Starting with my beginning, I was born to a typical working class family in Kakaako of Honolulu and went to Pohukaina Elementary, Central Intermediate and McKinley High schools. My intellectual level was nothing special, but there were signs that I had potential.
SIMPLE SOLUTIONS for Humanity, I speculated that there was only a one chance in 10 to the 34th power that I could have been born. Then, after that, if you crank in all the odds, my success is in the one in 100 trillion level. Considering that Planet Earth has only produced around 100 billion of us, my good fortune seems endless. I insert an Irish lucky you visual because my name is Patrick.
Nothing particularly significant happened until I broke my wrist playing basketball in the spring of my sophomore year at McKinley. Another thing is that, for me, adversity was followed by spectacular good fortune. At that point, college was not on on my radar, but I had an English-Social Studies teacher, Mildred Kosaki, and Science teacher, Sueko Hirokawa, both who inspired me to become the best. That is Mildred later in life in the right photo with her husband Richard and grandson. She only taught for a year, became a noted planner and served on the Hawaiian Electric Company Board of Directors.
Linda Tom, went on to become the 1959 Narcissus Queen. No question that my class officer status, linked to various other activities, helped get me into Stanford. And mostly from a Colles fracture. If like most engineers I had calculated the cost of college and the maximum possible income to pay for it, I would have gone to the University of Hawaii, as did everyone I knew well. Somehow, I made it. Luck or what?
Richard Kosaki, as our speaker. Twenty years later I happened to work with him in the Chancellor's Office at the University of Hawaii because he was the vice-chancellor. He not only I'm sure had some influence on my success at the UH, but is also credited with having found the Hawaii community college system.
Turned out, of all graduating fields, chemical engineering pays the highest salary. Also, in a decade my department became the #1 ChE program in the nation.
All my close friends on campus seemed to have joined the Peace Corps in 1962. They got $99/month and an assignment of high dubiosity. I went back to Hawaii to save the sugar industry with C. Brewer for $500/month and free housing. In September, I met Pearl, and we got married in December, maybe the best decision I ever made. No one has seen these photos for more than 50 years.
One of our assignments was to Kilauea, Kauai, where we lived in a trainee home with the South Pacific Slippery Slide as our backyard. Here, Pearl and Pepper.
For the first year, C. Brewer continued to pay my salary while I was in graduate school at LSU, where I also got a full fellowship. With Pearl working as a nurse, this was the last time we actually put money in the bank. Living in Baton Rouge was some experience, plus there were Pete Maravich and the Tiger football team, where I wore a jacket and tie to games. Here I am at my tunable laser micro sterilization system.
- Spend three years with the U.S. Congress working for Senator Spark Matsunaga, where I drafted original legislation related to ocean thermal energy conversion, seabed strategic minerals, hydrogen and wind energy.
- Work on laser fusion under Edward Teller at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, helped Carl Sagan gain funding on the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, during which time I gained the assistance of Nobel Laureate Charles Townes to design a better system to discover extrasolar planets when I spent some time at the NASA Ames Research Center.
- Become a professor of engineering and director of the Hawaii Natural Energy Institute for 15 years, winning national centers for marine bioproducts, seabed resources, hydrogen and biofuels.
- Chaired the U.S. Secretary of Energy's Hydrogen Technical Advisory Panel, where we created the Green Hydrogen Report. From zero bucks in the early 80's, at one point after 2000, the hydrogen budget exceeded the solar technology budget at the U.S. Department of Energy.
- With Dean of Engineering Paul Yuen, we created the Pacific International Center for High Technology Research (PICHTR), where we succeeded advancing the development of a $25 million open cycle OTEC program and $25 million biomass to methanol facility.
- I've written five books, and had two book-signings:
- I've had students and numerous hires who have done well. For example, during a short period in the mid to late eighties I hired three researchers who are still with the Hawaii Natural Energy Institute, all whose first son was in Stanford engineering a couple of years ago. Two have thus far gone on to graduate school. I haven't yet experienced a negative response from any student of mine, and a few now and then recognize me.
- After chairing the Wind Energy Division of the American Solar Energy Society, I helped pass the first wind power bill when I was working in the U.S. Senate, and that field has matured into a real industry.
- The Hawaii Geothermal Energy Project on which I was a reservoir engineer drilled the hottest well in the world in the Puna region nearly 40 years ago, and the industry is now producing 38 MW, with 25 MW to be added. I still think that, like the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority for OTEC, co-products can be developed on the higher end of the temperature spectrum, as was initiated at Noi'i O Puna three decades ago. Further, undersea cables can link geo-electricity to the planned grid anticipated for wind and solar from Lanai and Molokai. 500 MW??
- My academic and PICHTR duties involved considerable international travel
- with Pearl at the oldest cherry blossom tree in Kyoto
- a photo before I entered the St. Andrews Golf Course clubhouse:
- I visit Pearl's statue at Jindaiji in Tokyo:
- the best one dish I've ever had was at La Terraza dell"Eden in Rome, a bowl of white truffles risotto:
- I served on the board of the Kansai Fishermen's Association, led by Masaharu Kimoto:
- people I visit, of course, come through Hawaii, so here, Pearl and I arranged a tour of the Kimoto party through Doris Duke's Shangri La:
- My successor, who I initially hired, is now in his 15th year as director of HNEI, and is flourishing. I guess he is satisfied with my presence on campus, for I still have my office in his institute.
- I donated my penthouse to the University of Hawaii, and we are working out a program for the Blue Revolution.
Of course, there were thousands of these types interactions. The above is representative.
Adding to our storybook life was the joy of living close to Heaven in our 2101 Craigside penthouse, which featured a hundred parties, with:
I'll be on a 65-day global adventure this coming Fall, and will dine at a few Michelin 3-Stars and Pellegrino Best 50 restaurants, and will continue to indulge myself with Chaine des Rotisseurs:
They dress funny, but do partake of champagne, foie gras and other treats. These diversions ruin my ecological and sustainable image, but Saving Planet Earth and Humanity does not mean that I need to wear a hair shirt, maintain a constant state of penance and beg for food. After all, I now reside at 15 Craigside, the ultimate in coccon-like security.
- The Blue Revolution
- Ultimate Ocean Ranch
- Floating Wind Farms
- Hydrogen Powered Aviation (Could it be the Hydrogen Clipper?)
- Direct Methanol Fuel Cell and the Future of Ground Transport
- Star Power for Humanity
- Carbon Dioxide Credit Program to Remediate Global Warming
- Rainbow Colored Pearls International