Ken’s Retirement

Retirement: A world and state of mind we all strive to get to and sit happily, after our achievements. in our career journey. Our esteemed colleague Ken Hukari,  former CEO/Founder of Hukari Technical Services, Inc., then later CEO of the now merged HukariAscendent, Inc. announced his retirement earlier this year and recently we celebrated his career and accomplishments.

Ken’s career journey started in 1971 by joining the U.S. Navy as a Machinist Mate, where he qualified in submarines and in nuclear engineering spaces. Ken completed eight submarine patrols, two pacific transits, eight engineering refit periods, and two Operational Reactor Safeguards Examinations (ORSE). He participated in many specialized schools available to nuclear submarine service personnel and served on the USS R. E. Lee, SSBN 601G. After exiting the Navy in 1977 Ken returned home to Oregon.  He fought forest fire in the Mt. Hood National Forest and later that year went to work as a Shipyard Lead Marine Machinist Test Engineer for Northwest Marine Ironworks, Portland, Oregon. His duties included performance of ship repair activities with regards to mechanical systems and components.

After the Navy, Ken returned to mountain climbing and mountain rescue activities with the Hood River Crag Rats. On May 18, 1980, Ken and his climbing friends witnessed the Mt. St. Helens eruption from the summit of Mt. Hood.  Not long after that he went to work as an Operator at the Trojan Nuclear Power Plant where he obtained his NRC Reactor Operators License.  In 1987, Ken earned his B.S., Mechanical Engineering, from Portland State University, in Portland, Oregon on the G.I. Bill. As an engineer, Ken returned to Trojan as a Senior Systems Engineer and in 1989 he obtained his Professional Engineers License. Working his way up and through the nuclear industry – in 1991 Ken found his way as a contract engineer to the Rocky Flats Environmental Technology Site, Golden, Colorado in their Nuclear Safety Program. A 3-month contract turned into 14 years at Rocky Flats.

Seeing the need for experienced nuclear safety support throughout the DOE complex, as well as the NRC arena, Ken decided to open his own business, Hukari Technical Services Inc. in 1999.  Starting out of his home basement, Ken’s company grew through the years and in 2012, Hukari Technical Services Inc. merged with Ascendent Engineering, creating the HukariAscendent, Inc. company as it is today. HukariAscendent has established itself as a proven, financially stable company, employing hundreds through the years with experience throughout the Department of Energy (DOE) complex and Commercial Clean Energy Industry.

Ken’s legacy and philosophy will live on through HukariAscendent, but more importantly through the relationships and friendships he has made through the years of his career. They say that if your group of friends and colleagues stand around and roast you, that it is a sign of endearment, and they really love you. Recently, at Ken’s retirement party many friends and colleagues gathered to share all the funny stories, laughter and give examples of how Ken stood by them as friends and colleagues. That is when you know have made an impact, when people tell the stories they love about you.

Happy Retirement Ken!