$ 2 million donation funds UH endowed chair in honor of Hawaiian engineer Alfred Lee

With two million dollar donations from the same anonymous donor, the University of Hawaii at Mānoa College of Engineering has established a chair in honor of the world-renowned Hawaiian engineer, Dr. Alfred A. Yee. , died in 2017.

Yee has helped design some of Honolulu’s most complex structures, including Alfred Preis’ Arizona Floating Memorial and Ossipoff’s Diamond Head Apartments, the country’s first precast and prestressed concrete tower.

The Dr. Alfred A. Yee Chair in Sustainability and Resilience will be housed in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the College of Engineers. It will provide ongoing funding to recruit and retain outstanding faculty with expertise in sustainability and resilience, fueling competitive research, engineering sector resilience solutions and education in these critical areas.

“We deeply appreciate this remarkable recognition and community expression of support for the vital role the University of Hawaii and our College of Engineering play every day in promoting the sustainability of our islands and the world at large. beyond, ”said UH President David Lassner. “There is no greater challenge to our future, and the solutions will require us all to work together, as this gift demonstrates. ”

UH in Mānoa produced this video about the world famous Hawaiian engineer, Dr. Alfred A. Yee.

Yee (1925-2017) was one of the most influential and innovative structural engineers in Hawaiian history. He was president of Applied Technology Corporation in Honolulu and director of Precast Design Consultants Pte. Ltd in Singapore. During his brilliant career, he gained a reputation as a prolific innovator, holding more than a dozen patents, and was an assistant professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at UH Mānoa.


In recognition of his work in concrete technology and his proven unique concepts for land and sea structures, especially in the field of prefabricated design and construction, the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology conferred on him an honorary doctorate in engineering in 1976. That same year, Yee was appointed a fellow of the prestigious National Academy of Engineering in the United States. Yee’s work is currently cataloged and exhibited at the Haigo & Irene Shen Architecture Gallery at UH Mānoa School of Architecture.


His pioneering breakthroughs in civil engineering continue to be applied around the world and have earned him numerous awards and accolades. In 1997, he received the Medal of Honor from the Precast / Prestressed Concrete Institute for his contributions to the precast / prestressed concrete construction industry, in particular for his innovative design of high-rise concrete buildings along the Pacific Rim, which have survived some of the most intense earthquakes. in the world.

In 1995, the Hawaii State Legislature presented Yee with an official proclamation honoring the invention of the NMB Splice Sleeve and recognizing the successful role this connection device has played in strengthening precast concrete structures to withstand the devastating earthquake in Kobe, Japan that same year.

Recalling Yee, UH structural engineering professor Ian Robertson said, “I don’t remember when I first heard a presentation from Al Yee, but I know I didn’t. will never forget the content of the presentation. He told stories of the development of prestressed concrete barges when steel supplies were low, and how some of these barges are still in service today. His continued passion was to use this technology again to support ocean thermal energy converter stations to deliver renewable energy to Pacific island countries.


Robertson added, “Creative minds abound, but very few of them have enough good ideas, or enough motivation and stamina to bring them to fruition. Al Yee was one of the few who could put an idea into practice through development, testing, code adoption, and implementation. He was an inspiration to me and to many others in Hawai’i and around the world. Hawai’i has been incredibly lucky to have one of these true innovators active in our community.

Dean of the Faculty of Engineering Brennon Morioka said, “This is an incredible opportunity for the college and our faculty to continue to become a national and international leader in sustainability and resilience in response to climate change and its impacts such as raising the level of education. Wed We are eternally grateful for this financial support, which we see as a vote of confidence from our local community that the University of Hawaii can and must lead on many fronts related to the challenges facing our state.

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Perry Perrie

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