Jump to content

Robert William Hamilton Jr.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Robert William Hamilton Jr.
Died2011-09-16 aged 81
SpouseKathryn (Faulkner)

Robert William Hamilton Jr. (1930 – 16 September 2011), known as Bill, was an American physiologist known for his work in hyperbaric physiology.


He was predeceased by his first wife Beverly, son Beto and daughter Kitty.

He was survived by his wife Kathryn (née Faulkner) of nearly 40 years, daughters Lucy and Sally, grandsons, Felix, Bobby, Zach, Tyler and Truman.[1]


He earned his degree in liberal arts at the University of Texas, followed by a master's degree in animal reproductive biology at Texas A&M.

He earned his Doctoral degree in physiology and biophysics in 1964 from the University of Minnesota.[1]

Military service[edit]

Hamilton served as a fighter pilot in the U.S. Air Force in the Korean War and Vietnam, earning the rank of major. He was also awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal, and other decorations.[citation needed]

He helped solve equipment problems on unsuccessful bailouts as a Life Support Officer, which earned him a National Academy of Sciences recommendation to NASA as a Scientist Astronaut.[1]

Underwater sciences[edit]

Hamilton left the Air Force with and moved to Buffalo, New York, in 1964, where he met Heinz Schreiner and began his work on the undersea world as a scientist and director of the Ocean Systems environmental physiology and diving research lab in Tarrytown, New York.[1]


Hamilton investigated the effects of gases in hyperbaric and hypobaric environments which led to the development of decompression modelling tools and operational procedures for divers, astronauts, hyperbaric chambers, and tunnel and caisson workers. He was both the physiologist and test subject on the first manned laboratory saturation diving to the continental shelf pressure of 12 ATA (200 msw) in 1965.

He founded Hamilton Research, Ltd. (1976), for decompression and hyperbaric research, which developed procedures and techniques to mitigate the effects of High Pressure Neurological Syndrome, and the Diving Computational Analysis Program (DCAP), which he co-developed with David J. Kenyon.

Hamilton was the principal investigator of the NOAA Repex Oxygen Exposure tables to assist divers in avoiding oxygen toxicity. These became the basis for most oxygen exposure calculation methods used for saturation and repetitive diving exposures to oxygen in breathing mixtures.

In the late 1980s, he developed project-specific custom decompression tables. His work with decompression tables, physiological effects of gases, and methods of managing exposure to oxygen, helped to open up the new field of technical diving.[1] This included work with the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) developing "Monitor Mix" breathing gas for dives to the USS Monitor. This breathing gas became NOAA Trimix I, with decompression tables designed by Bill Hamilton published in the NOAA Diving Manual.[2]


R.W. Hamilton contributed to, and authored, a large number of scientific and technical papers, reports, and diving medical and safety workshop Proceedings. Some of these are listed here:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e Blogg, S.L., M.A. Lang, and A. Møllerløkken, editors (2012). "Proceedings of the Validation of Dive Computers Workshop". European Underwater and Baromedical Society Symposium, August 24, 2011. Gdansk. Trondheim: Norwegian University of Science and Technology. Archived from the original on April 15, 2013. Retrieved 2013-03-07. {{cite journal}}: |author= has generic name (help)CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link) CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  2. ^ Dinsmore DA. And Broadwater JD. (1999). "1998 NOAA Research Expedition to the Monitor National Marine Sanctuary". In: Hamilton RW, Pence DF, Kesling DE, Eds. Assessment and Feasibility of Technical Diving Operations for Scientific Exploration. American Academy of Underwater Sciences. Archived from the original on January 13, 2013. Retrieved 2015-12-29.{{cite journal}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)