By Dino W. Buchanan, Honolulu District Public Affairs
More than 300 engineers and friends of the 17 organizations within the Hawaii Council of Engineering Societies, plus invited local VIPs and dignitaries and engineers from Honolulu District, are expected to gather at the Hale Koa's Banyan Tree Showroom Feb. 19 for a luncheon to kick off Engineers Week 2013, which runs Feb. 17 to 23.
"Engineers Week is a great opportunity to showcase the accomplishments and capabilities of the Honolulu District’s professional engineers, architects and surveyors," said Todd Barnes, chief of Engineering & Construction, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Honolulu District and past post president, Society of American Military Engineers (SAME).
Statewide Engineers Week activities include: signing of an Engineers Week Proclamation and photo opportunity with Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell; signing of an Engineers Week Proclamation and photo opportunity with Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie; Engineers Week static displays at Pearlridge Shopping Center Feb. 16-18 by 16 engineering organizations; and attendance at the Engineers Week Kickoff luncheon Feb. 19. The Corps supports all of these events.
The celebration of National Engineers Week was started in 1951 by the National Society of Professional Engineers in conjunction with President George Washington's Birthday. President Washington is considered the nation's first engineer, notably for his surveying work.
Barnes and several of the District’s Department of the Army interns are creating Corps of Engineers and Honolulu District photographic exhibits that showcase the District’s missions for public display at Pearlridge Shopping Center.
Jointly hosted by the Honolulu Post of the Society of American Military Engineers (SAME) and the Hawaii Council of Engineering Societies (HCES), the kickoff luncheon will feature keynote speaker Frederic Berg, Project Director, Honolulu Seawater Air Conditioning, LLC., who will speak on the "Seawater Air Conditioning: Meeting Today's Clean Energy Expectations."
Each year during Engineers Week, the HCES organizes display exhibits to increase public awareness and appreciation of the engineering profession. The theme for 2013 is, “Bringing Dreams to Life.” This year, 16 professional engineering societies, consulting engineering firms & manufacturing companies, and student groups will display projects at Pearlridge. The purpose of the displays and interactive exhibits is to improve the public image of the engineering profession and to stimulate qualified students in public and private schools to choose careers in engineering and in related science fields.
For the past years, several societies’ consulting engineering firms & manufacturing companies, the student groups from UHM and the robotics clubs from local high schools have also gathered at Pearlridge Shopping Center and displayed projects they had been working on as well as entering in competitions. The 2013 Engineers Week Robotics Tournament will be Feb. 17 at Pearlridge (Uptown section).
Prior to Engineers Week, Honolulu District engineers and staff attended the 2013 MATHCOUNTS competition with 16 personnel volunteering their services as moderators, proctors and scorers at the Oahu event Feb. 9 held at Kamehameha Schools, Honolulu. Sixth, seventh and eighth graders from more than 36 Oahu public and private schools participated in the competition. Respective winners from Oahu, Maui and the island of Hawaii will meet for the State MATHCOUNTS championship on Oahu March 9, which also is being held at Kamehameha Schools. Another nine Honolulu District volunteers will be volunteering their time at the state competition. State winners advance to the National MATHCOUNTS May 10 in Washington, D.C.
The MATHCOUNTS program, in its 30th year, is sponsored by the National Society of Professional Engineers at the state and local levels to emphasize the importance of mathematical skills in the development of future technology and encourage students to excel in these areas. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers recognizes the critical role that Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education plays in enabling the U.S. to remain the economic and technological leaders of the global marketplace, and enabling the Department of Defense and Army in the security of our Nation. The Corps is committed to teaming with others to strengthen STEM-related programs that inspire current and future generations of young people to pursue careers in STEM fields.
MATHCOUNTS builds skills, promotes strategic problem solving and challenges students to sharpen their analytical abilities by bringing together sixth, seventh and eighth grade students through the MATHCOUNTS competition program, a national middle school coaching and competitive mathematics program that promotes mathematics achievement through a series of fun and engaging contests as individual, team and single elimination head-to-head individual events. The program exists in all 50 states plus U.S. territories and the Department of Defense and State Department schools.
Also coinciding with this year’s Engineers Week activities is the University of Hawaii at Manoa’s College of Engineering Career Fair Feb. 20. Honolulu District Workforce Management staff and District engineering personnel will be on hand to provide future engineers with educational career guidance, information on potential job opportunities within the Corps as well as discussing potential STEM field career paths.
The Hawaii Council of Engineering Societies is chaired by Bryan Zachmier, who is also a Vice President with the Society of American Military Engineers, Honolulu Post and is composed of: the Association for the Advancement of Cost Engineering (AACEI); American Council of Engineering Companies of Hawaii (ACECH); American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE); American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME); Cold-Formed Steel Engineers Institute (CFSEI); Engineers and Architects of Hawaii (EAH); Filipino American League of Engineers and Architects (FALEA); Hawaii Association of Land Surveyors (HALS); Hawaii Society of Professional Engineers (HSPE); The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc (IEEE); Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE); Society of American Military Engineers (SAME); Structural Engineers Association of Hawaii (SEAOH); the Society of Fire Protection Engineers (SFPE); the University of Hawaii College of Engineering; American Society of Heating Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers, Inc. (ASHRAE) and Engineers without Borders - Honolulu (EWB). HCES has been celebrating Engineers Week in Hawaii since 1965.