in a separate incident a year later.

US Senators Brian Schatz and Mazie K. Hirono, and Hawaiian US Representatives Ed Case and Jill Tokuda filed a bill creating the 20-year Red Hill Epidemiological Health Outcomes Study overseen by the US Department of Health of Human Services. Congress would allocate no less than $4 million for the study, according to the bill. Rep. Jerry Moran, R-Kansas, is co-sponsoring the bill. The legislation also creates a registry of impacted individuals. Read more.

Upcoming Workshop: Honolulu PFAS & VOCs Remediation EnviroWorkshop

Date: July 19, 2023

The Hawaii Society of Professional Engineers would like to invite you to attend in-person training at the Honolulu PFAS & VOCs Remediation EnviroWorkshop on Wednesday, July 26 (Hilton Waikiki Beach – 2500 Kūhiō Ave., Honolulu, HI 96815).

Roger Brewer, senior scientist with the Hawaii Department of Health, will be the opening speaker and present an update on PFAS research in the state.

Thanks to the workshop sponsors this half-day training is free for you to attend (registration is required to reserve your seat)! Lunch is provided & you will receive a certificate for 4 PDHs. Access the registration link here. Daytime valet parking is available for $15.

HONOLULU REMEDIATION WORKSHOP
11:15 - Registration, buffet-style lunch served, and networking with exhibitors.
11:45 - Welcome from a workshop representative
12:00 – Updates on HDOH PFAS Guidance and Research – Roger Brewer, senior scientist &
environmental hazard assessment specialist, Hawaii DOH
12:15 – Charting the Course to Site Characterization – Dora Taggart, Microbial Insights
12:55 – Strategic Utilization of HRSC Subsurface Imaging Technologies and 3D Modeling –Janet Castle, Eagle Synergistic Optimizing Technologies
1:35 – BREAK
2:00 – Successful Remedial Design Characterization Using Electrical Hydrogeology
Samantha Frandsen, AESTUS
2:40 – PFAS: What to Do Before You Do It – Phil Farina, Clear Creek Systems
3:20 – BREAK
3:35 – Thermal Remediation of PFAS & VOCs on the Islands – John Sankey, speaking on
behalf of Haemers Technologies, Inc.
4:15 – Emerging Contaminants – Monitoring and Sampling for PFAS – Ted Wittemann, Pine Environmental
5:00 – After-hours networking


New Council Will Evaluate Effectiveness of Hawaii DOT

Date: July 19, 2023

A newly created council will delve into the effectiveness of Hawaii's Department of Transportation, The Center Square reports.

Act 242, recently signed by Governor Josh Green, established the council, which renamed the Highway Safety Council to the Hawaii Highway Safety and Modernization Council. The new council will be comprised of 12 citizen members appointed by the governor from various sectors, including senior citizens, and the trucking, labor, and construction industries, along with state officials.

"The legislature finds that the department of transportation manages and spends more taxpayer dollars than nearly any other state agency," the act reads.  "...{T}he purpose of this Act is to amend the name, composition and duties of the state highway safety council to make the council an independently led group of expert stakeholders that may review the department of transportation's efforts to ensure transparency and provide guidance to the department and legislature to help achieve state transportation goals and outcomes."

The House speaker and Senate president will appoint the council's president on a rotating basis. The bill is one of seven signed by Green that lawmakers hope will make roadways safer. The state documented 117 fatalities and 600 serious injuries in roadway accidents last year, according to Senator Chris Lee, chair of the Senate Committee on Transportation and Culture and the Arts. Forty-three people have died in accidents in 2023. Read more.


Hawaii DOT Lands Huge Federal Grant for Kahului Airport Upgrade

Date: July 19, 2023

The Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT) will receive a $22 million grant from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to construct a new Transportation Security Administration (TSA) checkpoint at Kahului Airport.

The construction of a new two-story security screening checkpoint at the south end of the ticket lobby will house multiple TSA screening lanes. "Kahului Airport is an important resource for our residents and visitors, and the vibrant Hawaii economy. This project highlights our continued efforts to bring in more federal dollars to upgrade our airports across the state to address our needs for the future now," said Hawaii Department of Transportation Director Ed Sniffen in a news release. "We are committed to an airport system that prioritizes a safe and enjoyable curb-to-plane experience and will continue to work with our partners to deliver efficiently while minimizing costs to the public."

The project at OGG, the second busiest airport in the state, will increase the TSA screening capacity to as many as six additional lanes. The north checkpoint and all its lanes will remain operational, and as part of the multimillion-dollar project, that checkpoint will be upgraded by enclosing it and adding air conditioning. Read more.


Hawaii Ahead of the Pack in Contracting for EV Fast Chargers

Date: July 19, 2023

Hawaii says it is the first out of the gate to award a contract for federally funded fast chargers to be deployed across the state, Transportation Today reports (via the Honolulu Star Advertiser).

The National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Formula Program, or NEVI, offers $5 billion over five years to states to deploy a network of charging stations across the US authorized by President Biden’s bipartisan infrastructure law.

On July 11, in a joint announcement with White House officials, the state announced that Tritium DCFC Ltd. would provide all fast chargers for Hawaii's first round of NEVI funding.

"The first set of EV chargers funded by this work is basically going to hit the ground in Hawaii," said Mitch Landrieu, White House infrastructure implementation coordinator, noting the initiative has driven massive private sector investment. "So Hawaii, congratulations for doing that — you’re doing that with one of our great partners, Tritium."

Ed Sniffen, DOT director, said two NEVI stations — one on Oahu and one on Maui — are slated to be installed and available to the public by the end of the year.

Pending environmental clearances, one is expected near Aloha Tower in Honolulu, while the other is slated for a park-and-ride in Kahului. Additional stations are planned next on Hawaii island and Kauai sites.

By the end of 2024, Sniffen said, the state expects to complete all of its NEVI requirements, which includes the deployment of 32 chargers statewide. Read more.

NSPE-HI Volunteer Call to Action

Date: June 22, 2023

Do you want to help the next generation of engineers? Here is a simple way to get involved.
NSPE-HI is looking for members and other professional engineers to reach out to a high school counseling department and offer to be a resource. You may be able to answer questions for an aspiring student and steer them into a rewarding professional engineering career! Email us at hawaiispe@gmail.com to get involved.

New STEM Outreach Resource
A new DiscoverE report delves into what teens and their parents think about engineering and a potential STEM career and what motivates them to consider engineering. The report research reveals that targeted messages and profiles of engineers can and do spur interest in engineering among the very groups that will ensure a more diverse future for the field. Access the research here.


Hawaiian Telcom Launches $87M Fiber Broadband Project

Date: June 22, 2023

Hawaiian Telcom announced an $87 million fiber broadband project to expand middle mile infrastructure throughout the state, Maui Now reports. Middle mile infrastructure carries large amounts of data over long distances, increases capacity to local networks, boosts network resiliency, and helps connect unserved regions to the Internet backbone.

The project will build 15 new middle mile fiber routes, over land and undersea to better connect the islands.

The federal funding for the project is part of the Biden-Harris Administration's Investing in America program and the Internet for All Initiative. A total of $37 million was issued to Hawaiian Telcom via a US Department of Commerce National Telecommunications and Information Administration award. The company will be providing $50 million in matching funds and in-kind contributions toward the project. Read more.


Hawaii DOT Launches Autonomous Electric Passenger Shuttle

Date: June 22, 2023

The Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT), in collaboration with the University of Hawaii at Mānoa, showcased its first autonomous electric passenger shuttle in early June at the Western Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials 2023 annual meeting.

The AV Star All-Electric Autonomous Min-E Bus holds 14 passengers, is Americans with Disabilities Act compliant, and is equipped with the Perrone Robotics To Navigate to You autonomous system. It also meets all federal motor vehicle safety standards, Transportation Today reports.

It will serve in the Rainbow Shuttle service to transport students and staff around the Mānoa campus. In phase two, it will provide customized mobility-on-demand services in East Kapolei communities.

The College of Engineering is collecting data for HDOT to analyze the vehicles. The pilot program provides first-hand experience and understanding of future transportation system operations and will help the state prepare for vehicle-infrastructure-autonomy integrations and large-scale autonomous vehicle deployments. It is the first program to take advantage of the state's Autonomous Vehicle Testing law. Read more.

Waikoloa Solar Project is Producing Energy on Hawaii Island

Date: May 19, 2023

The AES Corporation's Waikoloa Solar + Storage project is now online, according to Hawaiian Electric, feeding lower-cost, renewable energy to its grid, the Honolulu Star Advertiser reports.

The addition of Hawaii's first and largest solar-plus-storage project is expected to save Hawaii island customers about $5 per month starting in June, Hawaiian Electric said.

The 30-megawatt project, supported by a 120-megawatt-hour, lithium-ion battery storage system, can deliver enough energy to power nearly 14,000 homes.

"This project has multiple benefits for Hawaii Island," said Shelee Kimura, president and CEO of Hawaiian Electric. "Adding more renewable resources helps make the island communities more self-sustainable by reducing their reliance on imported fossil fuels and helping to stabilize electricity costs. With battery storage and advanced controls, the project will improve the reliability of the system by providing energy when customers need it." Read more.


Hawaii Gets $115 Million for Broadband Expansion

Date: May 19, 2023

Hawaii will receive $115.5 million in grant money from the American Rescue Plan to improve broadband, The Center Square reports. The money is part of the federal government's $1.9 trillion COVID-19 stimulus package passed by Congress in 2021.

"The pandemic showed that there are access disparities in Hawaii, to affordable and reliable internet service," said Governor Josh Green. "High-speed internet is critical for education, telehealth services, job opportunities, and information."

The University of Hawaii and the Department of Budget and Finance submitted a Capital Project Funds grant to the US Department of Treasury during the fall, which included a plan for two programs to develop broadband infrastructure and provide broadband connectivity in state public housing facilities. Read more.


State Acquires $26 Million to Fund Coastal Climate Change Initiatives

Date: May 19, 2023

The US Department of Commerce will provide $26 million for eight climate change resiliency projects in Hawaii. It's part of the Biden Administration's Climate-Ready Coasts initiative, funded through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, Hawaii Public Radio reports.

Three projects under The University of Hawaii Sea Grant College Program will use the funding to tackle marine debris. One program will study the use of aerial drones to detect trash. This project will receive $1.8 million to research the most effective method to find garbage in Hawaii's shallow waters.

"We have to be careful when we do use drones because they can disturb marine mammals," said Mary Donohue, the program development and national partnership specialist with Hawaii Sea Grant.

Another Hawaii Sea Grant project will receive $2.9 million to repurpose plastic waste into asphalt roads. This project is in partnership with Hawaii Pacific University. There will be a centralized storage unit for beach and ocean clean-up nonprofits to collect plastic waste such as fishing nets. Read more.


State Licensing Board Meeting

Date: May 19, 2023

The Hawaii Board of Professional Engineers, Architects, Surveyors & Landscape Architects will hold its next meeting on Thursday, June 22. Access meeting information here.


NSPE Career Center

NSPE's Job Board is your one-stop resource for professional engineering employment. Whether you are on the hunt for your next career move or looking for today's top engineering leaders and talent, you will find it here.

NSPE provides the tools PEs need to keep current in the profession and advance their careers.

Featured Job
Structural Engineer III
Honolulu, HI


Hawaii MATHCOUNTS Team Gets Ready for National Competition

Date: April 20, 2023

Congratulations to the Hawaii mathletes who will represent the state during the upcoming 2023 Raytheon Technologies MATHCOUNTS Competition finals that will take place May 14–15 in Orlando, Florida. Access more national competition information here.

The Hawaii team includes the following student members and coach:

  • Evan Ho (7th grade) Washington Middle School-Honolulu, HI
  • Keene Koide (8th grade) Washington Middle School-Honolulu, HI
  • Sola Murakami (8th grade) Iolani School-Honolulu, HI
  • Ethan Zee (8th grade) Iolani School-Honolulu, HI
  • Joe Guillou (Coach) Iolani School

NSPE-HI supports the next generation of PEs through engagement in the MATHCOUNTS program. These students are some of the most capable and hardworking young mathematicians in our state, and the top scoring students earn the prestigious honor of representing Hawaii at the national level.


State Licensing Board Meeting

Date: April 20, 2023

The Hawaii Board of Professional Engineers, Architects, Surveyors & Landscape Architects will hold its next meeting on Monday, April 24. Access meeting information here.


Hawaii DOT Must Face Climate Lawsuit, Judge Rules

Date: April 20, 2023

A judge in Hawaii has rejected a bid by the state's transportation department to dismiss a lawsuit filed on behalf of 14 young people who claim it is violating the state constitution by failing to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, Reuters reports.

Judge Jeffrey Crabtree in Honolulu ruled that the youth plaintiffs could pursue their claims that the Hawaii Department of Transportation is shirking its duty to protect the environment by promoting and funding highway projects that lead to more fuel consumption and greenhouse-gas emissions.

Crabtree rejected the state's argument the plaintiffs had no tangible injuries on which to base their case since they claimed climate change effects are "already baked in."

"Transportation emissions are increasing and will increase at the rate we are going," Crabtree said. "In other words, the alleged harms are not hypothetical or only in the future."

Hawaii Deputy Attorney General Lauren Chun said Thursday the state "stands behind its record as a national leader in addressing climate change" and will continue to work towards meeting its climate goals. Read more.


Public Utilities Commission Launches New Integrated Grid Planning Webpage

Date: April 20, 2023

The Public Utilities Commission added a new webpage with key information describing Hawaiian Electric's Integrated Grid Planning (IGP) process, which is a collaborative planning effort led by Hawaiian Electric to determine the grid's needs and how to meet them as the State transitions to 100% renewable energy.

Hawaiian Electric filed a Draft IGP Report on March 31, 2023, documenting the results of the five-year planning process and soliciting input from the community. Hawaiian Electric plans to incorporate responses to community input into its Final IGP Report.

HI Supreme Court Unanimously Rejects Big Island's Hu Honua Power Project

Date: March 17, 2023

In a searing rebuke to Hu Honua, the Hawaii Supreme Court has denied the company's appeal of a Public Utilities Commission decision, saying the state was correct to reject the biomass project's bid to operate on the Big Island, Honolulu Civil Beat reports.

The court handed down a unanimous 5-0 ruling on Monday saying it found no error in the commission's conclusion that allowing Hu Honua to fire up would not be in the public's best interest.

Hu Honua's major shortcomings are the 8 million metric tons of air pollution it would emit over 30 years by burning eucalyptus and other trees, as well as the higher cost of energy consumers would be forced to pay, adding some $10.97 to their monthly bills.

The commission "has a duty to act in the public interest," and that's what it did last May by voting 2-1 to reject Hu Honua's long sought-after quest for a power purchase agreement to sell energy to Hawaiian Electric, the court found. Read more.


Amid Green Energy Boom, HECO Seeking More 'Firm' Renewable Sources

Date: March 17, 2023

Hawaii's green energy boom has largely been fueled by the solar power and wind farms. But Hawaiian Electric Company is now seeking more "firm" renewable sources such as biofuels, geothermal, and trash-to-energy, Hawaii News Now reports.

Hawaiian Electric Vice President Jim Kelly said firm sources are less variable. "(If) you end up with 40 days of rain like we had in 2006, you're going to need that firm generation on the system to make sure that the lights stay on," Kelly said.

Unlike wind and solar, firm renewable sources can produce power around the clock. In a new request for proposals, Hawaiian Electric is calling for the construction of power plants that produce 500-to-700 megawatts of firm renewable energy by the year 2033. That's roughly the size of the company's largest power plants.

Currently, HECO's firm renewable energy sources on Oahu include the city's HPower Plant at Campbell Industrial Park — which burns trash to generate electricity — and its power plants at the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport and Schofield Barracks, which use biodiesel. Read more.


With 19K EVs, Hawaii Pushes to Make Charging Up Easier

Date: March 17, 2023

It's no secret electric vehicles are gaining popularity. You see them everywhere driving on the road, today. But, EV owners said finding a place to charge their car isn't easy.

The Department of Transportation (DOT) and Hawaiian Electric Company (HECO) are working to change that, according to a khon2.com report. There are about 19,000 registered electric vehicles in Hawaii and 5,200 plug in hybrids according to the state's energy department.

But, electric vehicle owner, Christiana Ponzani, said there are not enough places to charge them. "It's a rat race," Ponzani said. "One person pulls out; immediately, another person pulls back in. So, you're really lucky if you find one."

HECO currently has 32 charging stations in the state, with another 300 in the works. Ed Sniffen, HDOT's Deputy Director for Highways, said they're also pushing for more charging ports. "Our plan shows 12 locations throughout the state that we'd be putting these in," Sniffen said. "And, we're starting with eight starting in the summer." Read more.


State Licensing Board Meeting

Date: March 17, 2023

The Hawaii Board of Professional Engineers, Architects, Surveyors & Landscape Architects will hold its next meeting on Thursday, April 13. Access meeting information here.

Don't Miss Out: 2023 Engineers Week Banquets

Date: February 15, 2023

Oahu: The Hawaii Council of Engineering Societies will hold a 2023 Engineers Week Awards Banquet on Saturday, February 25, at the Koolau Ballrooms & Conference Center (Grand Ballroom). The Hawaii Society of Professional Engineers is a member of the HCES. Access registration here.

Maui: The HSPE Maui Chapter will hold a 2023 Engineers Week Banquet on Saturday, February 25, at Leis Family Class Act at University of Hawaii Maui College. Scholarship awardees, the project of the year winner, and Maui County’s MATHCOUNTS winners will be honored during the banquet. Please email hspemaui@gmail.com to request more information.


Call to Action During Engineers Week

Date: February 15, 2023

Are you still looking for a way to participate in Engineers Week? Here is a simple way to get involved. Reach out to a high school counseling department and offer to be a resource. You may be able to answer questions for an aspiring student and steer them into a rewarding professional engineering career! Access information and resources here.


Spring 2023 Career Expo

Date: February 15, 2023

The University of Hawaii at Mānoa's College of Engineering Spring 2023 Career Expo is quickly approaching! For the first time, the signature recruiting event will be stretched over four days during Engineers Week, offering a mix of virtual engagement complemented with in-person mini-expos at Holmes Hall, the engineering home base. Students are encouraged to attend all days for maximum engagement.

Main Expo- Virtual - Tuesday, February 21 (9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. HST)
The virtual expo will be hosted on the Brazen platform. Over 90 sponsoring employers will be ready to chat with you live about career opportunities, including immediate openings for engineering jobs and internships. Access registration here.

Mini Expos – In Person: Wednesday, February 22 – Friday, February 24 (10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. HST each day) at Holmes Hall
Each day will feature a different mix of 20- 35 employers that attended the virtual session, eager to connect with you again in person. Free refreshments will be served! Access registration here.


State Licensing Board Meeting

Date: February 15, 2023

The Hawaii Board of Professional Engineers, Architects, Surveyors & Landscape Architects will hold its next meeting on Tuesday, February 28. Access meeting information here.


Hawaii Moves to Expand the Ban on Contractor Campaign Donations

Date: February 15, 2023

The Hawaii Legislature is setting its sights on campaign donations from state and county contractors that have been the subject of public corruption cases in recent decades, Honolulu Civil Beat reports.

Right now, a law banning donations from government contractors only applies to the contracted business, not the owners, officers, or employees of those companies as the result of a loophole written more than a decade ago.

"That's the biggest loophole in any pay-to-play law around the country," said Craig Holman, a Washington, DC, lobbyist for the advocacy group Public Citizen.

Senate Bill 201 would close the loophole and ban owners, officers, employees, and immediate family from donating to campaigns for the duration of a state or county contract. The bill, which is similar to a measure proposed by the House Commission to Improve Standards of Conduct, also would extend that ban to recipients of government grants. Read more.


Filtration Infrastructure at Koa Ridge Development is a First for Hawaii

Date: February 15, 2023

Future residents of Koa Ridge will never see the major construction projects underway right now by Castle & Cooke Homes Hawaii. That's because much of this work will be buried beneath the streets and homes, Hawaii Public Radio reports.

Deep trenches line parts of the 576-acre site, in which construction teams are hand-shaping the rebar framework of a concrete box culvert. This culvert will divert stormwater from the upper portion of the property to the nearby Kipapa Stream. The culvert will feature storm water quality filtration units, a first for a Hawaii suburban development.

Other work underway is geared around bringing water into Koa Ridge, including a new 24-inch water transmission line to replace an older 20-inch line. Sewer and electrical projects are also underway. Such work will last until the summer of 2024. Read more.


NSPE's Job Board is your one-stop resource for professional engineering employment. Whether you are on the hunt for your next career move or looking for today's top engineering leaders and talent, you will find it here.

NSPE provides the tools PEs need to keep current in the profession and advance their careers.

Featured Jobs
Senior Mechanical Engineer
Pearl Harbor, HI

Civil Engineer
Pearl Harbor, HI


Save the Dates: 2023 Engineers Week Banquets

Date: January 20, 2023

Oahu: The Hawaii Council of Engineering Societies will hold a 2023 Engineers Week Awards Banquet on Saturday, February 25, at the Koolau Ballrooms (Grand Ballroom). The Hawaii Society of Professional Engineers is a member of the HCES. Access registration information here.

Maui: The HSPE Maui Chapter will hold a 2023 Engineers Week Banquet on Saturday, February 25, at Leis Family Class Act at University of Hawaii Maui College. Scholarship awardees, the project of the year winner, and Maui County’s MATHCOUNTS winners will be honored during the banquet. Please email hspemaui@gmail.com to request more information.


Community-Owned/Designed Solar Projects Coming to Molokai

Date: January 20, 2023

Hawaiian Electric and Hoahu Energy Cooperative Molokai are moving ahead with the state's first two community-owned and -designed solar plus battery projects. These projects could meet over 20% of Molokai’s energy needs and serve an estimated 1,500 households on the island, according to a news release.

Palaau Solar and Kualapuu Solar will be the first on the island to offer the shared solar program (also known as community-based renewable energy or CBRE) to help lower the electric bills of customers on Molokai who are unable to install privately-owned rooftop solar.

Palaau Solar could provide up to 2.2 megawatts of solar energy paired with a 10.1 megawatt-hour battery energy storage system. The project will be sited on property owned by Hawaiian Electric, adjacent to the company's Palaau Baseyard. Kualapuu Solar could provide up to 0.250 MW paired with a 1 MWh battery. The project will be located at the Kualapuu Park and Community Center with the project's solar array mounted on carport structures over the existing parking lot. Read more.


How the Construction Industry Aims to Tackle Hawaii's Biggest Problems

Date: January 20, 2023

Industry leaders discuss affordable housing, climate change, adaptive reuse, and a multibillion project coming to Oahu in a new Hawaii Business magazine report. Read the full discussion.


Akamai Internship Program Seeks STEM Majors

Date: January 20, 2023

The Akamai Internship Program offers college students from Hawaii an opportunity to gain a summer work experience at an observatory, company, or scientific/technical facility in Hawaii in an 8-week program. Akamai is led by the Institute for Scientist & Engineer Educators at University of California Observatories, in partnership with the University of Hawaii.

The program has placements for students from community colleges and four-year universities from a wide range of STEM majors and provides a stipend of $4,000 (travel from home island to internship site is paid by the program). The application deadline is Tuesday, February 14. Access more information and the application form here.


Careers

NSPE's Job Board is your one-stop resource for professional engineering employment. Whether you are on the hunt for your next career move or looking for today's top engineering leaders and talent, you will find it here.

NSPE provides the tools PEs need to keep current in the profession and advance their careers.

Featured Job
Assistant Professor (Bioprocess Engineering)
Honolulu, HI


Last Call for Nominations: HI Engineer of the Year and Young Engineer of the Year

Date: December 21, 2022

The Hawaii Society of Professional Engineers is accepting nominations for Engineer of the Year and Young Engineer of the Year. These awards are intended to give recognition to the outstanding accomplishments, contributions, and achievements of individuals in the engineering field. The winners will be honored at the Engineers Week Banquet in February 2023.

Nomination forms can be accessed on the Hawaii Council of Engineering Societies website or by contacting Kurt Kunimune, P.E., at kkunimune@bowersandkubota.com. Please submit nominations by Wednesday, December 28.


Year One of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law

Date: December 21, 2022

The Biden Administration recently updated state and territory fact sheets that highlight the nationwide impact of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, the largest long-term investment infrastructure and competitiveness in nearly a century. To date, $994 million in funding has been announced and is headed to Hawaii with approximately 35 specific projects identified for funding. Access information about Hawaii projects here.


Hawaii DOT Advocates Road Usage Tax for EVs

Date: December 21, 2022

Hawaii transportation officials advocate a road usage tax starting with .8 cent per mile for electric vehicles to address shortfalls in traditional gas tax revenue arising from more green vehicles on roads, according to a Transport Topics report.

Hawaii's Department of Transportation recommends "moving forward with a minimally disruptive transition to road usage charging" for passenger electric vehicles without delay due to the pace of EV and hybrid vehicle adoption in the state.

This gradual transition from a gas tax to charging per mile driven on roads would provide HDOT with "time for further development and improvement of systems for collecting this new fee."

Instead of paying a flat $50 annual EV fee, residents would have their EV odometer mileage assessed under the state's current vehicle inspection program tied to vehicle registration. HDOT suggests the rate of .8 cent per mile be charged since that amount is equal to what the average gas vehicle in Hawaii pays through the gas tax. Initial EV annual usage rates would be no more than $70 average yearly rate for a gas vehicle. Read more.

Hawaii Passes Nation's First "Smart" Electric Rate

Date: November 17, 2022

Hawaii has become the first state in the nation to develop a smart rate for electric customers, who will pay only for the amount they cost the system, canarymedia.com reports. The state's new rate model, approved on October 31, will have a particular benefit for customers with rooftop solar, as they generally use less power from the grid.

Customers can also plan their household activities around peak times in order to save money on their electric bill. The charges will come from three categories: A small, fixed charge for everyone that covers utility billing and payment-collection expenses, a grid-access charge that is proportional to the amount of energy the customer uses each month, and charges for electricity used during three times of day, each with their own rate.

The new rate structure will help Utility Hawaiian Electric ensure there is ample electricity available at night due to the increasingly solar-dominated system in Hawaii. To achieve this, peak evening hours will cost three times more than sunny times of day. The middle of the night rate will be lower than earlier in the evening but higher than daytime. Read more.


Tech Manufacturers in Hawaii Must Soon Recycle Electronic Device Waste

Date: November 17, 2022

Hawaii is about to launch an innovative tech waste program required by a law passed last June. Historically, the state has had no ability to recycle technology waste; the new law requires manufacturers of electronic devices to implement recycling programs. Some industry groups feel the requirements are too onerous for tech companies, according to Hawaii News Now.

The Electronic Device Recycling and Recovery Law requires manufacturers to collect and recycle the equivalent of at least 50% by weight of the devices it produced and sold in the US over the previous two years. That amount increases to 70% by 2025.

Additionally, manufacturers must report its annual production to the state government. The law applies to makers of 100 or more electronic devices per year. The law language can be found here.


Nominations Open: HI Engineer of the Year and Young Engineer of the Year

Date: November 17, 2022

The Hawaii Society of Professional Engineers is accepting nominations for Engineer of the Year and Young Engineer of the Year. These awards are intended to give recognition to the outstanding accomplishments, contributions, and achievements of individuals in the engineering field. The winners will be honored at the Engineers Week Banquet in February 2023.

Nomination forms can be accessed on the Hawaii Council of Engineering Societies website or by contacting Kurt Kunimune, P.E., at kkunimune@bowersandkubota.com. Please submit nominations by Wednesday, December 28.


State Licensing Board Meeting

Date: November 17, 2022

The Hawaii Board of Professional Engineers, Architects, Surveyors & Landscape Architects will host its next meeting on Thursday, December 8, at 10 a.m. Access the board website for more information.


NSPE's Job Board is your one-stop resource for professional engineering employment. Whether you are on the hunt for your next career move or looking for today's top engineering leaders and talent, you will find it here.

NSPE provides the tools PEs need to keep current in the profession and advance their careers.

Featured Job
Civil Engineer, Licensed
Honolulu, HI


Upcoming NSPE-HI Meeting and Officer Installation

Date: October 17, 2022

Let’s get together to celebrate both our Hawaii State Society and Maui Chapter officers. Please join us for a virtual meeting and officer installation on Friday, November 4, at 12:00 pm.

We’re excited to have NSPE Past President Tricia Hatley, P.E., F.NSPE, as a guest at our meeting and to connect with our fellow engineers near and far. Ms. Hatley will perform an installation ceremony for our FY2023 officers and will follow the installation with a brief presentation on “Increasing the Value of HSPE.”

If you would like to attend, please send an email to hspemaui@gmail.com.


Recycled Plastic Polymer Asphalt Mix Being Tested on Honolulu Roads

Date: October 17, 2022

The Hawaii Department of Transportation is testing an asphalt mix with recycled plastic polymer in Honolulu as part of its sustainable transportation initiatives. The amount of plastic modified asphalt used—1,950 tons—will keep the equivalent of 195,000 plastic bottles out of the landfill.

A section of control pavement using polymer-modified asphalt will be installed next to the plastic road. The project will also evaluate various high recycled asphalt mixes using 50% RAP. Testing of the high RAP mixes will provide HDOT with the data necessary to more than double the percentage of recycled asphalt used on Hawaii roads.

“Even though we’re using a material that has been used on roads in the United States for over five years, we need to make sure the mix is right for Hawaii and our environment,” said Hawaii Department of Transportation Deputy Director for Highways Ed Sniffen.

The University of Hawaii at Mānoa and Hawaii Pacific University have been contracted to evaluate the performance of the plastic modified asphalt and the potential of the material to release microplastics into its surroundings. The evaluation period will take place over a year and a half. HDOT will share the results of the evaluation. Read more.


EPA Awards Funds to Ensure Safe Drinking Water for Children

Date: October 17, 2022

The Hawaii Dept of Health has been allocated $2 million from the Environmental Protection Agency to be dedicated to the reduction of children’s exposure to lead in drinking water in schools and childcare facilities.

In total, the EPA announced over $30 million in grant funding for projects nationwide under the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act. Find out more.


Hawaii and Guam Universities Partner to Provide New Engineering Opportunities

Date: October 17, 2022

A new partnership was recently established between the University of Guam, University of Hawaii at Mānoa, and Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard (PHNSY) that provides a new career pathway for engineering students at the University of Guam. Guam students can transfer to UH Mānoa after their sophomore year and earn a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering, then gain possible employment with PHNSY and potential transfer to the Guam Naval Shipyard, according to a news release.

UH Mānoa College of Engineering Dean Brennon Morioka and Department of Mechanical Engineering Professor Marvin Young traveled to Guam in September to kick off the partnership with University of Guam leadership and PHNSY representatives. This partnership was enabled by developing a win-win-win strategy.

“UH Mānoa benefits by increasing its student population and supporting the university’s goal of diversification. Guam benefits by increasing their home-grown technical workforce without having to stand-up an accredited mechanical engineering degree program, and PHNSY benefits by increasing the technical population of prospective staff and providing the ability to assess long-term suitability of engineers for Hawaii and Guam operations,” Young said. Read more.

Nominations Open: HI Engineer of the Year and Young Engineer of the Year

Date: September 21, 2022

The Hawaii Society of Professional Engineers is accepting nominations for Engineer of the Year and Young Engineer of the Year. These awards are intended to give recognition to the outstanding accomplishments, contributions, and achievements of individuals in the engineering field. The winners will be honored at the Engineers Week Banquet in February 2023.

Nomination forms can be accessed on the Hawaii Council of Engineering Societies website or by contacting Kurt Kunimune, P.E., at kkunimune@bowersandkubota.com. Please submit nominations by Wednesday, December 28.


Molokai Plans for Energy Resilience

Date: September 21, 2022

Molokai has put forth a preparedness plan that focuses on using renewable energy to increase resilience for critical services in the community, according to the Molokai Dispatch. The plan first prioritized Molokai's water pumps – the island's water tanks only hold enough supply for seven days. Using renewable energy to keep the pumps going in the event of a power outage is crucial to keeping residents supplied with water.

The plan also includes backup power generation for critical services that have traditionally relied on diesel in an emergency, including first responders at the hospital, fire and police stations, and services like wastewater treatment. Read more.


Waipio Valley Road Closure Lawsuit Settlement

Date: September 21, 2022

A settlement has been reached for the vast majority of parties involved in the lawsuit against the mayor of the Big Island, the former public works director, and the county regarding the Waipio Valley Road closure, West Hawaii Today reports.

Last spring, the road was closed by a mayoral emergency declaration closing Waipio Valley Road to all but residents, landowners, and farmers in the valley, stating that "upon scientific information and expertise available, Waipio Valley Road is in imminent threat of slope and roadway failure threatening the health, safety, and welfare of the people." It is the steepest road in the US.

The measure was taken based on a study of the road conducted by an engineer.

The rule essentially shut down tourism in the area, leaving some residents without an important source of income. A new amended proclamation will allow for four-wheel drive access for residents and tourism operators, and requests for individual exemptions. Residents are calling this an interim solution. Read more.


State Licensing Board Meeting

Date: September 21, 2022

The Hawaii Board of Professional Engineers, Architects, Surveyors & Landscape Architects will host its next meeting on Thursday, October 13, at 10 a.m.

A Zoom link and agenda will be provided prior to the meeting. Access the board website for more information.


NSPE's Job Board is your one-stop resource for professional engineering employment. Whether you are on the hunt for your next career move or looking for today's top engineering leaders and talent, you will find it here.

NSPE provides the tools PEs need to keep current in the profession and advance their careers.

Featured Job
Professional Engineer/Design Technical Support Engineer
Honolulu, HI

Find more job openings or reach the right employees on the NSPE Job Board.

New Solar Project to Add Power, Jobs on Hawaii Island

Date: August 17, 2022

Construction of a 30 MW solar-and-storage system, the Waikoloa Solar + Storage Project, has begun on Hawaii Island by renewable energy company BayWa r.e., the company announced recently. The project is owned and operated by the AES Corporation. BayWa r.e. will build the system on 300 acres of leased land near Waikoloa Village in the South Kohala district of the island.

The power generated and stored will be purchased by Hawaiian Electric Company Inc. The project will produce enough electricity to power 13,600 households, contributing more than 7% of the island's annual energy needs and eliminating the fuel consumption of more than 511,000 barrels of oil.

Permits have been secured and site preparation and construction on the project have begun, with substantial completion expected in the fourth quarter of 2022. Over the course of the project, 200 jobs will be created, and the project is expected to contribute an estimated $47 million toward Hawaii's economy.


High Concrete Prices Expected to Limit Construction

Date: August 17, 2022

The rising cost of concrete is going to have a major impact on construction projects in Hawaii, KITV-4 reports. According to industry experts, concrete prices will increase by 30-60% by the end of the year, continuing into 2023.

While improvements to Hawaii's highways and bridges will be immune from the effects thanks to $2.5 billion from the federal infrastructure bill, other local development projects are likely to be delayed or cancelled. This includes resort construction work. One expert was quoted as advocating for the use of more local, sustainable materials, to reduce dependence on imported materials.


NSPE's Job Board is your one-stop resource for professional engineering employment. Whether you are on the hunt for your next career move or looking for today's top engineering leaders and talent, you will find it here.

NSPE provides the tools PEs need to keep current in the profession and advance their careers.

Featured Job
Engineer (Construction Management)
Pearl Harbor, HI

Find more job openings or reach the right employees on the NSPE Job Board.

Governor Announces $163M in Capital Improvement Projects

Date: July 20, 2022

Governor David Ige recently announced the release of $163,600,290 for Capital Improvement Projects (CIPs) that will be administered by various state departments. These funds were released in May and June 2022.

“In order to have a healthy and resilient community, it is vital that we continue to invest in new infrastructure for our schools, roadways, and hospitals,” said Governor Ige in a news release. “Whether the funds are used to build the Keaʻau Mountain View Public Library, advancing Oʻahu’s public transportation system, renovating Hanapēpē Health Center, or making improvements to highways statewide, I’m committed to getting resources to our communities to improve their quality of life.”


Navy’s Red Hill Defueling Plan Rejected

Date: July 20, 2022

The state department of health is rejecting the Navy’s plan to defuel the Red Hill underground fuel storage tanks, which spilled last year and threaten the public water supply, due to a lack of crucial details.

The health department has asked for an updated plan incorporating all relevant supplemental information and providing details about milestones and overall timelines, according to Hawaii News Now. One detail in particular that they requested is how much fuel is in the pipelines from Red Hill to Pearl Harbor, and how crews take fuel out of the pipelines and the tanks themselves.

The Navy says it plans to safely remove 104 million gallons from the Red Hill tanks by the end of 2024. But the Navy has also admitted a series of catastrophic failures at Red Hill caused the crisis.


Regulators Plan Ahead for Closing of Last Coal Plant

Date: July 20, 2022

In the face of the upcoming closing of Hawaii’s last coal-fired power plant and delays to planned solar projects, state regulators are planning to ensure grid reliability in the near future, Utility Dive reports.

Hawaii was the first state to set the goal of reaching 100% renewable energy by 2045, and reached 30% in 2020. Oahu’s AES plant is set to be retired by September. It serves about 16% of the island’s peak electricity demand. To make up for the looming shortfall, Hawaiian Electric and state officials will use demand response, distributed energy resources, and other measures.

One solution is that Hawaiian Electric will avoid having any planned regulatory maintenance outages in September and October, when demand is high due to hot temperatures. Also, officials will encourage residents to be more mindful about their energy use. Read more.

Superstructure Repair Project Will Shore Up Decades-Old Bridge

Date: June 14, 2022

The Hawaii Department of Transportation is breaking ground for repair work to be done on the Wailua River Bridge on Kauai, according to a news release.

The $55.7 million project will get underway in July and is slated to be completed in 2024. Most of the funding will come from the federal government, and about $11 million from the state. “This is a critical infrastructure project for Kauai,” said Jade Butay, DOT director.

The 424-foot-long bridge, which was constructed in 1945, is supported by seven concrete piers. Those are supported by timber piles that were driven into the riverbed more than seven decades ago.

The wooden piles will be replaced by reinforced concrete piles, which will much better stand up to the scouring of heavy rains and flooding, DOT says. A new pier will also be constructed between the piles to offer support to the existing superstructure.


Proposed Bill Could Hurt Clean Energy Efforts, Critics Say

Date: June 14, 2022

Clean energy advocates in Hawaii are asking Governor David Ige to veto SB 2510, which calls for one-third of renewable energy to come from “firm” sources, PV Magazine reports.

Solar energy advocacy groups and numerous local solar companies attended a rally at the state capitol in early June to make their call. Some islands, such as Kauai, are already over the threshold of 33.3%, meaning they would have to halt new construction of solar energy infrastructure and cut jobs. Approximately 3,000 Hawaiians are currently employed in the industry.

The major sponsor of the bill, Senator Donovan M. Dela Cruz, said it is “scary” to rely on intermittent energy sources. Some critics of the bill say a biomass producer is behind it. The governor has until June 27 to make a decision.

Hawaii American Water Reaches Settlement to Fund Infrastructure and Service Improvements

Date: May 18, 2022

Hawaii American Water (HAW) has filed a settlement agreement with consumer advocates at the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission on new rates for its Hawaii Kai customers. This is the first time Hawaii American Water has adjusted rates for these customers since 2011 and the updated rates are expected to go into effect in July of this year, according to a Business Wire report.

In the last decade, HAW has made improvements that protect the environment by adding additional disinfection, increasing renewable energy use, and reducing waste.

The new rates will provide approximately $1.7 million in additional annual revenue for investments in local infrastructure maintenance, repair and replacement. The average increase for all customers amounts to an approximately 17%. For the average single family customer monthly rates would increase from $67.08 to $78.60, for multi-family customers the cost for monthly service would increase from $57.08 to $66.88. Read more.


State Energy Office Hosts Statewide Community Workshops

Date: May 18, 2022

To help the state reach its energy goals, The Hawaii State Energy Office is hosting a series of statewide community workshops in May to share information and gather input to empower community participation in the clean energy transition.

The Energize Kākou workshops are intended to provide community members with a better understanding of Hawaii's energy ecosystems; provide industry stakeholders with a better understanding of community concerns, interests, and aspirations; and report this collective mana‘o in a manner that provides insight and guidance to communities, stakeholders, and policymakers.

Three workshops have been held since May 9 and three more are scheduled this month. RSVP for the next workshops here.

  • Kahuku Community Workshop-Wednesday, May 18 (6:00 p.m. – 8: 00 p.m.)-Hau‘ula Community Association
  • Pāhoa Community Workshop-Tuesday, May 24 (6:00 p.m. – 8: 00 p.m.)-Pāhoa Community Center
  • Waianae Community Workshop-Thursday, May 26 (6:00 p.m. – 8: 00 p.m.)-Kamehameha Schools Community Learning Center, Mā‘ili

University of Hawaii Gets $20 Million for State-Wide Climate Projects

Date: May 18, 2022

The University of Hawaii's Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (Hawaii EPSCoR) has received a five-year $20-million National Science Foundation grant to fund research and capacity building in support of actionable climate science through a collaboration called Change HI, according to a news release.

Hawaii faces unique challenges as climate change impacts resource availability, ecological sustainability, economic vitality and human health in the islands. To help the state face the critical issues brought on by climate change, this multidisciplinary research effort will integrate expertise in climate and data science to enhance fundamental knowledge and develop new climate models, data products and tools.

As a collaborative program with multiple partners inside and outside the UH System, Change HI will advance education and workforce readiness in these areas for Hawaii and help build a new data-driven knowledge economy statewide, targeting the growth of computer and data science that can be applied in critical areas of state need and growth.

NSPE-HI Member Graduates from NSPE Emerging Leaders Program

Date: April 20, 2022

Sara Doi, P.E.

Sara Doi, P.E., of Waipahu, Hawaii, is a member of NSPE's 2021 Class of Emerging Leaders. The latest session of the Emerging Leaders Program began in August 2021 and concluded in February.

Doi is a civil engineer employed as a project engineer by Waipahu-based Bowers + Kubota Consulting, an engineering and architectural firm specializing in construction management in Hawaii and the Pacific Rim. Enrolling in the Emerging Leaders Program has helped her to show commitment to improvement and has given her tools to become a successful leader, says the past president of NSPE-HI. Read more.


Governor Announces $267 Million in Capital Improvement Projects

Date: April 20, 2022

Governor David Ige recently announced the release of $276.5 million for Capital Improvement Projects (CIPs) that will be administered by various state departments. These funds were released in February and March of 2022.

"These investments in communities around the state provide the best and most direct way to drive our economy and create jobs for our people, and they help to improve the daily experience of our residents and those who visit Hawaii," said Ige


Licensing Board Meeting

Date: April 20, 2022

The Hawaii Board of Professional Engineers, Architects, Surveyors & Landscape Architects will hold a meeting on Thursday, April 21 (10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.) in the Queen Liliuokalani Conference Room. The meeting can also be attended via Zoom.

Meet the 2022 Scholarship Winners

Date: March 16, 2022

The Hawaii Society of Professional wants to congratulate the 2022 HSPE Maui Chapter academic scholarship recipients—Camry Gach of Seabury Hall, Joseph Winkie of Lahainaluna High School, and Tatum Okamoto of Hawaii Community College.

The Maui Chapter offers $1,500 academic scholarships to outstanding graduating high school seniors in Maui County or students currently enrolled at the University of Hawaii Community Colleges who will be attending an accredited college of engineering in the fall.

Camry Gach is the daughter of Barbara and Michael Gach of Kihei. Gach is interested in pursuing a degree in environmental engineering or energy resources engineering.

Camry Gach

Joseph Winkie is the son of Rebecca and Hugh Winkie of Lahaina. Winkie is interested in pursuing a degree in computer software engineering or computer science engineering.

Joseph Winkie

Tatum Okamoto is the daughter of Bonnie Irvine and Owen Okamoto. Okamoto is interested in pursuing a degree in biological engineering.

Tatum Okamoto

We congratulate all of the winners and wish them the best on their future endeavors! We know they have bright futures ahead and will continue their impressive contributions to the community and society.


Red Hill Storage Facility Permanently Closed by Pentagon

Date: March 16, 2022

The Defense Department will defuel and permanently close the Red Hill bulk fuel storage facility in Hawaii, the Pentagon announced earlier this month. In addition, DOD will remove the fuel, clean up the Red Hill well, and develop an environmental mitigation plan to address any future contamination concerns.

The Navy's huge fuel tank facility in Hawaii leaked petroleum into Pearl Harbor's tap water. Nearly 6,000 were made ill and another 4,000 were displaced from their homes because of the leak. On March 10, 400,000 Oahu residents were asked to cut their water use by 10% because of the forced closure of three wells due to the leak and concerns about dry weather.

Reportedly, a new expanded fuel storage system will be more cost effective and secure because it will spread the fuel supply more broadly across the region.


Hawaiian Engineering Firm Awarded DOE Offshore Renewable Energy Project

Date: March 16, 2022

Makai Ocean Engineering, an ocean technology and engineering firm based in Hawaii, has been awarded about $850,000 by the US Department of Energy to develop new mooring and anchoring methods to reduce the costs of offshore renewable energy.

The project will focus on enabling grid-scale floating offshore wind turbines and marine hydrokinetic systems to be deployed in areas that are inaccessible or too expensive using current technologies. The team's unique approach to remotely installing micropiles on the seafloor will enable installation of an anchorage strong enough to secure these systems.

This approach does not require large and costly equipment and vessels, dramatically reducing the initial installation costs, Makai reports. The technology is ideal for Hawaii because it is best suited for hard seabed ground conditions, common in the waters surrounding the state.

The award received by Makai is part of the $175 million awarded to 68 projects across 22 states "aimed at developing disruptive technologies to strengthen the nation's advanced energy enterprise."


EPA Lays Out Need for Resilient Infrastructure as Climate Change Poses Threat

Date: March 16, 2022

The Environmental Protection Agency says climate change coupled with rising ocean levels will require coastal buildings to be moved inland, Hawaii News Now reports.

The EPA released a report on March 10 saying homes like the ones at Rocky Point on Oahu's North Shore will need to be deconstructed and rebuilt as climate change generates more frequent natural disasters. The report also says communities should recycle and reuse storm debris to keep them out of landfills, which produce methane gas.

Hawaii PE Named 2022 FEYA Top Finalist

Date: February 16, 2022

The Hawaii Society of Professional Engineers congratulates LTC Eric Marshall, P.E., on his honor as a top 10 finalist for NSPE's Federal Engineer of the Year Award. He serves in the US Army Corps of Engineers, Pacific Ocean Division at Fort Shafter, Hawaii.

Marshall and the other finalists will be recognized prior to the announcement of a winner during a virtual awards event on February 24 at noon EST. The event can be viewed on the NSPE website or on NSPE's Youtube channel.

The Federal Engineer of the Year Award, sponsored by the Professional Engineers in Government, honors engineers employed by a federal agency that employs at least 50 engineers worldwide. These nominees have made extensive contributions to their organizations and also to the public that PEs ultimately serve.

Army Engineer Directs Military Base, Support Facility Construction
During the US campaign against ISIS (Operation Inherent Resolve) from 2015-2019, LTC Eric Marshall, P.E., was the lead tactical engineer. And from 2017-2019, he served as the engineer squadron commander for US Army Special Operations Forces, delivering all infrastructure for overseas armed conflict. His notable achievements included expeditious airfield construction, repair of C-17 capable runways, and the design/construction of semipermanent airfield facilities and more than 20 military bases. Marshall also spearheaded construction of three pumping stations along the Suwar Canal in Syria that restored water distribution from the Euphrates River, affecting more than 100,000 residents and partnering forces.

Currently, Marshall is commander of the Corps' Honolulu District, where he fuses technical and business acumen to lead complex engineering challenges. One of these addressed alternate care facilities for COVID patients on short notice, resulting in a 60-day renovation effort for Guam Memorial Hospital. As another benchmark success, he completed the final stages of a $450 million three-phased Pacific command and control facility. Moreover, Marshall led Honolulu's Ala Wai Canal flood risk management project through a difficult transition when the civil works venture realized cost overruns.


Hawaii Engineers Week 2022

Date: February 16, 2022

Members of the Hawaii Society of Professional Engineers are encouraged to Reimagine the Possible during 2022 Engineers Week! There will be various events throughout February 22-26.

Kick Off Virtual Event
This event will be hosted on Tuesday, February 22 by the Society of American Military Engineers, Honolulu Post and the Hawaii Council of Engineering Societies online via Microsoft Teams (12 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. HST). The presentation topic will focus on the Shipyard Infrastructure Optimization Program with speaker RADM Dean VanderLey, Commander, Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command, Pacific.

Register here for the event by February 22 (12 a.m. HST). Please visit the SAME website for more information.

Engineer Career Day Events
UH College of Engineering Spring 2022 Career Day will feature a virtual event on Wednesday, February 23 (9 a.m. – 12 p.m.) and an in-person event on Thursday, February 24 (1 p.m. to 4 p.m.) at the UH Manoa Campus Center Ballroom. Register here.

Engineers Week Awards Ceremony
A virtual Engineers Week Awards Ceremony will be held on Friday, February 25 (12 p.m. to 1 p.m. HST) featuring a keynote address by Speaker of the Hawaii House of Representatives Scott Saiki. Register here for the event.

2022 Awards Honorees
• Lifetime Achievement Award: James S. Kumagai, Ph.D., P.E.
• Engineer of the Year: Edmund Chang, P.E.
• Young Engineer of the Year: Brandon Uejo, P.E.
• Student Engineer of the Year: Penny Z. M. Loo

Access NSPE EWeek resources.


HDOT Kicks Off Red-light Safety Program Pilot with Engineering Studies

Date: February 16, 2022

The Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT) is conducting engineering studies to select the intersections for a two-year pilot authorized by Act 30 (20). The goal of red-light safety cameras is to reduce lives lost in motor vehicle crashes by deterring red-light running, according to a news release.

The pilot project will begin with engineering studies at potential locations to determine whether installation of red-light cameras is feasible and can increase safety. HDOT worked with the city and county of Honolulu's Department of Transportation Services to select the potential intersections based on crash history and site suitability.

The engineering studies to select the 10 intersections for the pilot began in January and are expected to be completed in March. The studies will identify conditions that may contribute to red-light running violations and appropriate countermeasures. As the studies are completed, they will be posted to the HDOT website.


Senator Schatz Introduces Legislation to Shut Down Red Hill

Date: February 16, 2022

US Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) recently introduced legislation to permanently shut down the Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility to protect drinking water resources.

In November, families living on Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam and the Army's Aliamanu Military Reservation and Red Hill Housing reported petroleum odors coming from residential tap water supplied by the US Navy water system, according to the US Environmental Protection Agency. There were also reports of health issues arising from the contaminated drinking water.

The source of the petroleum was the nearby Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility, which contaminated the Red Hill Well. The well is the Navy's primary source for its water system.

The Senate bill follows companion legislation introduced in the US House by Representative Kaiali'i Kahele (D-Hawaii). Schatz also secured $100 million in new federal funding to defuel Red Hill as part of a short-term spending bill.


Hawaii to Receive More Than $17 Million for EV Charging Infrastructure

Date: February 16, 2022

The US Departments of Transportation and Energy have announced the new National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Formula Program that will provide more than $17 million in Hawaii over the next five years to fund electric vehicle charging stations statewide, according to a news release.

Nationally, the program enacted through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act makes available nearly $5 billion over five years help states create a network of electric vehicle charging stations along designated alternative fuel corridors in Hawaii and nationwide.

The total amount available to states in the first year beginning with fiscal year 2022 is $615 million of which Hawaii is slated to receive approximately $2.62 million per the government's funding formula. A second, competitive grant program designed to further increase EV charging access in locations throughout the country, including in rural and underserved communities, will be announced later this year.

Introducing the Engineer of the Year and Young Engineer of the Year

Date: January 19, 2022

The Hawaii Society of Professional Engineers is proud to announce that Edmund Chang, P.E., and Brandon Uejo, P.E., have been selected as the 2022 Engineer of the Year and Young Engineer of the Year (respectively).

Edmund Chang and Brandon Uejo will be recognized at the Hawaii Council of Engineering Societies' Engineers Week banquet in February. The Student Engineer of the Year (selected by the University of Hawaii) and a Lifetime Achievement award (selected by HCES) recipients will also be honored during this event. Access information about 2022 Engineers Week events.

Engineer of the Year—Edmund Chang

Edmund Chang

When Edmund Chang decided to pursue mechanical engineering at the University of Hawaii, he saw himself as "just an average guy who was following what other students around me were doing." But soon after graduating from the Manoa campus, he showed a propensity for independent action that pushed him way beyond the "just average" bracket.

Edmund Chang started his career as a design engineer for the McDonnell Douglas F-15 Fighter in St. Louis, Missouri. Returning to Hawaii a year later, he became a project engineer for a company doing pipeline construction at a refinery in Campbell Industrial Park (CIP). He parlayed the job into a 15-year construction assignment with his family in 11 different cities across the US and in the Middle East. They returned to Hawaii where he helped to build the H-Power plant in CIP before going to Hawaiian Electric Company Inc. (HECO).

Chang is currently a consulting engineer (piping, welding and NDE) at HECO. During Chang's 30-plus years at HECO, he spearheaded the National Board of Boiler and Pressure Vessel Inspectors (NB) programs. In 1998, he developed the NB "R" Certificate program which permits HECO to perform its own welded repairs to its pressure retaining components. In 2003, Chang developed the NB "VR" Certificate program which permits HECO to repair its own pressure relief valves. With the "R" certificate program came the need for ASME, National Board Inspection Code, and Hawaii Boiler Law codes training in addition to upgrading the welding program, and initiating an NDE program and post weld heat treatment program. He created and conducts training courses for these programs.

Young Engineer of the Year—Brandon Uejo

Brandon Uejo

Brandon Uejo was raised in Pearl City on Oahu and is a proud graduate of the
Kamehameha Schools (Kapalama Campus). In 2012, he earned a bachelor's degree in civil engineering from the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

Uejo is currently a senior project engineer at Park Engineering. He has over 9 years of design experience in the industry working with clients such as the City and County of Honolulu's Department of Design & Construction and Department of Facilities Maintenance, as well as private sector clients. His project experience is diverse ranging from the technical design of storm water quality and drainage facilities to site development and utilities to erosion control, as well as roadway design.

Uejo is active with professional organizations such as the ASCE's Younger Member Forum and the Hawaii Water Environment Association. He is also active in the community. He has served as a junior varsity soccer coach for Kamehameha Schools and has volunteered for community service activities for the Hawaii Food Bank, Girl Scouts, MATHCOUNTS, and AYSO.


2022 HSPE Maui Chapter Scholarships

Date: January 19, 2022

The Hawaii Society of Professional Engineers–Maui Chapter is offering up to three $1,500 academic scholarships this year. Maui County high school seniors entering into an accredited college of engineering and current University of Hawaii at Maui College students who are planning to transfer to an accredited college of engineering are eligible to apply.

The applicants are judged on their well-rounded application from academic achievements to their involvement in school and community activities. Scholarship applications must be submitted electronically (hspemaui@gmail.com) or postmarked by 4p.m. on Monday, January 24. Applications can be mailed to Audrey Cabrera at the following address: Brown and Caldwell, 2261 Aupuni St. Suite 201, Wailuku HI 96793.

For more information, please contact Audrey Cabrera, the HSPE-Maui Chapter Scholarship Chair, via email at acabrera@brwncald.com or at 808-442-3307.


Hawaii Working Toward 100% Renewable Energy Using New Model

Date: January 19, 2022

Regulators in Hawaii are putting together incentives and taking a new approach to getting the state's power company off fossil fuels. Penalties are also being implemented to work toward 100% renewable energy, Weekend Edition on NPR reported.

One measure taken was putting Hawaiian Electric on a five-year budget; if they spend less than is budgeted, they keep some of that money as profit. Another incentive is moving toward solar energy more quickly. Still another is engaging in pilot projects for electric vehicle infrastructure. The company also reportedly agreed to reduce customer bills.

This comprehensive utility reform could prove successful if regulators motivate energy companies to move toward renewable options. Currently, about 77% of Hawaii's energy comes from fossil fuels, according to the federal Energy Information Administration. The state aims to be 100% renewable by 2045.


Biden's Infrastructure Plan Allocates Millions for Bridge Repairs in Hawaii

Date: January 19, 2022

Under President Biden's infrastructure plan that infuses $26.5 billion into bridge repair across the US, Hawaii will receive $339 million. The funds will come over five years via the Federal Highway Administration. Aside from making much-needed repairs, a major goal of the funding is to help bridges withstand the effects of climate change by modernizing them, FHWA Administrator Stephanie Pollack said.

Nominations Open for Hawaii Engineer of the Year and Young Engineer Awards

Date: December 15, 2021

The Hawaii Society of Professional Engineers is accepting nominations for Engineer of the Year and the Young Engineer of the Year awards. These awards are intended to give due recognition to the outstanding accomplishments, contributions, and achievements of individuals in the different specialized fields of engineering. The winners will be presented at the Engineers Week Banquet in February.

NSPE-HI, in partnership with the Hawaii Council of Engineering Societies, is also seeking candidates for the Lifetime Achievement and the Student of the Year awards (enrolled at the University of Hawaii at Manoa).

Nomination forms can be accessed on the HCES website or by contacting Kurt Kunimune, P.E. Please submit nominations by Monday, December 27.


Infrastructure Law Funds Bridge and Road Repair, Transportation Upgrades

Date: December 15, 2021

The bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act will pay to repair and rebuild roads and bridges in Hawaii with a focus on climate change mitigation, resilience, equity, and safety for all users, including cyclists and pedestrians.

In Hawaii, there are 84 bridges and over 664 miles of highway in poor condition, according to the US Department of Transportation. The state is expected to receive approximately $1.5 billion over five years in federal highway formula funding for highways and bridges.

In addition, $316 million over five years will be spent on improving public transportation in Hawaii. Funding will also cover modernization of freight rail, increased EV charging options, airport improvements, and other infrastructure updates.


Ala Wai Flood Mitigation Plan Switching Gears

Date: December 15, 2021

A $1.6 million grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Federation will help fund the removal of invasive plan species on O'ahu, which will result in a reduction in flood and landslide risk. Other positive outcomes will include cleaner water for coastal ecosystems, fewer brown water days, less stress on corals, less debris in waterways, improved water recharge, and protected habitat for rare plants and animals, the governor's office reports.

Recent flooding caused by heavy rainfall illustrated the necessity for protective measures on the island. Since 2019, the state has worked with the Army Corps of Engineers to develop a flood mitigation system for the Ala Wai Watershed. The Honolulu community opposed the Corps' plan to build 4-foot-high walls along the canal, and advocated for more sustainable ecosystem restoration options. Over the next two years, the Corps will take public comment and work on a report to inform a new plan.


NSPE Career Center

Date: December 15, 2021

NSPE's Job Board is your one-stop resource for professional engineering employment. Whether you are on the hunt for your next career move or looking for today's top engineering leaders and talent, you will find it here.

NSPE provides the tools PEs need to keep current in the profession and advance their careers.

Featured Job
Two Faculty Positions – Mechanical Engineering
Honolulu, HI

Find more job openings or reach the right employees on the NSPE Job Board.

Hawaii to Receive $2.8 Billion for Infrastructure

Date: November 17, 2021

Hawaii is set to receive an estimated $2.8 billion in federal funding for infrastructural improvements, as well as job creation, as reported by Pacific Business News.

The funds are to come from a federal $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure deal that was signed into law by President Biden on November 15, and includes funding to repair roads and bridges, improve local public transportation options, and strengthen high-speed internet access, among other uses. In addition to the billions of dollars in federal funding for Hawaii, the bill also includes legislation to improve road safety standards and make streets safer for pedestrians and cyclists.


UH-Hilo, Hawaii County Partner to Map Sea Level Rise, Coastal Erosion

Date: November 17, 2021

The University of Hawaii at Hilo and Hawaii County are partnering on a project to catalog the coastline of Hawaii Island and analyze sea level encroachment to inform future infrastructure decisions, according to a Pacific Inno report.

The community project to map 428 kilometers of often-rugged coastline, led by UH-Hilo geography professor Ryan Perroy and Hawaii County Planner Bethany Morrison, was featured in a video by the US Geological Survey at the COP26 global summit on climate change in Glasgow, Scotland, on November 8. The video's theme was, "Communities on the front line and local leaders that support them."

Along with UH-Hilo student Aloha Kapono, Perroy and Morrison are using a helicopter and a custom imaging system to map the coastline and create three-dimensional models of those beaches, sea cliffs, and lava fields. The goal is to provide a projection for coastal changes in the future based on what's already been observed.


National Academies Advocate for Funding of Large Telescope on Mauna Kea

Date: November 17, 2021

A new report on priorities in astronomy for the next decade has identified the Thirty Meter Telescope on Hawaii's Mauna Kea as being deserving of funding from the National Science Foundation, the Honolulu Civil Beat reports. This endorsement of the $2 billion TMT that is slated to be built was crucial for securing additional government funding.

The report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine is produced every 10 years and influences on the following decade of work in astronomy. The TMT was cited as being crucial due to its unique ability to detect life beyond our planet and to help scientists better understand our world.

The researchers said that funding should be contingent on better engagement with Native Hawaiians on Mauna Kea, a volcano that is considered to be sacred, and on other conditions.

Meet the NSPE-HI 2021-22 Leadership Team

Date: October 20, 2021

President: Irina Constantinescu, P.E.
President: Irina Constantinescu, P.E.

President-Elect: Sara Doi, P.E.

Vice President: Mike Silva, P.E., F.NSPE, L.S.

Vice President: Mike Silva, P.E., F.NSPE, L.S.

Vice President: Mike Silva, P.E., F.NSPE, L.S.

Treasurer: Kurt Kunimune, P.E.

Treasurer: Kurt Kunimune, P.E.

NSPE Delegate: Mike Lum, P.E.

NSPE Delegate: Mike Lum, P.E.


ISLAND HISTORY: Engineering Marvel Still in Operation on Kauai

Date: October 20, 2021

The Kekaha Ditch on Kaua'i, considered to be an engineering marvel, was featured in a recent article about its history in The Garden Island.

The canal was dug from 1903-07 to supply irrigation water from a mountainous area of the Waimea River to sugarcane plantations downstream. Experts of the time were skeptical, but the project was a success, in spite of the huge scope and nearly impassable terrain along the route. The project was conceived by Han Peter Faye, a manager for the Kekaha Sugar Company. Civil engineer J.S. Molony oversaw the project's construction.

Today, the canal continues to provide agricultural irrigation water and hydroelectric power to customers west of the Waimea River, according to the article. "Mike Faye, a grandson of Hans Peter Faye, manages Kekaha Ditch for the Kekaha Agricultural Association (KAA), while various construction workers, machine operators, electronic technicians and Lord's Electric maintain the ditch on contract to KAA," the article states.


Navy Awards Contract for Engineering Services to Small Hawaiian Business

Date: October 20, 2021

Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command Pacific awarded a $25 million architect-engineering contract to Helber Hastert and Fee Planners Inc., a small business from Honolulu, Hawaii, for planning and engineering services at various locations worldwide within the Pacific and Indian Ocean areas, including Hawaii, Guam, Japan, Korea, and elsewhere.

"Small businesses bring agility and innovation to support the NAVFAC Pacific mission and their participation in the defense industrial base is critical to the US economy in support of our National Security Strategy," said NAVFAC Pacific Deputy for Small Business Regina Pasqualucci.

The company will develop regional integration plans, shore infrastructure plans, installation development plans, and area development plans. Work done on the project may also include business case analysis, economic analysis, facility life cycle studies, landscape architecture plans, real estate analysis, enhanced use lease studies, land surveys, and topography.


The US Department of Energy Announces the EcoCAR EV Challenge

Date: October 20, 2021

The US Department of Energy (DOE), General Motors, and MathWorks have partnered to launch the EcoCAR EV Challenge, the latest DOE-sponsored Advanced Vehicle Technology Competition series. The program, which will kick-off in fall of 2022, is now accepting applications from universities with ABET-accredited engineering programs until January 20, 2022.

EcoCAR is a collegiate automotive four-year competition aimed at developing a highly skilled clean mobility workforce that reflects the diversity of our nation, by providing hands-on experience designing and building next generation mobility solutions to meet the decarbonization needs of the automotive industry. The competition will also include a major focus on equity in mobility and diversity, equity and inclusion in STEM to help foster clean energy mobility solutions and opportunities for all.

Up to 14 North American teams will be selected to design and engineer a next generation battery electric vehicle that utilizes automation and vehicle-to-everything (V2X) connectivity to implement energy efficient and customer-appealing features. The program is managed by the Argonne National Laboratory.


State Licensing Board Meeting

Date: October 20, 2021

The Hawaii Board of Professional Engineers, Architects, Surveyors & Landscape Architects will host its next meeting on Thursday, November 18 at 10 a.m.

A Zoom link and agenda will be provided prior to the meeting. Access the board website for more information.

Hawaii Partners with Army Corps of Engineers to Reduce Coastal Flooding Risks

Date: September 15, 2021

Hawaii has partnered with the US Army Corps of Engineers in a Hawaii Silver Jackets Interagency Collaboration Team under the state's Ocean Resources Management Plan (ORMP). The Silver Jackets is a nation-wide program focused on reducing coastal flood risks.

The State Office of Planning and Sustainable Development's Coastal Zone Management Program will serve as the lead coordinating agency for state. Now that the state team is formally recognized, Hawaii is now eligible for support from the US Army Corps of Engineers via technical advisory and annual funding opportunities.

"We welcome this partnership that further solidifies the Army Corps' commitment to support local approaches to address our state's significant risks from coastal flooding. Coastal hazards, including flooding from sea level rise, is listed as one of the ORMP's three main focus areas and the Silver Jackets team will play a key role in providing technical support and leveraging resources to best address this issue," said Justine Nihipali, Coastal Zone Management program manager and state lead.

Read more.


$800K Boosts Diversity in Materials Science, Engineering at UH-Mānoa

Date: September 15, 2021

To increase diversity in cutting-edge materials research, education and professions, collaborating University of Hawaii at Mānoa and University of Washington researchers were awarded $800,000 from the National Science Foundation.

This seed award from the NSF's Partnerships for Research and Education in Materials (PREM) will support materials research partnerships between minority-serving institutions and large-scale, NSF-supported research centers and facilities.

The Materials Research and Education Consortium is composed of seven UH faculty from HNEI, the Hawaii Institute of Geophysics and Planetology and the Colleges of Engineering and Social Sciences, as well as 10 faculty from UW Molecular Engineering Materials Center, an NSF Materials Research Science and Engineering Center.

PREM is intended to enhance and solidify a pathway for young researchers from underrepresented groups to enter the vibrant field of materials science and engineering. Research activities of this new project maximize the complementary expertise and resources at both institutions while emphasizing the education and training of a diverse next generation of scientists and engineers. The research is focused on developing foundational knowledge about advanced nano-to-macroscale materials and properties controlling their unique behaviors, and investigating their use for future energy and space technologies.

Read more.


State Licensing Board Meeting

Date: September 15, 2021

The Hawaii Board of Professional Engineers, Architects, Surveyors & Landscape Architects will host its next meeting on Thursday, September 16 at 10 a.m.

A Zoom link and agenda will be provided prior to the meeting. Access the board website for more information.

Show Your PE Pride!

Date: August 19, 2021

NSPE members recently celebrated the contributions of the profession during the sixth annual PE Day. But don't wait until next year's national event to show off this commitment to the profession. NSPE President Rick Guerra, P.E., F.NSPE, believes that proud members of the NSPE community can do so in the following ways all year round:

  • Introduce yourselves as Licensed Professional Engineers
  • Get to know your fellow PEs
  • Use #ProudPE in your communications and social media posts

What's in the Infrastructure Package for Hawaii?

Date: August 19, 2021

US Senators Mazie Hirono and Brian Schatz released statements following the Senate's passage of the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act to highlight the investments that will benefit Hawaii.

The following are some of the investments that are featured in the legislation

  • $1.2 billion for federal aid highway programs over five years.
  • $225 million for bridge replacement and repairs over five years.
  • $316 million over five years to improve public transportation.
  • $18 million over five years to expand an electric vehicle charging network in Hawaii.
  • At least $100 million to expand broadband coverage across the state, providing access to at least 33,000 Hawaii residents who lack coverage.
  • $200 million for invasive species detection, prevention, and eradication.
  • $400 million in state grants to conduct voluntary ecosystem restoration projects.
  • $150 million for local governments to help firefighters train and respond to fires.
  • $100 million in grants for small water storage and groundwater storage projects, including in Hawaii and Alaska.
  • $9 billion to demonstrate innovative energy technologies including solar and wind, energy storage, geothermal, hydrogen, and waterpower. Native Hawaiian community organizations are preferred partners for federal grants for solar and wind project development.

Hawaii DOT Releases Climate Adaptation Action Plan, Hazard Tool

Date: August 19, 2021

As a result of severe weather events and forecasted impacts of climate change on the state's roads and bridges, the Hawaii Department of Transportation Highways Division has released its Climate Adaptation Action Plan, exposure assessments, and hazard viewer.

The Action Plan focuses on potential risks and impacts to state roads and bridges from severe weather hazards including landslides, lava flow, floods, wildfires, and sea level rise. The plan also offers strategies for a more resilient highway system going forward.

In an effort to make the visualizations of the hazard data more accessible, a viewer tool has been developed. The viewer shows the areas of the state most susceptible to various hazards such as precipitation and temperature projections; rockfall and landslide exposure; and wildfire and storm surge assessments.

Read more.


UH–Mānoa Receives $6 Million for Wave Energy Conversion Research

Date: August 19, 2021

A new infusion of $6 million from the Naval Facilities Engineering Command, and Expeditionary Warfare Center will allow the Hawaii Natural Energy Institute (HNEI) at the University of Hawaii at Mānoa, to continue to provide critical research and logistical support to the only grid-connected wave energy testing site in the nation.

The US Navy's Wave Energy Test Site (WETS), off Marine Corps Base Hawaii provides a unique proving ground for pre-commercial wave energy converters (WECs) to demonstrate performance in an operational setting and advance their technology readiness level.

Marine energy has immense potential to supply persistent power to ocean observing and monitoring, desalination, aquaculture, at-sea mineral scavenging, and electrification of remote or island communities.

"We are excited by the Navy's latest investment in our work to advance wave energy through our support of WETS, particularly as it allows us to expand our research into new areas of relevance to offshore applications, such as autonomous vehicle recharge for ocean observing purposes," said Pat Cross, research specialist in marine energy at HNEI and principal investigator for the WETS support program, in a news release.

These funds, directed to the Applied Research Laboratory at UH, working with HNEI, will allow the university to support a number of WEC deployments planned in the 2021 to 2024 timeframe in the form of environmental monitoring, power and survivability performance assessment, and additional logistics support to the Navy and to WEC developer companies.

Read more.


NCEES October Exam Registration

Date: August 19, 2021

Registration for the October 2021 pencil-paper exam administration will close on August 26 (3 p.m. EDT). Exams will be administered on Thursday, October 21 and Friday, October 22. Registration for the computer-based FE and PE exams is open year-round.

Access the Hawaii licensing board website for more information.


NSPE Career Center

Date: August 19, 2021

NSPE's Job Board is your one-stop resource for professional engineering employment. Whether you are on the hunt for your next career move or looking for today's top engineering leaders and talent, you will find it here.

NSPE provides the tools PEs need to keep current in the profession and advance their careers.

Featured Jobs
Assistant Program Manager (Water Systems Operation)
Honolulu, HI

Fire Alarm Technician & Fire Sprinkler Inspector/Technician
Honolulu, HI

Find more job openings or reach the right employees on the NSPE Job Board.

NG-16 Cygnus Spacecraft Named After Astronaut Ellison Onizuka

Date: July 21, 2021

Kona's own homegrown hero, the late astronaut Ellison Onizuka, is being honored by having a spacecraft named after him. The S.S. Ellison Onizuka is a NG-16 cargo delivery mission shuttle serving the International Space Station, according to the West Hawaii Today article.

Northrop Grumman Corporation announced on July 13 that it was proud to name the NG-16 Cygnus spacecraft after Ellison Onizuka. It is the company's tradition to name each Cygnus spacecraft after an individual who has played a pivotal role in human spaceflight. Onizuka was selected in honor of his status as the first Asian American astronaut to reach space.

Astronaut Ellison Onizuka
(Credit:NASA)

Onizuka's NASA career began in January 1978, when he was selected for the astronaut program. Completing his training in August 1979, he went on to work on orbiter test and checkout teams, as well as launch support crews at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. His first spaceflight experience came on Jan. 24, 1985, when he flew as a mission specialist aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery for STS 51-C—the first space shuttle mission for the Department of Defense.

Onizuka, who spent nearly his entire life flying in air and in space, lost his life during the STS 51-L mission when the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded 73 seconds after launch on January 28, 1986.

Read more.


District Court Sides with Plaintiffs in Maui Injection Wells Case

Date: July 21, 2021

A US District Court judge has once again sided with environmental groups in a legal battle with Maui County over its use of injection wells in West Maui, according to a The Maui News article.

Judge Susan Oki Mollway of the District of Hawaii issued an order on July 15 saying that Maui County "must obtain a permit under the Clean Water Act consistent with the analysis established by the Supreme Court."

The case began when several environment groups filed a lawsuit in 2012 over the injection wells, saying that the effluent from the Lahaina Wastewater Reclamation Facility has been reaching the ocean and impacting coral reefs and sea life.

In 2014, Judge Mollway ruled against the county, which then appealed to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. The court agreed with Mollway in its ruling in 2018. The county refused to settle the case and took it to the Supreme Court, which heard arguments in 2019 and issued a ruling in 2020.

The county had argued that the discharge of treated wastewater from injection wells does not require permits under the Clean Water Act because pollutants do not flow directly into the ocean but rather indirectly through groundwater. However, in a 6-3 vote, the Supreme Court said that the discharge of polluted water in the ground, rather than directly into nearby waterways, does not relieve an industry of complying with the Clean Water Act, and remanded the case back to the lower courts.

Read more.


States' Road Usage Charge Programs May Offer Model for Federal System

Date: July 21, 2021

Road usage charge initiatives at the state level can offer models for a federal program, which should be formulated sooner rather than later, according to experts gathered at a transportation funding event.

Several states, including Oregon, Hawaii, Utah and California, have pursued road usage charge programs, according to a Transport Topics article. The purpose is to ensure drivers pay for the miles of road that they use, rather than the gallons of fuel.

The federal fuel tax, which supports the Highway Trust Fund, has held at 24.4 cents a gallon for diesel and 18.4 cents a gallon for gasoline since 1993. Because vehicles are becoming more fuel-efficient and electric vehicles are growing more prevalent, the federal fuel tax does not have the power it did decades ago.

Edward Sniffen, deputy director for highways at the Hawaii Department of Transportation, spoke at the Transportation Investment Advocacy Center's National Workshop for State and Local Transportation Advocates on July 14. HDOT is leading the Hawaii Road Usage Charge Demonstration, which began in 2018 with financial support from the Federal Highway Administration.

"What we're advocating for on the federal side is the federal government takes these individual pilots from different states and sets up a pilot nationally," said Sniffen. "The gas tax has to change federally. There's no way for that to be sustainable in the long term, given not just EVs but higher mileage per gallon that you get on vehicles nowadays. In the end, all of the programs—federal, state and local—will be tied to road usage charge."

Read more.


Climate Change Commission Issues Guidance on Decision Making & Investment

Date: July 21, 2021

The Hawaii Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation Commission approved a statement to guide climate action in light of the state's climate emergency declaration (SCR 44), and the American Jobs Plan (AJP), which proposes investing in all forms of infrastructure following the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The statement provides recommendations to state and county governments on how to translate Hawaii's robust climate policy framework into decision making and investing. The AJP includes a $50 billion investment in resilient infrastructure, including restoring and protecting nature-based infrastructure—lands, forests, wetlands, and more.

Four "Climate Ready" priorities are:

  • The ambitious mitigation of greenhouse gases through elimination and reduction of emissions.
  • The preservation of cultural, biological and public resources through adaptation.
  • The accelerated sequestration of carbon, production of local foods and protection of public health and ecosystems.
  • The adoption and building of resilience to climate change.
This list is not comprehensive, as the commission recognizes the breadth and depth of work ongoing in the state, including the Hawaii 2050 Sustainability Plan.  An updated list of actions will be available online at the commission’s website.

Upcoming NSPE-HI Webinar: Engineering Ethics

Date: June 16, 2021

The Hawaii Society of Professional Engineers invites you to attend a virtual webinar addressing engineering ethics on Friday, June 25 (12 p.m. Hawaii Standard Time). Registration is free and open to all.

The webinar will provide the opportunity to learn more about the NSPE Code of Ethics, the Board of Ethical Review cases, and discuss the ethical implications found in engineering practice.

Ethics is an important topic for engineers at every level and in every field. When you become a professional engineer, you are held to a higher standard. That is why one of the requirements, in many states, for maintaining your professional engineers' license is professional development hours with at least one being in ethics.

As professional engineers, we are trusted with projects that impact the lives of hundreds of thousands of people. The Code of Ethics for Engineers was developed to be a guiding factor in making hard decisions during our careers. The code of ethics can be summed up with two key points that we will explore in more depth: honesty and integrity.


Governor Signs Military Spouse Licensure Bill

Date: June 16, 2021

Governor David Ige signed legislation (H.B. 961) that will permit a spouse of an active duty service member in the military who holds a current professional license in another jurisdiction to apply for expedited licensure in Hawaii. The licensee must have held the license for at least one year and must be in good standing with the jurisdiction licensing board.

The legislation also exempts dependents of military servicemembers from state residency requirement for employment with state or county government if the military servicemember is in Hawaii on military orders. The legislation becomes effective on January 1, 2022.


New Incentives Push Hawaiian Electric Toward More Clean Energy

Date: June 16, 2021

A portfolio of incentives that went into effect on June 1 will guide Hawaiian Electric as it operates under a new business model that emphasizes Hawaii's clean energy goals, according to a Honolulu Star Advertiser article.

The state's Public Utilities Commission issued a decision and order approving the new Performance Incentive Mechanisms, or PIMs, which are key components of the new Performance-Based Regulation Framework that the PUC approved of December.

The PIMs, if achieved by Hawaiian Electric, will offer the utility financial incentives while providing savings and other benefits for customers.

"This decision underscores our commitment to transforming Hawaii's energy future," said PUC Chairman James Griffin in a statement. "Though we faced challenges developing these first-of-their-kind performance mechanisms, we all understand the importance in completing this part of the PBR Framework and ensuring the regulatory structure is well-rounded and balanced."

Customers will benefit because the PIMs include goals such as "increased procurement of grid services from customer-based programs" and "improved collaboration with Hawaii Energy to reach low-to-moderate income customers and promote energy saving measures."

Read more.


State Seeks Public Input on Federal Transportation Spending

Date: June 16, 2021

The Hawaii Department of Transportation has organized a survey to prioritize which federally funded road projects should be tackled over the next four years as part of the State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP), according to a West Hawaii Today article.

The survey describes 23 specific highway, rockfall mitigation, guardrail and shoulder improvements and bridge programs, as well as improvement programs and mass transit projects. The deadline for participating in the survey is June 28.

"Community engagement is a big part of our required federal process to get federal highway and transit funds for the state," Harry Takiue, engineering program manager in the state department of transportation's Hawaii District Office, told participants in a remote public coordination meeting.

The creation of a "fiscally unconstrained" list of projects was the first step, followed by the first round of public coordination meetings. Following the public comment period, the state DOT evaluates and "fiscally constrains" the project list. It plans a second round of public meetings in July or August. The STIP will be submitted in early September to the federal government, which is expected to evaluate it and send it back to the state in October.

"Your comments and priorities for the project can affect the project development schedule, although not change the need for the project," Takiue said. "If public opinion is very high, it can possibly speed up the project."

Read more.


Share the Value of Society Membership

Date: June 16, 2021

Professional engineers have unique skills and knowledge and carry an obligation to protect the public health, safety, and welfare. NSPE and the Hawaii Society of Professional Engineers are dedicated to supporting these professionals throughout their careers.

NSPE and NSPE-HI help PEs to stay current on the latest in engineering through leadership training, networking, and ethical guidance, all to safeguard the wellbeing of the public and navigate the new challenges that engineers confront daily. NSPE-HI members are encouraged to share the value of membership at the national, state, and local levels when engaging with their peers.

Learn more about membership benefits.


NSPE Career Center

Date: June 16, 2021

NSPE's Job Board is your one-stop resource for professional engineering employment. Whether you are on the hunt for your next career move or looking for today's top engineering leaders and talent, you will find it here.

NSPE provides the tools PEs need to keep current in the profession and advance their careers.

Featured Job
Chief of Operations
Mauna Kea, HI

Find more job openings or reach the right employees on the NSPE Job Board.

Honolulu Team Takes the MATHCOUNTS Challenge

Date: May 19, 2021

On May 8-10, more than 200 students from around the nation gathered virtually for the 2021 Raytheon Technologies MATHCOUNTS National Competition. NSPE-HI congratulates the eighth-grade student team from Honolulu for being top mathletes in the state and participating in the national competition.

  • Keisuke Kwong (Washington Middle School)
  • Ashley Hong (Punahou School)
  • Ryan Eto (Iolani School)
  • Nicholas Biega (Iolani School)
  • Sung Park (Coach-Washington Middle School)
  • Yun Choe (Coach-Punahou School)
  • Joseph Guillou (Coach-Iolani School)

Maui Chapter Awards 2021 Scholarships

Date: May 19, 2021

The NSPE-HI Maui Chapter is pleased to announce that Jadynne Zane and Quinton Wong, both of Maui High School, are recipients of this year's Maui Scholarships.

The $1,000 academic scholarships are awarded to outstanding graduating high school seniors in Maui County or students currently enrolled at the University of Hawaii Maui College who will be attending an accredited college of engineering in the fall.

Jadynne Zane is the daughter of Jeremy and Darryl Zane of Kahului. She is interested in going into biomedical engineering.

Jadynne is active on the cheer team, Interact Club, HOSA (health occupations), VEX Robotics, and a variety of many other well-rounded activities, roles, and honors. She also founded and lead the Girls Can STEM club at her high school. In her essay, she described designing and using a 3D printer to create a custom finger cast for an injured football player because the necessary size was not available.

Quinton Wong is the son of Adrienne and Gary Wong of Kahului. He is interested in pursuing computer engineering.

Quinton is active in and holds leadership positions with the Interact, Math, and Science Clubs, as well as the National Honor Society and Boy Scouts. He volunteers regularly with Big Brothers Big Sisters and is already grooming future engineers by tutoring at Kahului School and helping coach the MATHCOUNTS team at Maui Waena.

Congratulations to our winners who have bright futures ahead of them and will continue their impressive contributions to their community and society.


Researchers Seek to Boost Native Hawaiians in Engineering

Date: May 19, 2021

Increasing Native Hawaiian representation in engineering is the goal of a multidisciplinary University of Hawaii at Mānoa project funded by the National Science Foundation. The $641,379 grant over three years will help the UH Mānoa team, led by Department of Mechanical Engineering Assistant Professor Woochul Lee, to implement educational and mentoring initiatives to grow participation in engineering.

The researchers will use a cultural psychological approach to identify potential cultural barriers for entering graduate engineering programs, develop course materials originating from Native Hawaiian culture and establish multidisciplinary programs for professional development and mentoring.

Read more.


State Licensing Board Meeting

Date: May 19, 2021

The Hawaii Board of Professional Engineers, Architects, Surveyors & Landscape Architects will host its next meeting on Thursday, June 10 from 10 a.m.-11:30 a.m.

A Zoom link and agenda will be provided prior to the meeting. Access the licensing board website for more information.

Powering Past Coal on Oahu

Date: April 21, 2021

Governor David Ige has established a new task force to help move Oahu's renewable projects along in a timelier manner, according to a Star Advertiser report.

The "Powering Past Coal Task Force," which Ige established by executive order on March 30, is not meant to be a policy-making body or charged with making administrative rule changes. Nor does it replace the independent review of participating agencies for permitting or regulation.

The purpose of the task force, according to the order, is to bring stakeholders together to "timely facilitate, coordinate, and align project development and reviews" by Hawaiian Electric, state and county agencies of renewable projects replacing coal.

Read more.


First Fleet of State Electric Vehicles Arrive on the Scene

Date: April 21, 2021

The Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT) makes a step forward in electrification of its light duty fleet with the arrival of the first electric vehicles (EVs) procured through the state’s EV as a service contract.

The EV as a service contract allows HDOT and other interested state and county agencies to procure EVs and charging infrastructure on a per mile cost basis. Use of this service contract is expected to save approximately 75% in vehicle maintenance over the lifespan of the vehicle and an average of $287 per vehicle per year in fuel costs.

On April 13, the first of nine EVs to serve as vehicle replacements was delivered to state highways. One EV was picked up by the Hawaii State Energy Office through the contract as well. By the end of May HDOT will replace an additional 34 internal combustion engine vehicles with EVs. 

"We were definitely excited to begin the service contract with Sustainability Partners as converting our aging vehicles to EVs is another way HDOT is saving money and working towards the State’s goal of reducing fuel consumption in ground transportation 70% by 2030," said Hawaii Department of Transportation Deputy Director for Highways Ed Sniffen. "Public and private ground transportation is a huge contributor to carbon dioxide emissions. This service contract, that is available to all state and county agencies, could expedite government fleet conversions and help lead the way for increased private adoption of EV."

Learn more.


UH Professors Propose Plans to Redesign Hawaii’s Infrastructure

Date: April 21, 2021

It's a race against time as University of Hawaii professors propose radical changes to prepare for rising ocean levels.

"We believe on Oahu and in Honolulu, there is an opportunity to plan for these things before a disaster hits," said Judith Stilgenbauer, principal investigator and professor at UH Manoa’s School of Architecture. "So, anticipating climate change rather than thinking of it as post disaster recovery, planning and design."

Stilgenbauer, her team and students conducted a two-year study that investigated the past, present and future of Honolulu’s South Shore, according to the Hawaii News Now article. The study includes maps from the past 100 years that show just how much Honolulu has pushed the shoreline seaward by filling the land.

"And now the ocean is coming back and sort of reclaiming this land, and we need to prepare for that. We can’t just give up," said Dr. Chip Fletcher, associate dean of Academic Affairs of the School of Ocean, Earth Science and Technology at UH Manoa.

Read more.


State Licensing Board Meeting

Date: April 21, 2021

The Hawaii Board of Professional Engineers, Architects, Surveyors & Landscape Architects will host its next meeting via Zoom on Thursday, April 29 from 9a.m.-11:30 a.m.

A Zoom link and agenda will be provided prior to the meeting. Access the licensing board website for more information.

Construction Industry Still a Bright Spot for Hawaii Economy

Date: March 17, 2021

Diverse projects are keeping Hawaii’s construction industry busy and offering much-needed support for the state’s fractured economy. Those projects include hotel renovations, new and remodeled homes, county and state infrastructure efforts and military construction. Some architecture firms and contractors are even adding staff to keep up with the steady–and sometimes increased–workload, according to a Hawaii Business magazine report.

Economist Paul Brewbaker says Hawaii’s construction industry has been “remarkably resilient” during the pandemic. The number of natural resources, mining and construction jobs in the islands between March and November 2020 has been relatively stable, fluctuating between roughly 36,000 and 38,000 positions, according to state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism monthly data. By comparison, the number of jobs in that sector dropped dramatically as a result of the last recession: from a peak of 40,000 at the end of 2007 to a low of 28,000 in early 2011.

Brewbaker says it helped that construction was allowed to continue during the pandemic, when other industries had to shut down, and that construction workers quickly implemented safety measures on job sites.

Read more.


State Licensing Board Meeting

Date: March 17, 2021

The Hawaii Board of Professional Engineers, Architects, Surveyors & Landscape Architects will host its next meeting via Zoom on Thursday, April 8 from 9a.m.-11:30 a.m.

A Zoom link and agenda will be provided prior to the meeting. Access the licensing board website for more information.


GAO Report: FEMA Needs to Address Long-Term Disaster Recovery for Pacific Islands

Date: March 17, 2021

The Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, and Hawaii experienced an unprecedented number of natural disasters in 2018—including typhoons, earthquakes, mudslides, and volcanic eruptions.

Due to distance from the continental US, disaster response and recovery can be challenging. FEMA has worked to address these challenges, but the agency could improve disaster recovery in several areas, according to a recent Government Accountability Office report. This report examines how FEMA and its federal partners prepared for and responded to the 2018 disasters; and the extent to which FEMA assisted the CNMI, Guam, and Hawaii in recovering from the 2018 natural disasters.

As of October 2020, FEMA obligated $877 million—more than 70% of which was for individual and public assistance missions—following the 2018 disasters and made progress addressing some region-specific challenges. However, FEMA has not fully addressed housing assistance issues in the CNMI.

GAO also identified delays in FEMA’s obligation of public assistance program funds—used to repair or replace disaster-damaged public infrastructure such as utilities, roads, and schools. Specifically, on average, it took over a year for FEMA to approve funds for projects awarded after the 2018 disasters.

GAO is making four recommendations, including that FEMA (1) incorporate lessons learned into permanent housing construction guidance; and (2) use performance data to identify and address inefficiencies in the public assistance program. The Department of Homeland Security concurred, and FEMA is taking actions in response.

Access the report.


NSPE Career Center

Date: March 17, 2021

NSPE’s Job Board is your one-stop resource for professional engineering employment. Whether you are on the hunt for your next career move or looking for today’s top engineering leaders and talent, you will find it here.

NSPE provides the tools PEs need to keep current in the profession and advance their careers.

Featured Job
Civil Engineer V (SR-26)
Honolulu, HI

Find more job openings or reach the right employees on the NSPE Job Board.

And the Winner Is……

Date: February 17, 2021

The Hawaii Society of Professional Engineers is proud to announce that Steve Baldridge and Kapiolani M. Street, P.E., have been selected as the 2021 Engineer of the Year and Young Engineer of the Year.

2021 Engineer of the Year
Steve Baldridge is the founder and president of Baldridge & Associates Structural Engineering Inc. (BASE), and leads the firm’s pursuit of innovation and practical approaches to making buildings stronger, safer, and more cost-efficient.

2021 Engineer of the Year 
[Standing on the right: Steve Baldridge]

Baldridge is a champion of efficient and sustainable structural design through optimizing structural systems to reduce material requirements on a project. Projects designed by BASE have changed the Honolulu skyline, such as Koula, Aeo, Aalii, Pacifica, The Ritz-Carlton Waikiki, Keauhou Place, and 801 South Street. Under his leadership BASE has expanded to Guam, Chicago, Florida, and India with signature projects across all offices.

Baldridge has a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Wisconsin–Madison and a master’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Texas–Austin.

2021 Young Engineer of the Year
Kapiolani M. Street, P.E., has more than seven years of experience on civil and sanitary engineering projects. She currently works as a project engineer at the Limtiaco Consulting Group in Honolulu. Her projects include stormwater erosion control design, wastewater system design, site development and utility design.

2021 YEOY

In 2013, Street earned a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering and a bachelor’s degree in anthropology from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. In 2020, she obtained an MBA from the University of Hawaii at Manoa, Shidler College of Business.

Street currently serves as the past president and website co-chair for the American Society of Civil Engineers Younger Member Forum. She is also active in the American Water Works Association and the annual Pacific Water Conference Committee.


Get Ready for Engineers Week!

Date: February 17, 2021

DiscoverE 

Engineers Week is a time to celebrate the important work of engineers and engage the next generation of innovators. Even with social distancing, you can make a difference. Here are a few activities that will be of interest to NSPE-HI members.

Hawaii Engineers Week Events
The Kick-Off Event
A virtual event will be held on Tuesday, February 23 (12 p.m.-1p.m.) The event is sponsored by the Society of Military Engineers and the Hawaii Council of Engineering Societies.

Featured speakers are Capt. Gordie Meyer, CEC, USN, Commanding Officer, NAVFAC Hawaii, and Brennan Morioka, Ph.D., Dean of the University of Hawaii at Manoa College of Engineering, who will discuss the Red Hill Fuel: Fueling our National Security, Levering Technology. Register here.

Virtual Engineering Career Day
University of Hawaii at Manoa College of Engineering Spring Career Day will be held on Wednesday, February 24 (9 a.m.-12 p.m. and 1 p.m.- 4 p.m.). Register here.

Awards Event
The annual engineers’ awards event will be held via Zoom on Friday, February 26 (12 p.m.-1p.m.). The event is sponsored by the Hawaii Council of Engineering Societies and will feature Bill Chapman, Dean of the University of Hawaii at Manoa School of Architecture as the event speaker. Register here.

NSPE Events
Future of Engineering
Join NSPE leaders Tricia Hatley, P.E., F.NSPE and Rick Guerra, P.E., F.NSPE, as they discuss the future of engineering and how our changing world will impact the profession during a free webinar on Monday, February 22 (1 p.m.-2p.m. ET). Webinar participants can earn one professional development hour. The webinar will be recorded for later viewing.

2021 NSPE Federal Engineer of the Year Award Webcast
NSPE celebrates the 2021 federal agency winners, the Top 10 Finalists, and announces the 2021 NSPE Federal Engineer of the Year via pre-recorded webcast on Wednesday, February 24 at 12 p.m. ET on the NSPE website and YouTube channel.


Hawaii DOT to Host Meetings on Transportation Plan

Date: February 17, 2021

The Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT) will hold virtual public meetings on the update of the Hawaii Statewide Transportation Plan (HSTP) on February 17, 18, & 20. The meetings will be held using Microsoft Teams.

The HSTP looks at the future of transportation for the next 25 years and will update the state’s long-term transportation goals and policies for air, water, and land. During the meetings, the HDOT will share an overview of the plan and gather public feedback on goals, objectives, and emerging trends for the plan.

Learn more.


Kauai is Moving Forward on One of the Nation’s Most Advanced Energy Projects

Date: February 17, 2021

The Kauai Island Utility Cooperative, the island’s community-owned electricity company, has signed final agreements with AES Corp., a developer of a wide variety of generating plants, to build Hawaii’s first power plant relying on “pumped storage” technology.

Together, KIUC and AES will redevelop two existing reservoirs—one a couple thousand feet higher than the other. It will be on the west side of Kauai, near the US Navy’s Pacific Missile Range Facility, according to a Honolulu Civil Beat article.

Read more.


Licensing Board Meeting

Date: February 17, 2021

The Hawaii Board of Professional Engineers, Architects, Surveyors & Landscape Architects will host its next meeting via Zoom on Thursday, March 11 (9a.m.-11:30 a.m.).

A Zoom link and agenda will be provided prior to the meeting. Access the licensing board website for more information.


NCEES April 2021 Test Registration

Date: February 17, 2021

The National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying is accepting registrations for the pencil-and-paper April 2021 PE exams until March 4 (3 p.m. ET).

The exam administration will take place over two days—Thursday, April 22 and Friday, April 23. Registration for the computer-based FE and PE exams will remain open year-round.

According to NCEES, every effort will be made to accommodate all registered examinees in a manner that protects the health and safety of everyone involved. All sites for the April 2021 exam administration must operate in compliance with capacity and social distancing requirements. In most cases, this will reduce the number of examinees that can be accommodated at an exam site.


Puna Geothermal Venture Back Online After 2+ Year Hiatus

Date: January 27, 2021

When the Kilauea volcano erupted in 2018, it took down the Puna Geothermal Venture. Now more than two years later, this significant energy source on Hawaii Island has returned.

Hawaiian Electric announced in the fall that Puna Geothermal Venture—one of the largest and most reliable renewable energy sources in the state—was officially back online with gradual production.

The PGV is a geothermal energy conversion plant bringing steam and hot liquid up through underground wells. The hot liquid (brine) is not used for electricity at this time. The steam is directed to a turbine generator that produces electricity. With the PGV up and running, the company stated that it can further reduce the use of fossil fuels to generate electricity.

The return of PGV to operational status marks a key milestone in Hawaii County’s recovery from the Kilauea Volcano eruption of 2018 that devastated the Kapoho area of the island, according to HSPE member Curtis Beck, P.E., F.NSPE.

“The island’s electric utility grid had been significantly weakened by the loss of firm geothermal steam powered generation that normally backs up intermittent sources such as solar and wind,” says Beck, a retired Hawaii Electric Light Company (HELCO) senior manager. “It took over two years to restore roads, steam wells, substation equipment, and transmission facilities destroyed or damaged by the lava encroachment in and around the plant, but now the 30-year partnership between PGV and HELCO to develop this vital energy resource for the benefit of the community continues.”


Credit: Hawaiian Electric

Prior to the volcanic eruption in May 2018, PGV helped Hawaii Island achieve the state’s highest renewable energy percentage, close to 60%. Without PGV in service, the island’s renewable percentage in 2019 was 35%, Hawaiin Electric pointed out in a statement.

The plant produced 38 megawatts, representing about 15% of the island’s firm generation capacity, according to a Hawaiian Electric; the return of PGV increases the company’s generation reserve margins, ensuring there is electricity available for periods of high demand when other generators are out of service for maintenance.


Licensing Board Meeting

Date: January 27, 2021

The Hawaii Board of Professional Engineers, Architects, Surveyors & Landscape Architects will host its next meeting via Zoom on Thursday, February 11, 2021 from 9a.m.-11:30 a.m. A Zoom link and agenda will be provided prior to the meeting.

Access the licensing board website for more information.


Maui to Receive $300K Federal Grant for STEM Apprenticeship Program

Date: January 27, 2021

A federal grant is aiming to help develop a work-based apprenticeship program for Maui residents, according to a KHON2 news report. US Sen. Brian Schatz, who introduced the legislation, announced that the Maui Economic Development Board would be receiving $300,000 in federal funding to go toward a program looking to offer unique on-the-job training in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) skills.

The funding comes from the STEM Talent Challenge, a new grant program administered by the Economic Development Administration at the US Department of Commerce. “The program aims to create jobs, spur innovation and strengthen businesses in focus areas that are considered vital to the future of Hawaii’s economy,” says Schatz. Focus areas include renewable energy, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and agriculture.

Read more.


New Tool Projects High-tide Flooding in US Coastal Locations

Date: January 27, 2021

A new tool to help decision makers and others assess how sea-level rise and other factors will affect the frequency of high-tide flooding in US coastal locations in the next 50–100 years has been developed by University of Hawaii Sea Level Center Director Phil Thompson with funding from NASA’s Earth Science Division, according to a Municipal Sewer & Water article.

The Flooding Days Projection Tool is an online dashboard that projects the number of high-tide flooding days per year for 97 US cities, based on National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration impact thresholds. These thresholds provide a safety gap between regular high-tide water levels and conditions that result in flooding. Coastal communities are built at a certain elevation above sea-level with these natural fluctuations in mind.

Read more.


Last Call for Engineer of the Year and Young Engineer of the Year Nominations

Date: December 18, 2020

Time is almost up to nominate worthy candidates for the Engineer of the Year and Young Engineer of the Year. Nomination forms are available on the Hawaii Council of Engineering Societies website at http://hceshawaii.org/. The award winners will be recognized during the Engineer’s Week Banquet in February 2021.

NSPE-HI members can also contact Kurt Kunimune at kkunimune@bowersandkubota.com with any questions or to request nomination forms.

Nominations are due by December 30, 2020. Mahalo!


Licensing Board Meeting

Date: December 18, 2020

The Hawaii Board of Professional Engineers, Architects, Surveyors & Landscape Architects will host its next meeting via Zoom on Thursday, January 14, 2021 from 9a.m.-11: 30 a.m.

A Zoom link and agenda will be provided prior to the meeting. Access the licensing board website for more information.


State Climate Change Commission Endorses Sea Level Rise Plans

Date: December 18, 2020

The Hawaii Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation Commission endorsed two recently completed documents that operationalize the recommendations of the state's Sea Level Rise Vulnerability and Adaptation Report (2017). These guidance documents, produced in support of the commission’s Climate Ready Hawaii Initiative, help state and county planners and government officials plan for growing impacts of sea level rise to communities, natural and cultural resources, and critical infrastructure.

The first document, Guidance for Addressing Sea Level Rise in Community Planning in Hawaii, assists local government planners to integrate sea level rise adaptation plans and policies into state, county, and community plans.

The second document, Guidance for Using the Sea Level Rise Exposure Area in Local Planning and Permitting Decisions, was developed in response to requests from county planning departments and other stakeholders to provide further guidance on utilizing the Sea Level Rise Exposure Area (SLR-XA) in planning and permitting decisions while improving understanding of the methods, assumptions, and limitations of the data.

Read more.


Hawaii Releases Plan to Strengthen Broadband Infrastructure

Date: December 18, 2020

Hawaii has released a plan on how it will try to strengthen broadband infrastructure across the state.

The 45-page Hawaii Broadband Strategic Plan 2020 aims to make broadband services available to as much of the state as possible.

The state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism, in conjunction with the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs and the Office of Planning, published the plan, which updates the original Hawaii Broadband Strategic Plan that was released in 2012.

Read more.


Where Does Hawaii Rank on Highway Performance?

Date: December 18, 2020

Hawaii’s highway system ranks 42nd in the nation in overall cost-effectiveness and condition, according to the Annual Highway Report by the Reason Foundation. This is a five-spot improvement from the previous report, where Hawaii ranked 47th overall.

In safety and performance categories, Hawaii ranks 23rd in overall fatality rate, 22nd in structurally deficient bridges, 4th in traffic congestion, and 49th in urban interstate pavement condition. Hawaii has no rural interstate mileage. On spending, Hawaii ranks 35th in total spending per mile and 36th in capital and bridge costs per mile.

"To improve in the rankings, Hawaii needs to improve its pavement condition and reduce its fatality rate. The state ranks in the bottom 15 for all three pavement categories and in the bottom five for both rural and urban fatality rate. Compared to neighboring states, the report finds Hawaii's overall highway performance is worse than Arizona (ranks 23rd) and Oregon (ranks 28th), but better than California (ranks 43rd)," said Baruch Feigenbaum, lead author of the Annual Highway Report and senior managing director of transportation policy at Reason Foundation. “Hawaii is doing better than some comparable states like Alaska (ranks 49th), but worse than others like New Hampshire (ranks 29th)."

The foundation's Annual Highway Report measures the condition and cost-effectiveness of state-controlled highways in 13 categories, including pavement condition, traffic congestion, structurally deficient bridges, traffic fatalities, and spending (capital, maintenance, administrative, overall) per mile.

Access the full report.


NSPE Career Center

Date: December 18, 2020

NSPE’s Job Board is your one-stop resource for professional engineering employment. Whether you are on the hunt for your next career move or looking for today's top engineering leaders and talent, you will find it here.

NSPE provides the tools PEs need to keep current in the profession and advance their careers.

Featured Jobs
Civil Engineer III (SR-22)
Honolulu, HI

Civil Engineer IV (SR-24)
Honolulu, HI

Water Pumping Plants Superintendent (SR-28)
Honolulu, HI

Find more job openings or reach the right employees on the NSPE Job Board.

Honolulu Named a Top STEM City

Date: November 18, 2020

Honolulu, Hawaii was recognized as a 2020 Top STEM City for being a community showcasing exceptional dedication to science, technology, engineering, and math education and careers.

The data science team at Insurify (an insurance quotes comparison site) analyzed both proprietary and publicly accessible data to determine the top STEM city in each state. The team identified cities with the highest proportion of residents in STEM-based careers and compiled data from Niche on the colleges and graduate schools with the best programs in STEM, as well as the best cities for women in tech.

Read more.


Nominations Open for Engineer of the Year and Young Engineer of the Year

Date: November 18, 2020

Nominations are now open for the Engineer of the Year and Young Engineer of the Year candidates. Nomination forms are available on the Hawaii Council of Engineering Societies website at http://hceshawaii.org/. The award winners will be recognized during the Engineer’s Week Banquet in February 2021.

NSPE-HI members can also contact Kurt Kunimune at kkunimune@bowersandkubota.com with any questions or to request nomination forms.

Nominations are due by December 30, 2020. Mahalo!


Hawaii Awarded $23.3 Million to Protect, Improve Water Infrastructure

Date: November 18, 2020

Hawaii was awarded more than $23.3 million in federal funding from the US Environmental Protection Agency to protect and support the state’s water infrastructure.

The aid comes from the EPA’s State Revolving Funds, which assists states, tribes, and territories with infrastructure projects that help protect surface water and provide safe drinking water to communities across the country, according to a Pacific Business News report. The Hawaii Department of Health—which assists wastewater and water systems to maintain or bring them into compliance with state and federal clean water and drinking water requirements —will receive and administer the funds.

The State Revolving Funds programs function like infrastructure banks by providing low-interest loans for drinking water and clean water infrastructure projects. As the loan principal and interest are repaid over time, it allows the state’s Drinking Water State Revolving Fund and Clean Water State Revolving Funds to be recycled. As money is returned to the state’s revolving loan fund, the state makes new loans to other eligible recipients.

Read more.


Connected Vehicle Sensors Installed in East Hawaii

Date: November 18, 2020

The Hawaii Department of Transportation announced the installation of Blyncsy Intersect Connected Vehicle units on the 16 state-owned traffic signals in East Hawaii in cooperation with Elemental Excelerator, according to a Roads & Bridges article.

These connected vehicle sensors calculate travel times between units by anonymously collecting data from Bluetooth-enabled devices in passing vehicles. HDOT and the County of Hawaii will use data from the units to optimize traffic signal timing. Data from the connected vehicle sensors is similar to traffic information currently available from navigation apps like Google and Apple Maps, but is more accurate as it captures data from units installed directly on traffic signals. The dashboard also allows users to view information such as speeds along the corridor and current delays.

Read more.


Coming Soon! Nominations for Engineer of the Year and Young Engineer of the Year

Date: October 28, 2020

Nominations for the Engineer of the Year and Young Engineer of the Year candidates will be accepted beginning in November.

Nomination forms will be available on the Hawaii Council of Engineering Societies website at http://hceshawaii.org/. The award winners will be recognized during the Engineer’s Week Banquet in February of 2021.

NSPE-HI members can also contact Kurt Kunimune at kkunimune@bowersandkubota.com with any questions or to request nomination forms.
Nominations will be due by December 30, 2020. Mahalo!


HI Oks Autonomous Vehicles for Public Roads

Date: October 28, 2020

Just weeks after committing to a four-year long pilot project to turn Hawaii’s highways into data-collecting laboratories, Governor David Ige approved autonomous vehicle testing on public roads throughout the state until at least 2023, according to the State Scoop.

The policy (H.B. 2590) makes Hawaii the 29th state to legislate autonomous vehicle testing, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, but it’s been a long time coming for Ige, who first signed an executive order in 2017 to establish an administrative role in the governor's office to act as a liaison between AV manufacturers and the state.

Read more.


State DOT Announces Award for Phase 2 of the Harbors Modernization Project

Date: October 28, 2020

The Hawaii Department of Transportation recently announced that the Kapalama Container Terminal Phase 2 project has been awarded to Kiewit Infrastructure West which will complete the cornerstone project for the Harbors Modernization Plan. The awarded contract of $350 million features the waterside construction at Piers 40-43 in Honolulu Harbor that will add 18.5 acres of fast-land, including 1,860 linear feet of new berthing space for two container ships to dock simultaneously and up to six gantry cranes.

(Aerial view of the Kapalama Container Terminal project site. Credit: Hawaiit Department of Transportation)

The project is the largest capital improvement project in Hawaii harbors history. It will increase operational efficiency, provide better resiliency of critical maritime infrastructure, and significantly reduce traffic on surrounding roadways.

“This project is proceeding at a critical time when our state needs it most as we continue fighting COVID-19 and its impacts,” said Governor David Ige. “The work will be performed by local talent and infuse hundreds of millions of dollars into the local economy, in addition to improving our harbor system that will benefit the state for decades to come.”

The project work includes dredging along the waterfront and up to the federal channel and widening of the water basin between Piers 40 and 41, which will create important barge berthing space along Pier 41. This phase 2 project will address sea level rise by increasing the pier height that will match the phase 1 elevated backlands in construction. The project construction is scheduled to start in spring 2021 and is estimated for completion in the winter of 2023.

Read more.


Are You the Next Federal Engineer of the Year?

Date: October 28, 2020

Honoring the commitment of federal engineers to innovation and service is the hallmark of the Federal Engineer of the Year Award. Nominations for the award, which attracts participation from more than a dozen federal agencies, are open until October 31.

The FEYA ceremony is scheduled for February 18, 2021, at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. Tickets will be available for sale in January and sponsorship opportunities are available.


Two Hawaii Society Members Named FEYA Finalists

Date: February 28, 2020

Each year, NSPE’s Federal Engineer of the Year Award honors engineers employed at US agencies. The top 10 finalists exemplify the best and brightest federal engineering talent. In 2020, two of those finalists were members of the Hawaii Society of Professional Engineers. Congratulations to Tony Lau, P.E., and LTC L. Reyn Mann, P.E.!

Tony Lau, P.E.

Tony Lau, P.E.
US Department of the Navy
Naval Facilities Engineering Command (Hawaii)

Nearly 30 years of civil engineering prowess has helped Lau establish his trademark for design and management of Navy and Marine Corps facilities worldwide. His projects have enabled warfighter lethality, thereby maximizing shore readiness and strengthening NAVFAC’s system command team in challenging locations, including Hawaii, Guam, Japan, Singapore, and Diego Garcia. At NAVFAC Hawaii, he manages capital improvements and coordinates civil technical design. Prepared for the unpredictable, Lau guided two critical projects: a 42-inch emergency water line repair and a deep-water well emergency repair. Both projects restored the primary water source, critical to base operations and military families, and prevented permanent damages to the Navy’s aquifers and waterline systems. Through his leadership, Lau also has implemented unique outside-the-box management techniques, keeping staff motivated to meet mission requirements. Lau was awarded the Engineer of the Year by Hawaii Society of Professional Engineers in 2017.

LTC L. Reyn Mann, P.E.

LTC L. Reyn Mann, P.E.
US Department of the Army
US Army Pacific/130th Engineer Brigade

With a career spanning two decades of tactical and strategic Army experience, Mann has commanded engineers at the platoon, company, and battalion levels to support Special Operations Forces in Iraq, the Philippines, Europe, and Africa. Her current role is commander of the 84th Engineer Battalion in Hawaii, which provides construction and combat engineering operations throughout the Indo-Pacific region. To her credit, she has facilitated more than 20 full or partial designs, 15 surveys, 10 horizontal construction projects, and 15 vertical construction projects. Mann also routinely trains, deploys, and supervises engineers supporting security cooperation exercises in more than 15 countries. As another benchmark achievement, she formerly participated in a Directorate for Nuclear, Homeland Defense, and Current Operations, targeting mission assurance and energy resilience—fusing engineering strategy and policy for the highest levels of government.

NSPE honored the top 10 finalists and all FEYA agency winners at its ceremony in Washington, DC, on February 14. Timothy Sullivan, Ph.D., P.E., of the US Department of the Air Force, Air Force Civil Engineer Center, was named NSPE’s 2020 Federal Engineer of the Year Award winner.


Members of HSPE Maui January 31 Tour Highlights

Date: Friday, January 31, 2020

On Friday, January 31, members of HSPE Maui took a tour of the Pacific Pipe warehouse and yard to learn about some of the pipe materials readily available on Maui.

HSPE Members

HSPE Members

HSPE Members

HSPE Members

HSPE Members


MATHCOUNTS Volunteers Needed

MATHCOUNTS is a national program founded by the National Society of Professional Engineers, the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, and the CNA Foundation. The program provides students in grades 6-8 the opportunity to compete in live contests against and alongside their peers.

HSPE, Maui Chapter, hosts an annual MATHCOUNTS Chapter Competition as part of E-Week. The first-place team and the top two competitors will advance to represent Maui at the State Competition on O‘ahu. The top four individual high scorers from the State Competition will advance to represent Hawaii at the Raytheon MATHCOUNTS National Championship.

We are requesting volunteers for MATHCOUNTS. We have 10 schools registered for the competition (download PDF). Approximately 100 students are anticipated to compete.

The MATHCOUNTS competition includes the following rounds:

Sprint Round: 30 questions in 40 minutes; students work individually; no calculators permitted

Target Round: 4 pairs of questions; 6 minutes per pair of questions; students work individually; calculators are permitted

Team Round: 10 questions in 20 minutes; 4 team members work together; calculators are permitted

Countdown Round (Unofficial): Fast-paced round where students battle head-to-head in a test of speed and accuracy; top 8 students participate; results do not determine competition winner nor advancement to the State Competition

Volunteer information below:

What: MATHCOUNTS Competition volunteers for the following:

  • Check-in and name tags
  • Seating competitors so they are not seated next to students from the same school
  • Handing out test material / scratch paper / pencils
  • Grading tests
  • Serving snacks / lunch
  • Clean up

When: Saturday, February 8, 2020 - setup starts at 7:30am, registration starts at 8:00am, competition ends around 1:00pm

Where: Maui Waena Intermediate School, located at 795 Onehee Avenue, Kahului

Questions? Please contact Mandy Saito, mandy@kaanapaliland.com


HSPE Maui Chapter, 2020 Engineering Project of the Year

Date: January 3, 2020

The Maui Chapter of the Hawaii Society of Professional Engineers (HSPE), in celebration of Engineers’ Week (February 16 – 22, 2022) invites you to submit an entry for the HSPE 2020 Project of the Year.

Entry Deadline: Friday, January 24, 2020 at 3:00 pm

> Learn more.


HSPE’s Maui Chapter took a tour of Walker Precast

Date: September 6, 2019

HSPE’s Maui Chapter took a tour of Walker Precast on September 6. Members gathered around to learn about some of the precast items produced onsite by Walker Industries.

Eric Takamine (HSPE, Maui Chapter, Vice President).Credit: Eric Takamine (HSPE, Maui Chapter, Vice President).

Irina Constantinescu (HSPE, Maui Chapter, Treasurer); Credit: Irina Constantinescu (HSPE, Maui Chapter, Treasurer)

Irina Constantinescu (HSPE, Maui Chapter, Treasurer)Credit: Irina Constantinescu (HSPE, Maui Chapter, Treasurer)


Hawaii PE Installed as NICET Chair

Date: July 20, 2019

Curtis Beck, P.E.

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.


Officer Installation Ceremony

Date: July 8, 2019

Officer Installation Ceremony

(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.

Attendees at luncheon tables.

Attendees at luncheon tables.ATTENDEES AT LUNCHEON TABLES DURING THE INSTALLATION CEREMONY.

Tom Roberts, PE, FNSPENSPE 2017–18 PRESIDENT TOM ROBERTS, P.E., F.NSPE ADDRESSING THE GROUP BEFORE THE INSTALLATION OF OFFICERS.


PE Action Ensures License Requirement for Hawaii Public Works Position

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.


May Meeting Highlights Award-Winning Project

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 pondVIEW OF THE POND DURING LINER INSTALLATION

Pond back in sevicePOND BACK IN SERVICE WITH NEW LINER AND SAFETY LADDER IN LINER

Hawaiian StiltHAWAIIAN STILT


Stormwater Conference: July 22-26, 2019

The Hawaii Water Environment Association (HWEA) Stormwater Committee is co-hosting a Stormwater Conference with the City and County of Honolulu from July 22 to 26, 2019, at the Hawaii Convention Center. For more information on the conference and to register visit the official event web site.

2019 Engineers Week Event Banquet

Date: Tuesday, February 23, 2019

HSPE Board and DirectorsHSPE BOARD AND DIRECTORS

HSPE Scholarship Winner Julianna Andrade

HSPE SCHOLARSHIP WINNER JULIANNA ANDRADE

Keynote Speaker Tara OwensKEYNOTE SPEAKER TARA OWENS

Managing Director Sandy BazMANAGING DIRECTOR SANDY BAZ

See attached flyer for event details.


Senator Brian Schatz Champions STEM Education

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.


2019 Hawaii Engineer of the Year Award

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.


Hawaii Society at the 2018 Professional Engineers Conference

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.

HSPE Members

HSPE Members

IMAGES COURTESY OF NSPE AND CHRISTIE'S PHOTOGRAPHIC STUDIOS