2019 HCES Lifetime Achievement Award

Robert Y. Akinaka

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The Hawaii Council of Engineering Societies is proud to announce that Mr. Robert Y. Akinaka, P.E. has been selected for its 2019 HCES Lifetime Achievement Award.  Mr. Akinaka was chosen for this honor in recognition of his many years of dedication and service to his profession and to the community.


Mr. Akinaka is currently retired and serves as the Chairman of Akinaka & Associates, Ltd., a consulting civil engineering firm in Honolulu, which was founded in 1941 by his father, Arthur Y. Akinaka.  As some of you may remember, Arthur Y. Akinaka was presented with the Engineer of the Year award in 1978.  Bob grew up in Kalihi, observing and admiring his father’s professionalism and commitment to developing successful projects for the benefit of the community.  After his graduation from Punahou School in 1959, he continued his education at Stanford University where he earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in civil engineering in 1963.  He then returned to Hawaii to work for his father’s firm, where he made it his goal to quickly learn all the skills required for successful engineering solutions.  He became the President of Akinaka & Associates, Ltd. in 1984 and its chairman in 2003.


During his 50 year career, Mr. Akinaka has been a leading force in numerous major engineering projects which benefit the people of Hawaii.  He has also contributed to his profession by generously donating his time and skills to organizations such as the American Water Works Association, which presented him with their prestigious Fuller Award as well as Honorary member status, which is given each year to 10 members amongst its then 50,000 membership.  In addition to being a life member of the American Water Works Association, he is also a life member of the American Society of Civil Engineers, as well as a member of the Hawaii Leeward Planning Conference and American Council of Engineering Companies Hawaii.  He was also an active member of the American Public Works Association, Water Environment Federation and the Hawaii Society of Professional Engineers.



Mr. Akinaka also served as a member of the State Board of Professional Engineers, Architects, Surveyors, and Landscape Architects where his assistance in assuring the high quality of engineers for the State of Hawaii was much appreciated.  He is committed to mentoring young engineers in their career development by serving as a member of the University of Hawaii at Manoa Chancellor Hinshaw’s Advisory Council, a member of the University of Hawaii College of Engineering Dean’s Council, a board member of the University of Hawaii Na Koa Football Club, a member of the Board of Trustees for the University of Hawaii chapter of Chi Epsilon, the National Civil Engineering Honor Society.


Mr. Akinaka recognizes that he also has a social responsibility to his community and has unselfishly given his time and energy to organizations such as the Kalihi YMCA, the University of Hawaii, the Punahou School Alumni Association, and the Hawaii Island United Way, among others.  Along the way, he has earned the respect, admiration, and appreciation of many in the community.


Mr. Akinaka serves as a shining example of what it takes to be a successful engin