Meet the board!
Mr. Kawahara is the President of Akinaka & Associates, Ltd., a kama’āina civil engineering firm. Prior to joining the company, Mr. Kawahara served as the Deputy Director for the State of Hawaiʻi, Department of Land and Natural Resources, Commission on Water Resource Management (CWRM). In addition to managing the staff of CWRM, he oversaw the Engineering Division, Office of Conservation and Coastal Lands, State Parks, Division of Forestry and Wildlife and the Division of Aquatic Resources. Mr. Kawahara previously worked for the City and County of Honolulu, Department of Wastewater Management and the Department of Environmental Services, Gentry Homes, R.M. Towill Corporation and M&E Pacific (now AECOM).
His professional experience in both the private and public sectors includes planning, design, contracting, construction, construction management, regulatory compliance and environmental quality monitoring. He has experience in management for a variety of projects including water resource and system management, master planning, wastewater pretreatment, collection, treatment, disposal, recycled water and biosolids reclamation.
Mr. Kawahara has been or is currently active with the American Council of Engineering Companies, American Public Works Association, American Society of Civil Engineers, American Water Works Association, Hawaiʻi Leeward Planning Conference, Hawaiʻi Water Environment Association, Water Environment Federation, University of Hawaiʻi College of Engineering Dean’s Council, and University of Hawaiʻi College of Engineering Alumni Association. Ken is an alumnus of the Pacific Century Fellows Program, served on the City and County of Honolulu, Zoning Board of Appeals and currently volunteers on the U.S. Air Force Civilian Advisory Council and the Board of the Oahu Transit Services. He graduated in Civil Engineering from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa and received the College of Engineering Distinguished Alumni Award in 2018 and became a Chapter Member of the Chi Epsilon Honor Society in 2019.
Ken and his wife, Wendy have a daughter, Miki who currently resides in Indiana.
Landon Sakai is an Area Superintendent at Hensel Phelps Construction Co. Working out of the Pacific District, he has been at HPCC since 2014, working on projects that include hospitality, medical, and industrial in both the federal and private sectors.
Landon joined the EAAUH board as a student member in 2014, and graduated the same year from the University of Hawaiʻi as a Civil Engineer. Thereafter he became an alumni member of the board and was elected to be Secretary for the 2020-2021 term. Landon then became Treasurer for the 2021-2022 term, and is now the Vice President for the 2022-2023 year.
Nolan Tanaka is a Vehicle Integration Manager with Northrop Grumman Space Systems in Redondo Beach, CA. In this role, he is responsible for the electrical integration engineering of 68 satellites worth over $1.5B. Over the course of his aerospace and defense industry career, Nolan has worked on national security, civil, domestic commercial and international commercial space programs. He is an Air Force veteran.
Nolan earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering and an officer’s commission through the Air Force ROTC program at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. He completed the University of Southern California’s Engineering Leadership and the California Institute of Technology’s Project Management Programs.
Nolan is the recipient of the UH Mānoa College of Engineering’s Outstanding Service Award, NASA Group Award, Goddard Spaceflight Center’s Teamwork Award as well as numerous customer and company commendations.
Born in Honolulu and raised across the country, Nolan is a graduate of Leilehua High School. He serves on UH Mānoa’s College of Engineering Dean’s Council, Electrical Engineering Industrial Advisory Board and leads the Southern California UH Engineering Alumni ʻOhana. Nolan is the Co-Chairman of Northrop Grumman’s veterans employee resource group and leads the company’s engagement with two universities. He enjoys playing basketball, softball, golf, attending Los Angeles Lakers and UH football games as well as genealogy. Nolan attends the Palos Verdes Baptist Church.
Megan Ueno has 10 years of civil engineering design and construction experience. She earned a BS in Civil Engineering from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa and is a licensed civil engineer registered in the State of Hawaiʻi. Her design experience includes roadway infrastructure, utilities design, and site development. She also served as Project Engineer for construction of new buildings and utility improvements.
Stancher is a civil engineer at Construction Management and Engineering, LLC located in Honolulu, Hawai’i. He started his career as an intern for a private consulting firm and the State of Hawaiʻi DOT. He then went on to gain civil engineering design experience working for local and international design firms for almost two decades. Past clients include the State of Hawaiʻi DOT, City and County of Honolulu, and private developers. Professional specialties include hydrologic and hydraulic analyses, flood analysis modeling and design, drainage studies, and construction management.
Born and raised in Honolulu, Stancher is a graduate of Damien Memorial High School. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering from the College of Engineering at UH Mānoa and joined the EAAUH Board as a director in 2014. When he isn’t working, he enjoys his time growing through life with his wife and two children.
Sasha S.Y. Cain (née Yamada) is currently a Ph.D. Candidate and National Science Foundation Graduate Fellow at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She earned her M.S. from the same institution in 2021 and her B.S. from the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa in 2019, all in electrical engineering. Her professional interests include antenna design and analysis.
During her time at the University of Hawai’i, she was actively involved in the IEEE Student Branch and undergraduate research. She is a member of the Eta Kappa Nu (HKN) Delta-Omega chapter and recipient of the 2019 Hawaiʻi Council of Engineering Societies Student Engineer of the Year award.
Sasha grew up in Hauʻula on the windward side of Oʻahu and is a proud graduate of Kahuku High School. She is a first-generation college student and is passionate about diversity and inclusion advocacy in engineering. In her free time, she enjoys cooking, crafting, and spending time with her husband and two cats.”
Currently serving as Utilities Privatization Director at Hawaiian Electric. Member of the EAAUH Board of Directors since 2014. Joined the EEAUH Board to increase networking opportunities, provide my experience to the organization, and mentorship to younger professionals. Retired from the US Army Corps of Engineers as the Deputy District Engineer for Programs & Project Management after 36 years of federal service and working in leadership positions in Hawaiʻi, Japan, Europe and Afghanistan. Served as Project Director and Director of Construction at the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation (HART) in 2020-2021. BSCE (1982) from the University of Hawaiʻi. Registered Professional Engineer (Hawaiʻi). Fun fact: In my career, I had the opportunity to visit 30 countries and 27 states, and interact with some very interesting people!
Rodney is retired (since October 2022) from Hawaiian Electric where he last served as the Director of Telecommunications; in that role he was responsible for the planning, design, construction, and maintenance of the companies’ telecommunications infrastructure on O’ahu, Maui county and Hawai’i island.
Rodney began his career in the utility business in 1990 at Kauai Electric, just a month after graduating from the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa with a B.S. in electrical engineering. He joined Hawaiian Electric’s Engineering Department in 1991 as a substation engineer and served in numerous and diverse roles including Project Manager, Principal Environmental Scientist, Director of Energy Procurement, Manager of Renewable Acquisition, Director of Grid Modernization, and in 2019 a brief role as the Vice President of Energy Delivery.
In addition to serving on the EAAUH board, Rodney also serves on the board of Kupu, a nonprofit whose mission is to provide hands-on environmental and sustainability learning opportunities for Hawai’i’s youth.
Rodney is a registered professional electrical engineer (PE) in Hawai’i.
Cristina Felicitas is a RF/Microwave Design Engineer at Northrop Grumman Corporation located in Redondo Beach, California. She started her career as a summer intern and returned the following year as a full time professional. Her professional specialties include RF MMIC design, test, and analysis with various semiconductor technologies such as GaN, GaAs, and InP.
She joined the EAAUH board as a Director in 2021 even though she is located in Los Angeles, California. She earned her bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the College of Engineering at UH Mānoa and was active in IEEE and NHSEMP. After relocating to the mainland, she pursued her Masters of Engineering in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute while working as a full time professional at Northrop Grumman.
Born in Guam and raised in Honolulu, Cristina is a graduate of Farrington High School. She loves to volunteer for robotics competitions and STEM/alumni outreach events. When she isn’t working or volunteering, she enjoys dancing hula with her local hālau and solo traveling around the world.
ʻO Byron Edward Kahoaliʻi Kai Fonseca kona inoa piha. Byron Edward is his first name but goes by “Kai.”
Kai joined EAAUH Board of Directors in 2020, the year after graduating from UHM with a mechanical engineering degree. Currently, he is apart of the Recent Grad Committee, where the main goal is to support the students on a direct interaction level. He works hand in hand with UHM ESAs, ECUH, SWE, and other student councils. He joined EAAUH to help the students build a foundation for their careers after college.
Currently, Kai is a Professional Engineer working as an Assistant Mechanical Engineer for Burns & McDonnell. From 2019 – mid 2022, he worked in the Pacific Office in Honolulu, then recently relocated with his wife to the company world headquarters in Kansas City, Missouri.
His favorite activities are anything on a board or in the ocean! He grew up surfing, fishing, paddling canoe, and skateboarding. He recently fell in love with snowboarding. He also grew up dancing hula and playing music (ukulele and slack key guitar).
Chad Korenaga is a project manager at Nan Inc. with over 19 years of experience in the construction industry. Through his previous employer Albert C. Kobayashi, Inc., he was involved with the management and construction of various high profile projects on the island of Oʻahu which include The Trump Tower in Waikīkī, Anaha Tower in Kakaʻako, Hale Mahana near the University of Hawaiʻi, and SKY Ala Moana. His latest project is The Park On Keʻeaumoku with Nan Inc. Over the years, he has shown strong leadership, attention to detail, and coordination with all team players. Chad is driven, prompt to making decisions, and takes initiative as he continues to grow and faces new challenges.
Born in Honolulu, he is an alumni of Damien Memorial High School and the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa with a bachelor’s degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering. While at the University of Hawaiʻi, he was an active member of the American Society of Civil Engineers and was the chair for the Pacific Southwest Regional Conference in 2002. He joined the EAAUH Board in 2022 in hopes to provide future engineers the opportunity and guidance to thrive in the industry.
John Katahira specializes in the engineering of water, wastewater, recycled water and stormwater infrastructure. As president of The Limtiaco Consulting Group, Katahira’s key responsibilities include business development, marketing, financial management, human resources, and information technology. He is the principal-in-charge for planning engineering and public outreach services.
Over the last ten years TLCG revenue has grown 18% per year. The company was voted one of Hawaiʻi’s Best Places to Work and has been awarded Pacific Business News’ Hawai’i’s Fastest 50 companies three times. TLCG is consistently one of Hawai’i’s Top Engineering Firms.
Katahira, a licensed professional engineer, earned BS and MS degrees in civil engineering and holds an MBA in business management from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. He was voted as Hawaiʻi’s Young Engineer of the Year in 2005 and at 32-year-old was selected to Pacific Business News’ Forty Under 40. In 2016, Katahira was selected as SBA’s Small Business Person of the Year for the City and County of Honolulu.
An active member of various nonprofit organizations, Katahira has served as president of the Engineering Alumni Association University of Hawaiʻi, American Council of Engineering Companies of Hawaiʻi, and Hawaiʻi Water Environment Association. He also served as president and founder of the Boys and Girls Club of Hawaiʻi Alliance Board. He is currently a corporate board member and executive committee member of the Boys and Girls Club of Hawaiʻi and board of director for the Hawaiʻi State Federal Credit Union.
Katahira is blissfully married to Lori and is a proud father of his beautiful girls, Erin and Sage.
Scott Kunioka is a Senior Project Manager at Akinaka & Associates, Inc. located in Honolulu. He is a licensed professional civil engineer with over 35 years of experience. He has designed and been a part of many government and private projects throughout the state.
He earned his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the College of Engineering at UH Mānoa and was active in ASCE during that time. He joined the EAAUH board as a Director in 2021.
Born in Kaua’i and raised in Kapa’a, He is a graduate of Kapa’a High School. He enjoys watching and playing sports, socializing and singing Karaoke. He has played softball and tennis for over 40 years.
Ronald Malalis was born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaiʻi. He attended the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa where he received both a Bachelor’s and Master’s Science Degree in Civil Engineering. He has over 18 years of construction experience, working his way up from Project Engineer to Project Manager. He oversaw a wide range of projects, including ground up hospitality, retail and restaurant build outs. In 2019, Ronald obtained a General Contractor’s license, and began his own company, Indie Road Honolulu. Indie Road specializes in high end commercial interior renovation projects. Ronald has taken on several leadership roles in the community including: The UH College of Engineering Alumni Association (Board Member), Damien Alumni Association (President), Damien Memorial School (Board Member), and Urban Land Institute (Young Leader’s Executive Committee Co-Chair. He spends his free time surfing, cycling, and spending time with his wife and their 3 very active boys.
Dr. Brennon Morioka is currently the Dean of the College of Engineering at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. Dr. Morioka is a licensed civil engineer in Hawaiʻi and California. He has served in multiple executive positions in Hawai’i. He was the General Manager for Electrification of Transportation at Hawaiian Electric Company (HECO), the former Director for the State of Hawai’i Department of Transportation (HDOT), and the Deputy Executive Director for the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation (HART). He has served as Vice President and Area Manager for CH2M HILL in the Honolulu Office and the Executive Vice President of Shioi Construction. All of these positions have provided him with extensive experiences in both the public and private sectors in the engineering and business world.
Dr. Morioka received his BS and MS degrees in Civil Engineering from the UC Berkeley and completed his doctoral studies here at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa.
He serves on the numerous boards of community service and non-profit organizations, including the Aloha Stadium Authority, the US Japan Council, Ahahui Koa Ānuenue, Friends of ʻIolani Palace, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, and the Pacific International Center for High Technology Research (PICHTR).
Brennon is a graduate of ʻIolani School. And is married to his wife, Jeanine, with three keiki, Taysia and identical twins, Brayden and Bronson.
Rika Okino joined the Engineering Alumni Association of the University of Hawai’i board as a director in 2022. She is a civil engineer at Wilson Okamoto Corporation who works on numerous Ward Village projects by collaborating with clients to provide design services for the development of construction plans and by corresponding with the City and County of Honolulu to ensure the approval of those plans.
Born and raised in Honolulu, Rika graduated from Kalani High School before attending the College of Engineering at UH Mānoa. While there, she balanced her time in the classroom and on the volleyball court as a libero for the Rainbow Wāhine Volleyball team, where her team won two Big West Conference titles and made four NCAA Tournament appearances. Being a student-athlete taught her the importance of communication, leadership, and resiliency, which serve as valuable assets in the field of engineering. She received her bachelor’s degree in civil engineering in the spring of 2020. As a senior, she was honored as the Hawaiʻi Council of Engineering Societies Student Engineer of the Year and as the Outstanding Graduating Senior in Civil and Environmental Engineering.
In her free time, she enjoys going to the beach, hiking, golfing, and cheering on the Rainbow Wāhine.
32 years with the US Army Corps of Engineers retiring as the senior civilian and Deputy District Engineer; 7 years in the private sector currently the Pacific Office Director for Burns & McDonnell Engineering Company. BSCE 1984 from the University of Hawai’i Mānoa.
Matt Sahara is an Electrical Engineer-in-Training at Burns & McDonnell working for the Pacific Office in downtown Honolulu. He started his full-time career with Burns & Mac after two internships–one based in Honolulu, and another based in Kansas City. Matt designs medium and low voltage electrical systems for facilities throughout the Pacific. His notable design experiences include hangars, piers, and operations facilities.
Matt joined the EAAUH board as a Director in 2022, and is an active part of the Recent Graduate Committee. He also helps to organize outreach and community service events on behalf of Burns & McDonnell in the Pacific region.
Born and raised in Honolulu, Matt is a graduate of Roosevelt High School. He earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the College of Engineering at UH Mānoa. During his time as an undergraduate, Matt worked for the school as a teaching assistant, research assistant, and student data center technician. He was also a trumpet player in the UH Band and served on the leadership team for 3 years. Matt is currently working on his master’s degree in electrical engineering as a part-time student at UH Mānoa.
Outside of work, Matt enjoys spending time with his puppies and grandma, playing league of legends, and performing with his reggae band.
Wayne A. Shiroma is currently a Professor and the Department Chair of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Hawa’i at Mānoa. He received the B.S. degree from the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa, the M.Eng. degree from Cornell University, and the Ph.D. degree from the University of Colorado at Boulder, all in electrical engineering.
He was also a member of the Technical Staff at Hughes Space and Communications, El Segundo, CA, USA. He has authored over 130 publications in the areas of microwave circuits and antennas, nanosatellites, and engineering education.
Dr. Shiroma served as General Chair of the 2007 and 2017 IEEE Microwave Theory and Techniques Society (MTT-S) International Microwave Symposiums, which generated $74 million in visitor spending for the State of Hawai’i. He was a recipient of the 2003 UH Regents’ Medal for Excellence in Teaching, the ten-campus UH System’s most prestigious teaching award. Since 2001, IEEE-HKN, the international honor society for IEEE, recognized four of his graduating seniors as the most outstanding electrical engineering students in the U.S.
Brianne Tengan is an Electrical Engineer at BAE Systems Inc. a defense and aerospace company.
She graduated with her Bachelors and Masters degrees from the University of Hawaiʻi in 2019 and 2020 respectively. During her time at UH, she was involved with the Engineers Council at the University of Hawaiʻi (ECUH) and numerous research projects. Upon graduation, she joined the EAAUH Board of Directors to work toward increasing engagement with recent graduates and current students.
Brianne grew up on Oʻahu and is a graduate of Roosevelt High School. In her free time, she enjoys playing video games and eating.
Taaga Tuulima is a Mechanical Engineer at Insynergy Engineering Inc located in Honolulu, Hawaiʻi. He started his career at Insynergy shortly after earning his bachelor’s degree from the College of Engineering at the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa. Taaga’s work allows him to support his community by providing guidance for plumbing and HVAC construction or renovation.
Taaga joined the Engineering Alumni Association of the University of Hawaiʻi Board as a Director in 2022. During his time at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, Taaga earned his bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering and lettered as a football player. He was fortunate enough to receive honors in both his academic and athletic endeavors. Taaga now looks forward to giving back to the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa as a proud alumni and a Director.
Taaga was born and raised in ʻEwa Beach, Hawaiʻi. He is an accomplished graduate of ʻIolani School and helps coach the Raiders’ varsity football team. After football season, he coaches the Saint Louis varsity wrestling team. Similar to the mentors in his life, Taaga hopes to inspire the youth and future of Hawaiʻi.
Ken C. Kawahara, P.E. (BSCE 1992)
President, Akinaka & Associates, Ltd
Landon Sakai, P.E. (BSCE 2014)
Vehicle Engineering Manager, Northrop Grumman
Megan E. Ueno, P.E. (BSCE 2012)
The Limtiaco Consulting Group
Stancher Mabellos, P.E. (BSCE 2002)
Project Manager, Construction Management & Engineering
- Steven Cayetano, P.E. (BSCE 1982)
- Rodney Chong (BSEE 1990)
- Cristina Felicitas (BSEE 2016)
- Kai Fonseca (BSME 2019)
- Jessica Grazziotin (BSCENG 2018)
- John H. Katahira, P.E., (BSCE 1993, MSCE 1995)
- Diane Kodama, P.E. (BSCE 1991)
- Scott Kunioka, P.E. (BSCE 1986)
- Ronald Malalis, P.E. (BSCE 2004, MSCE2006)
- Neal Miyake (BSEE 1987)
- Derek Mukai (BSME 1989)
- Martin Nakasone, P.E. (BSCE 1990)
- Dayna Nemoto-Shima, P.E. (BSCE 2004, MSCE 2008)
- Anthony Paresa, P.E. (BSCE 1984)
- Wayne Shiroma (BSEE 1986)
- Jonathan Suzuki, P.E. (BSCE 1975)
- Brianne Tengan (BSEE 2019 MSEE2020)
- Dennis Toba (BSEE 1991)
- Megan Ueno, P.E. (BSCE 2012)
- Brianne Yamada (BSME 2017)
- Kyle Yukumoto, P.E. (BSCE 1993)
2022-2023 ECUH President
Assistant Specialist, CoE
- Keith Uemura, P.E. (BSCE 1985)
- Mike Magaoay (BSEE 1976)
- Ross Okuda (BSME 1992)