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2016 COS Research Conference Keynote Speaker

Beyond Multidisciplinary: The Next Level of Problem Solving
by Adam L. Hamilton, P.E.

Adam L. Hamilton, P.E.
President and CEO, Southwest Research Institute

Mr. Hamilton serves as chief executive officer of Southwest Research Institute (SwRI®), one of the nation’s largest independent applied research and development organizations. SwRI uses advanced science and applied technologies to solve difficult problems for commercial and government clients. Last fiscal year, SwRI; conducted approximately $590 million of contract research. In September 2014, Mr. Hamilton joined Southwest Research Institute and became the fourth SwRI President since the organization was founded in 1947. During his 30-year career, Mr. Hamilton has provided technical contributions and leadership to intelligence, defense, public safety, homeland security, environmental science, public health and law enforcement programs in government and industry. His multidisciplinary technical expertise includes engineering, science, and risk assessment.

Before joining Southwest Research Institute, Mr. Hamilton was the founding President and Chief Executive Officer of Signature Science, LLC, the Austin, Texas based subsidiary of SwRI that specializes in national security, biotechnology, chemistry, environmental science, and engineering. He served Signature Science from 2001 to 2014 when he joined SwRI. However, he remains Chairman of Signature Science.

Mr. Hamilton’s technical and scientific background serve his professional roles and drive his personal interests. However, he also enjoys serving the community and representing the great staff and culture of Southwest Research Institute. He currently serves on the Executive Committee and Campaign Cabinet of the United Way of San Antonio and Bexar County. He served as the co-chair of the 2015 United Way Volunteer of the Year (VOYA) event. He also serves on the board of the Greater San Antonio Chamber of Commerce and the University of Texas at San Antonio Advancement Council. He is a Trustee of the San Antonio Medical Foundation and the Texas Biomedical Research Institute. Mr. Hamilton is a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineering (ASME) Industry Advisory Board (IAB) and a member of the Industry and Community Affiliates (ICA) of The Academy of Medicine, Engineering & Science of Texas (TAMEST). He is a board member of the Greater Austin Crime Commission and is on the Training Advisory Board for the Office of the Texas Attorney General. Mr. Hamilton reached the rank of Lieutenant Commander and has served as the Future Plans Officer (N5) for the Texas State Guard Maritime Regiment (TMAR) and as the Deputy Director for Risk Assessment for the Texas Engineers Task Force on Homeland Security. He is a Graduate of the Federal Bureau of Investigation Citizens’ Academy and a Graduate of Leadership Austin.


  • (1987) M.S. in Engineering, The University of Texas at Austin
  • (1985) B.S. in Aerospace Engineering, The University of Texas at Austin


  • Professional Engineer, Texas #76784
  • Homeland Security Level-V, #102905; American College of Forensic Examiners Institute
  • Certified Firearms Instructor, #411598; Texas Commission on Law Enforcement
  • ICS, NIMS, and NRP certified, FEMA, #582031


  • Texas Outstanding Service Medal (Texas State Guard)
  • Corporate Achievement Award (Radian)
  • Exceptional Service in the Public Interest (FBI)