Scott Hamel

Scott Hamel
Professor and Chair
Civil Engineering
EIB 301S
Phone: (907) 786-1070


University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI, 2011
Dissertation: “Modeling the Time-dependent Flexural Response of Wood-Plastic Composites” 
Ph.D. Advisor: Professor Steven M. Cramer

University of Colorado-Boulder, Boulder, CO, 2005
Thesis: “Effects of Freezing and Freeze-Thaw Damage to the Transport Properties of Concrete”
Thesis Advisor: Professor Yunping Xi

Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Worcester, MA, 2000


Dr. Scott Hamel grew up on the seacoast of New Hampshire, and spent his summers in the NH mountains working as a staff member at the Hidden Valley Scout Reservation.  After high school, he pursued a degree in Civil Engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Massachusetts, and worked part-time as a surveyor and draftsman.  He was also a member of the WPI Crew team for four years and was highly ranked in National and European Competitions.  After earning his B.S. degree in 2000, he began his career as a bridge inspector and roadway designer in Boston, working on contracts from MassHighway, MBTA and the City of Boston.  In 2003, he moved to Colorado to pursue a Master’s in Civil Engineering with an emphasis in structures at the University of Colorado at Boulder, which he earned in 2005.   Dr. Hamel was employed for three years by S.A. Miro in Denver as a Structural Engineer designing multi-story commercial and government buildings, including hospitals, office buildings, and museums, and earned his Professional Engineering (PE) license in 2006.  In 2007, returned to school and in 2011 completed his doctorate at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in structural engineering.  His research was conducted primarily at the Forest Products Laboratory (FPL) in Madison and his dissertation was on computer modeling the time-dependent behavior of Wood-plastic Composites (WPCs).  Since 2003, he has also been heavily involved in Engineers without Borders (EWB) at both the local and national level, on a variety of bridge and water projects in Haiti, El Salvador, and Rwanda.  He is a registered PE in Wisconsin and Alaska.

Teaching Responsibilities

  • CE A152 Introduction to Civil Engineering
  • CE A431 Structural Analysis
  • CE A432 Steel Design
  • CE A433 Concrete Design
  • CE A631 Structural Finite-Element Analysis
  • CE A639 Loads on Structures
  • CE A651 Advanced Structural Analysis
  • CE A652 Advanced Steel Design

Professional & Department Service

  • UAA Summer Engineering Academies Director 2014 - present
  • Civil Engineering Curriculum Committee 2011 - present
  • UAA ASCE Student Chapter Faculty Advisor 2016 - present
  • Structural Engineering Association of Alaska (SEAAK), 2011 - present
  • Engineers Without Borders, West Coast Technical Advisory Committee, 2011 - present
  • Review, Journal of Materials in Civil Engineering, 2011 - present
  • Reviewer, Journal of Structural Engineering, 2014 - present
  • ASTM, D07 Committee of Wood Plastics, 2008 - 2014
  • ASTM, D20 Committee on Plastic Lumber, 2008 - 2014

Research Interests

  • Characterizing of the quasi-static and the time-dependent mechanical behavior of structural plastics, Wood-plastic Composites (WPC), and Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs)
  • Development of sustainable structural materials such as bio-derived polymer composites, post-tensioned timber, and Cross-laminated Timer (CLT)
  • Heat Transfer analysis and energy sustainability of Civil infrastructure, systems and materials
  • Use of high performance computers to analyze structural systems composed of inelastic and time-dependent materials
  • New technology and design methods for infrastructure in developing countries
Research Projects
  • Seismic Hold-down Connectors for Polyuerthane-based Structural Insulated Panels, UAA INNOVATE award, 2017
  • Structural Evaluation of Alaska Structural Insulated Panels, Alaska Insulated Panels, 2015-2017
  • Thermo-mechanical Modeling of Temperature Isolation Systems for Steel Frames, AISC, 2014-2017
  • “Design and Evaluation of Thin-Shell Latex-modified Concrete Barrel Roof Units, UAA INNOVATE award, 2013
  • Investigation of High-mast Light Pole Anchor Bolts, AKDOT&PF and FHWA, 2012-2013
  • “Evaluating the Performance of Structural Plastics in Cold Regions, UAA INNOVATE award, 2012, $10,000


Hoisington, D., and Hamel, S. “Evaluating the Behavior of Anchor Rod Foundations for High-mast Light Poles (HMLPs) using Nonlinear Finite-element Analysis”, ASCE Journal of Structural Engineering, 142(9), September 2016.

Hoisington, D., Hoffman, J., and Hamel, S. “Measured Anchor Rod Tightening of a High-mast Light Pole in Alaska.” Transportation Research Record, 2431, 29 September 2014.

Hamel, S., Hermanson, J., and Cramer, S. “Predicting the Flexure Response of Wood-Plastic Composites from Uni-Axial and Shear Data using a Finite-element Model.” Journal of Materials in Civil Engineering, 26(12), December 2014.

Hamel, S., Hermanson, J., and Cramer, S. “Mechanical and Time-Dependent Behavior of Wood-Plastic Composites Subjected to Bending.” Journal of Thermoplastic Composite Materials, 28(5), 22 April 2015.

Hamel, S., Hermanson, J., and Cramer, S. “Mechanical and Time-Dependent Behavior of Wood-Plastic Composites Subjected to Tension and Compression.” Journal of Thermoplastic Composite Materials, 26(7), August 2013.

King, D., and Hamel, S. “The Tensile Creep Response of a Wood-Plastic Composite in Cold Regions.” In The 10th International Symposium on Cold Regions Development. Anchorage, AK, June 2-5, 2013

Hamel, S., Hermanson, J., and Cramer, S. “The Effect of High Temperature on the Axial Mechanical Response of Wood-plastic Composites.” In Advancements in Fiber-Polymer Composites. Milwaukee, WI, May 5-6, 2013.

Hamel, S., Hermanson, J., and Cramer, S. “Tension and Compression Creep Apparatus and Testing for Wood-Plastic Composites.” ASTM Journal of Testing and Evaluation, 39(6), November 2011.

Hamel, S., Bechle, N., Hermanson, J., and Cramer, S. “Characterizing Macroscopic Creep Behavior of Wood-Plastic Composites in Tension and Compression.” In The Tenth International Wood & Biofiber Plastic Composites Conference. Madison, WI, 2009.

Jakes, J., Bechle, N., Hamel, S., Gronvold, A., Hermanson, J., and Stone, D. “Investigating Deformation in HDPE-Wood Flour Composites Using Uniaxial Tension and Nanoindentation Experiments.” In The Tenth International Wood & Biofiber Plastic Composites Conference. Madison, WI, 2009.


Career History/Work Experience

2004-2007,Design Engineer II
S.A. Miro, Denver, CO,

2002-2003, Bridge Engineer
Green International Affiliates, Medford, MA

2001-2002,Staff Structural Engineer
BSC Group Inc., Boston, MA

1998-1999, Engineering Intern and Draftsman
Spaulding Associates, Worcester, MA

1997-1998, Surveyor
Jones and Beach Engineering, Stratham, NH