Spring on the York College campus

Scott Hamilton Ph.D., P.E., F.ASCE

By by Jennifer Hindley '17
Civil engineers design, build, and maintain the foundation for our modern society.

Before York College's Civil Engineering Program Coordinator Scott Hamilton came to YCP this past fall, he spent over 26 years in the U.S. Army. After a series of assignments of increasing responsibility throughout the world, he retired as a lieutenant colonel.

Hamilton's path toward a career in the army began in 1980 with his acceptance into the United States Military Academy at West Point. Four years later, he graduated with a B.S. in Civil Engineering and a deep appreciation for the importance of service to one’s country.

Between army assignments, Hamilton attended classes at Stanford University, ultimately earning an M.S. in Engineering Management, M.S. in Civil Engineering, and a Ph.D. in Civil Engineering. He applied those degrees toward a career as an Engineer Officer stationed in numerous locations including Fort Belvoir, Fort Bragg, West Point, Germany, South Korea, and Afghanistan.

Hamilton taught from 1994 to 1997 and then again from 2003 to 2010 as part of West Point’s Civil Engineering program, serving as Assistant Professor and Group Director. In 2010, he retired from the army and accepted a professorship at Quinnipiac University. Following a year of work as the founding Chair of their Engineering Department, resulting in the licensing of four programs, Hamilton moved to Boston, MA, to become the Director of Graduate Professional Development at Northeastern University. After completely revamping their graduate co-op program, he was ready for a new challenge and came to YCP.

Along with the opportunity of starting a new program, Hamilton was drawn to York College because of its dedication to improvement, expansion, and affordability. The College's welcoming atmosphere made for a smooth transition for Hamilton who explained, "I've found both students and faculty fun to be around and great to work with. It makes me look forward to coming to work every day.”

Hamilton is always looking to make learning fun. In celebration of September’s "International Talk Like a Pirate Day," he came to class in full pirate garb and made his students speak like pirates. "There was also the day I broke a chef’s knife while hacking into a fresh jelly donut," said Hamilton. "The idea of a jelly donut is that, like structural members, you can't see what’s inside without 'cutting it open.' We make the cut to expose the forces, to see what’s inside. The shtick I use is that I don’t like Bavarian cream donuts but love jelly donuts, so I need to cut into it to see what's inside, just like we do with structural members."

Hamilton hopes to grow YCP’s Civil Engineering program into one that is nationally recognized for its excellence in education and career preparation. "Civil engineers design, build, and maintain the foundation for our modern society," said Hamilton. With that in mind, he aspires to provide the program's students with the knowledge and skills necessary to have long, successful careers in which they are continually making positive contributions to their field. A new building, scheduled to be completed in June 2018, and located on the corner of Kings Mill and Grantley, will house the Civil Engineering program. Hamilton said, "We are very excited about the new building. It has given us an opportunity to be part of designing a great space that will provide a state-of-the-art teaching space to support our hands-on, interactive instruction and large space for student projects."

During his free time, Hamilton loves bringing his dog, Riley, to campus, brewing beer, and traveling. Thus far, he’s visited every state but MS and AK, explored much of Europe, and has been on several international cruises. He also volunteers with both the American Society of Civil Engineers and the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology.

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