Eve Hinman: Pioneer in Blast Engineering

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Eve Hinman, a pioneer in the field of blast engineering and the founder and president of Hinman Consulting Engineers, transferred to Columbia in her junior year.

“Until that point, I never envisioned myself as an engineer, much less an expert in antiterrorism design,” she says. “I had been an art major at Fiorello LaGuardia High School of Music and Art. After high school, I went to UNY and began to take math and science courses, and was astonished to find that it came very naturally to me and that I loved it. When I entered Columbia, I was awed by the grandeur of the campus architecture and was inspired by the professors who spoke to us during orientation.”

Eve had no plans to go to graduate school but changed her mind when she was offered a fellowship here. “With the help of my professors, I got my first job when I graduated with my master’s degree in 1983. Grateful to be out of school, I soon found that my employer (Weidlinger Associates) wanted me to get a doctorate at Columbia. It took me 10 years to finish the degree, working part-time. As a person who had always thought of herself as an artist, I graduated with a doctorate in Engineering Mechanics from Columbia in May, 1994.”


“During those 10 years, my work had been designing structures to resist explosive attack. Armed with the doctoral degree and a highly specialized skill, I went to San Francisco and, in 1997, opened Hinman Consulting Engineers.” Because her work was well known within the federal government, Eve’s firm won jobs easily. Today, she has 20 employees in three offices, San Francisco, New York City, and Washington, D.C.

Her firm is doing antiterrorist design and assessment work for high-risk structures, including embassies, courthouses, airports, high-rise office buildings, dams, bridges and tunnels. She is the author of Lessons from the Oklahoma City Bombing: Defensive Design Techniques.

“I feel very lucky to work with a highly creative, collaborative group in a rapidly evolving discipline that is not only a science, but an art,” she says. Eve lives in Mill Valley, Calif., with her husband and two sons.

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