M.S. Textile Management & Technology, NC State University, 2010
Ph.D. Textile Technology Management, NC State University, 2012
Senior manager, Future at Reebok
Dr. Brian Hamilton, a young alumnus based in Massachusetts, works as a leader in innovation for Reebok, a world-renowned footwear company. He graduated from the Wilson College of Textiles in 2010 with a Masters in Textile Management & Technology but he didn’t stop there. Brian continued his education with the Wolfpack, completing a Doctorate of Philosophy in Textile Technology Management at the Wilson College of Textiles in 2012.
As a student, Brian took time to appreciate the NC State community, in and outside the classroom. He enjoyed engaging in campus events, spending time outdoors and attending sporting events. As a graduate, he continues to cheer on the Wolfpack with his family in Massachusetts.
We chatted with Brian about his fondest memories at NC State, his influences and more.
Why did you choose NC State/Wilson College of Textiles?
I studied textiles as an undergraduate at UMass Dartmouth and was then accepted as an Institute of Textile Technology (ITT) Fellow to pursue my MS in textiles at the Wilson College of Textiles. It was a terrific opportunity to continue my education while working with members of the textile industry, who sponsored the ITT program.
What activities were you involved in as a student at NC State?
I participated in ITT events, open houses and a lab internship for ITT with the great Dr. Henry Boyter! I was also a teaching assistant for FTM/TT 380 (Management and Control of Textile and Apparel Systems). Away from school, I enjoyed attending football and basketball games and playing pub trivia at Napper Tandy’s in Raleigh.
What are some of your fondest memories of being at NC State/Wilson College of Textiles?
Great memories include meeting my current wife (Leslie Eadie, MS in 2010 from the Wilson College of Textiles), spending time with friends and classmates, passing my thesis and dissertation defenses, and enjoying the great NC weather at Pullen Park, Court of North Carolina or while walking to the College of Textiles every day from E.S. King Village.
Who influenced you most during your time at the Wilson College of Textiles?
My biggest influences were Dr. Oxenham and Dr. Thoney-Barletta, who were my advisors for both my MS and Ph.D., as well as my teaching assistant position. They were the best advisors anyone could ask for—world-class teachers and fantastically supportive throughout!
How did your education at the Wilson College of Textiles prepare you for what you are doing today?
Working for a global apparel and footwear brand, the Wilson College of Textiles is definitely the best school in the world to prepare for my field. Currently, I am a manager on an innovation team for footwear and apparel. That means my team looks to me for knowledge on material constructions and limitations, and to devise standards and test methods for novel products and materials. Luckily I learned how to do all that at NC State!
Are there things that you know now that you wished you had known as a student that we can share with our current and future students?
Take advantage of all your current resources while you have them. Ask questions in class and take advantage of library resources! Even as an employee for a large global brand, I wish I still had half the access to all the trade publications, databases and everything else you get as a student at the Wilson College of Textiles.
Describe your career path.
I started as a product developer for USA-made footwear for New Balance in Lawrence, MA. My next step was a promotion to textile and materials engineer on the global materials team. From there, I went on to work for the Department of Defense at Natick Labs in MA. I worked there for the Navy Clothing and Textile Research Facility as project manager for all Navy footwear programs. Eventually, I decided to return to working at an athletic footwear/apparel brand and took my current job as a senior manager for the Reebok Future innovation team in Boston.