AKH Structural Engineers, Inc. specializes in building analysis and design, including new construction, evaluation, rehabilitation and structural upgrades of municipal facilities, schools, hospitals, industrial buildings, commercial office and retail buildings, and custom residences.


Founded by Dennis B. Ahearn in 1970, and joined by William S. Knox in 1973 and Tim D. Hyde in 1983, the firm has a long history of providing the highest quality engineering design, analysis and plan check services to our many clients in the South San Francisco Bay Area.


In addition to the wide variety of design and analysis projects, AKH has always been active as Plan Check consultants to many municipalities in the South Bay area, as well as to many private clients as third-party plan check consultants. AKH has provided plan check services on over 500 major projects in the SF South Bay Area since its founding. Our plan review capabilities include evaluation of fire/life-safety, structural, access compliance, mechanical, electrical, plumbing and energy compliance aspects of building design. This facet of our practice allows for excellent understanding of code compliance issues, as well exposure to the leading and current states of designs and implementation of Building Code requirements.


Throughout the firm’s history, AKH has always made it a priority to perform services in a timely and professional manner, and to be responsive to our clients’ needs during all phases of a project’s development and construction. We understand how imperative it is to keep a project on schedule by dealing with situations as they arise, promptly and effectively. Our firm size is such that the firm principals are familiar with the details of all projects in the office, and are the main contact persons regarding project management.

Dennis B. Ahearn


Mr. Ahearn is the senior principal in charge of business management at AKH. His primary role is to act as the overall business/marketing manager for the office and is the primary contact person in that regard. He has a secondary role of being available to assist the assigned personnel in the office, on an as-needed basis, to provide additional assistance with keeping projects on schedule in order to meet the projects deadlines. He has over 45 years of experience in the profession, most of which is as the founder of Dennis B. Ahearn Structural Engineers, Inc. in 1970, which evolved into the present firm of AKH. During the seven years previous to starting his own firm, he was designing schools and various other types of buildings as an associate of Kirk C. McFarland, Structural Engineer in San Jose.


William S. Knox


Mr. Knox joined the firm in 1973 and became a principal of Ahearn & Knox, Inc. in 1977. Bill’s father owned an architectural practice in Los Gatos, and the young Mr. Knox went to work with his father upon his graduation from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo in 1964. His father designed many of the schools in and around the San Jose area during his practice. Dennis Ahearn and Bill Knox were co-workers for three years at the firm of Kirk McFarland, Structural Engineer in San Jose, whose practice consisted primarily of the design of elementary schools and high schools in and around Santa Clara Valley. All combined, Bill has been involved in the design of schools in California for over 40 years.

Mr. Knox, along with having his structural engineering license, is also a licensed Architect in the State of California. This has enabled AKH to be the Architect and Structural Engineer of Record on many of the projects they have designed over the years, including over thirty-five major school projects and many other school modernizations and alterations. His most recent project is complete Sobrato High School campus for the Morgan Hill Unified School District.

In addition to Mr. Knox’s extensive school design work, he has also been the Architect and/or Engineer for many of the other institutional, hospital, retail and industrial design projects throughout the 40-year history of AKH, Structural Engineers.


Timothy D. Hyde


Mr. Hyde joined AKH upon his graduation, from Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, in 1983 and has been with the firm continuously since that time. Mr. Hyde became a principal in the firm in 1998 and continues to be a key to the success of AKH. He is a hands-on project manager and oversees the work of the other engineers in the office along with being the day-to-day operations officer for the firm. Mr. Hyde has designed many of the municipal projects in our office such as community centers, parking garages, hospital infrastructure facilities, corporation yards and fire stations. He was the lead engineer for our recent design of additions to the Central plant at Santa Clara County Medical Center. He has been involved with or managed the design of over 20 school projects of substantial size and many school projects involving modernization and alteration.


Mr. Hyde has both been involved in and managed the structural plan check work done by our office for many years. These include complete corporate campuses, high-rise office towers, parking garages, regional shopping centers and many commercial and industrial buildings. This plan check work requires extensive knowledge of the many detailed requirements for different structural systems that are permitted under the California Building Code.