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Inspired by others’ giving, ChemE alum starts new endowment

December 1, 2023

UW ChemE alum Rob Hinton (B.S. ‘89) shows his passion for education by starting an endowment for future Ph.D. students in chemical engineering.

Rob Hinton and his partner Caroline visit campus

Rob and his partner, Caroline pay a visit to campus.


Rob Hinton graduated from the University of Washington in 1989 with a B.S. in chemical engineering.

For 18 years he worked with what is now Georgia Pacific, in the pulp and paper industry, before switching gears to try something new. He partnered with his older brother, a civil engineer who owned a real estate development business, and the two have been working together for over 16 years.

But even in shifting away from chemical engineering and into a new industry, Rob remarked that the critical thinking and technical problem-solving learned as an engineer can be applied to anything. His time at UW and years of engineering work experience have both helped him continue to build on his success.

“Engineering teaches you how to think, and if you have those critical thinking skills, you can take them anywhere. It helps us look at overall processes better. Even though my career path hasn’t looked like a typical chemical engineer, my education has been beneficial in every part of my life.”

Rob fervently believes in the value of education. He has contributed over the years, and as his career has grown, he has enjoyed being able to give more and more often. Noticing that Dr. Berg had established a new fund, Rob was inspired to do the same. “I have been very fortunate in my career, and I have always believed in giving back when I can.”

He reached out to the department chair and the advancement team to express his interest in giving opportunities, and learned ChemE was most in need of endowed funds to support the Ph.D. program. As a result he started the Robert Hinton Endowment, which will help to cover the tuition costs and support future students pursuing their Ph.D. in chemical engineering for years to come.


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