Latest News

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