Gary Hamilton has joined WSP USA as a senior vice president and health care leader in the Northeast.
In his new position, Hamilton is responsible for leading the health care team and business development in the Arlington office and is responsible for client relations in the Washington, D.C. and the Northeast region. He brings more than 21 years of experience in design and project management to WSP.
“We are very excited to welcome Hamilton to our firm,” said Larry Beam, senior vice president and managing director of the Arlington office. “His expertise in engineering for the health care market adds to our existing expertise in commercial, residential and cultural projects, among others.”
Hamilton had an opportunity to work for WSP while he was living in London, and always hoped he would one day be able to return to the firm.
“When I worked for the firm in London, they were the most organized engineering company that I had ever worked for,” Hamilton said. “WSP has an extensive catalogue of large health care projects and I was very much interested in returning to their health care team.”
Hamilton has written 15 articles for engineering and health care publications over the past three years, and published a book on computation fluid dynamics application for the engineering industry. His most recent article “Renovation Operating Rooms to Meet Modern Medical Advancements” was published in Engineered Systems magazine on Oct. 9.
Hamilton is also a frequent speaker at health care conferences and was recently selected to present at the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE) Technical Symposium in London on April 12-13, 2018.
Prior to joining WSP, Hamilton served as the national engineering health care leader for SmithGroupJJR.
Hamilton’s innovative thinking contributed to the construction of Highland Community Hospital, a $55 million, 166,000-square-foot, 60-bed replacement hospital in Picayune, Mississippi following a dramatic influx of new residents from New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina struck in 2005.
“The project faced a difficult engineering design challenge: its certificate of need was fixed both in budget cost and medical planning program space, and there was a lack of space in the building to construct a central plant,” Hamilton said.
He devised a solution that met the budget and aggressive construction schedule while meeting the quality standards – a pre-fabricated mechanical central plant that was built offsite and delivered to the site for final erection.
Hamilton is now serving as the senior project manager for a 500,000-square-foot addition to the Walter Reed campus of the Naval Facilities Engineering Command’s Uniform Service University of Health Science in Bethesda, Maryland.
“The thought that someone’s comfort and health depends on the decisions that I make drives my work,” Hamilton said. “With impending changes in health care, quality health care will be an important commodity, making the work of health care engineers much more intricate and sophisticated in order to provide better indoor environments for patients and staff and also more energy efficient systems than in the past.”
Born and raised in Sav la mar, Westmoreland, Jamaica, Hamilton earned a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the University of the West Indies in St. Augustine, Trinidad. He completed his master’s degree in energy engineering at Southbank University in London.
He said a serious knee injury from a motor bike accident when he was 19 influenced his decision to pursue a career in health care engineering.
“This ordeal left me bedridden for three months,” he said. “During this time, I wanted to understand how infections can be prevented during surgeries. This developed my passion for health care and my passion for health care engineering.”
He credited several mentors with guiding him along his career path. “My first work related to the construction industry was working as a laborer onsite with an architect that was a friend of the family,” Hamilton said. “I fell in love with the construction industry from then.”
Hamilton is a 2015 recipient of Consulting-Specifying Engineer’s 40 Under 40 award. He recently won two first place technology awards from the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) national chapter and ASHRAE region III for the Carilion Clinic operating room renovation project.
He is also a certified evidence-based design professional with the Center for Health Design, and served as the American Society of Healthcare Engineers (ASHE) representative on the International Code Council Ad Hoc Committee on Healthcare (AHC). He was elevated to the senior status of ASHE in 2015.
Hamilton is the founder of the nonprofit National Capital Region Society of Healthcare Engineers (NCR-SHE), the local ASHE chapter in Washington D.C.
“NCR-SHE is an association for professionals in the field of health care, focusing on facility management,” he said. “The chapter’s purpose is to advance the development of individuals in the health care environment in Washington D.C. and surrounding regions.” The chapter offers educational publications, programs, leadership opportunities and networking events for its membership.
One of Hamilton’s proudest achievements is the founding of the nonprofit Dreams to Reality Foundation (DTR), a broad-based community initiative that assists low-income Jamaican children to help them complete their education and achieve economic self-sufficiency through sports.
“The DTR helps kids develop the self-esteem and self-worth necessary to give them the building blocks for a positive life,” he said. “I was born in a poverty-stricken area of Jamaica and my involvement in sports gave me the tools that is needed to make a better life for myself and my family. For this reason, I created the foundation that is helping youths from my hometown to choose a path that will propel them to a successful life.”