engineers assist with legislation, among the first to receive Hawaii FPE licensure

HONOLULU, Hawaii, December 12, 2023 – A historic milestone was achieved on September 12, 2023, as Hawaii became the final state in the U.S. to recognize fire protection engineering (FPE) through licensure. This long-awaited effort culminated when Governor Josh Green signed revisions to Chapter 16-155 of the Hawaii Administrative Rules governing the Hawaii State Board of Professional Engineers, Architects, Surveyors, and Landscape Architects (PEASLA). Prior to this approval, fire protection engineers in Hawaii were licensed in other states.

This pivotal moment represents the culmination of a 32-year campaign led by the Society of Fire Protection Engineers (SFPE) Hawaii Chapter. The commitment of current PEASLA Board Members Kevin Katayama, PE of Kevin Katayama & Associates, and Dan Hirota, PE of Coffman Engineers, was instrumental in navigating the complex rule change process, finally breaking through decades of disappointment.

The success of this initiative owes much to the enduring efforts of countless individuals, including Robert Bigtas, PE, FSFPE, Lisa Koshimizu, PE, George Nishimura, PE, and Joe Condlin, PE. Their dedication to establishing the FPE discipline in Hawaii laid the groundwork for this achievement.

The first two engineers to receive the Hawaii FPE license are Kevin Katayama, PE of Kevin Katayama & Associates, and Sam Dannaway, PE, FSFPE, Principal Advisor at Coffman Engineers.

Sam Dannaway, a trailblazer in the field, established S.S. Dannaway and Associates, the first full-service fire protection engineering firm in Hawaii, in 1985. For decades, he tirelessly advocated for the recognition of this profession.

“I’m deeply grateful for the vigilance of supporters in this effort over many years,” Dannaway said. “While it saddens me that it took so long, I am overjoyed it occurred before my retirement. This achievement is the ‘Cherry on the Top’ of my career.”

Implementing FPE licensure in Hawaii is a significant step forward, ensuring the state’s highest standards of practice for fire protection engineering professionals.

Learn more about Coffman’s fire protection engineering services.