Hawaiian Swimming Hall of Fame athlete continues to impact the built environment

HONOLULU, Hawaii — We take pride in recognizing exceptional professionals who have shaped the engineering profession and our company’s history. Today, we celebrate electrical engineer Uli Klinke’s 55-year career, 21 years dedicated to Coffman. Uli’s commitment to his craft and active involvement in the Hawaii community have made him an invaluable team member.

A Global Journey

Uli’s national and international experience includes electrical design and engineering of residential high-rises and hotels, airports, hospitals, military, and commercial projects. His international experience includes high voltage distribution, substation, and telecommunication buildings, airport master planning, and military and commercial projects in Guam, American Samoa, and Diego Garcia.

His career began with an electrical engineering degree from Staatliche Ingenieur Schule in Duisburg, Germany. Upon graduation, he worked in Vietnam for six years as a field engineer for the U.S. Defense contractors installing base power plants and communication sites in Danang, Cam Ranh Bay, and the U.S. military headquarters in Long Binh. He then worked in Saudi Arabia, providing design and construction supervision for an oil-filled underground cable distribution system for the city of Jubail.

In 2003, Uli joined Coffman’s Honolulu office where his first large project included design and power lighting, communication 400HZ, FIDS, and a fire alarm system for 14 gates at the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport. Other projects included The Kahala Mandarin Hotel and Resort renovation, The Lodge at Koele, The Waikiki Beach Walk Hotel and Shopping Mall renovation, Capitol Place and One Ala Moana condominium projects, and a newspaper press building for The Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Work on Ford Island included a new high-voltage distribution system, substation design, and associated instrumentation.

World-Class Athlete

In addition to his broad career experience, Uli is conquering summits and making waves—literally! He’s summited two 8,000-meter mountains in Tibet and the Karakorum and achieved multiple summit ascents in the Swiss Alps.

Locally, he’s a legend in the Hawaiian Swimming Hall of Fame. He has completed four solo interisland channel crossings and had multiple podium finishes in the North Shore swim series and Hawaiian Roughwater swims.

Uli has competed in the Moloka’i Hoe open ocean six-man canoe paddling races between the islands of Moloka’i and Oahu and attended the IVF Va’a World Sprint championships in Australia and Tahiti.

“Uli is an inspiration with a lifelong list of athletic achievements and adventures. He is a dedicated engineer and is often the first one here in the morning. We are fortunate to have such a great team member with a positive attitude,” said Jeremy Dow, PE, electrical engineering principal. “Uli, thank you for all you do at Coffman!”

Uli embodies Coffman’s pioneering spirit of collaboration and balanced well-being. His passion for excellence in engineering and life inspires us, and we look forward to many more years of shared success.