Howard Lau, SE, is a structural engineering principal advisor in Coffman’s Honolulu office. He joined Coffman in November 2022 as part of the asset purchase agreement with Shigemura, Lau, Sakanashi, Higuchi & Associates, Inc. (SLSH).
Howard started his career at a soils engineering firm. After a few years, he began as a junior engineer at SLSH in 1974 and worked his way up to a principal of the firm. He led SLSH as president for 24 years.
When choosing to join Coffman, Howard and the other SLSH principals were selective and committed to finding the right firm to partner with that would benefit their clients and staff. The principals were motivated by Coffman’s drive for the same level of client care and attention to detail that SLSH provided.
Howard’s expertise has varied from custom-designed houses to large, high rise residential and hotel structures, specializing in materials ranging from wood and cold-formed steel construction to structural steel and reinforced concrete buildings. Where applicable and available, Howard applies his specialized experience in post-tensioned and pre-tensioned prestressed concrete to provide clients with the most economical designs for their projects. In addition, he offers expansive technical knowledge of both current wind and seismic building codes, and Department of Defense UFC codes. Howard is an active member of the structural engineering community.
Howard derives great pleasure in coming up with unique, “outside-the-box” solutions for his clients. He once delivered a solution to remediate and salvage a fuel pier on Midway Island originally planned for demolition and complete replacement. That solution likely saved the government close to $5 million.
A graduate of the University of Hawaii, Howard earned both his bachelor of science and master of science degrees in civil engineering, with his master’s degree emphasizing structural engineering.