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Space Dynamics Lab President H. Scott Hinton Announces Retirement - Jed Hancock Named Successor

May 26, 2021

Jed Hancock (left) has been appointed president of Utah State University's Space Dynamics Laboratory effective July 1, 2021. Hancock will succeed SDL President H. Scott Hinton (right), who will retire on June 30, 2021. (Credit: Allison Bills/Space Dynamics Laboratory)

Utah State University’s Space Dynamics Laboratory announced today that President H. Scott Hinton will retire effective June 30, 2021. SDL and industry veteran Jed Hancock will succeed Hinton as SDL president.

“Throughout nearly two decades with SDL, first as a member of the board of directors, then as president, Scott’s foresight helped the organization strengthen its role as a trusted agent of the U.S. Government,” said SDL Board Chairman, General Bruce Carlson, USAF, (Retired). “Scott’s resolute leadership coupled with his steadfast commitment to the 1,000 employees of SDL will leave an indelible mark on the laboratory. We wish him well in his retirement.”

Hinton joined USU in 2002 as dean of the College of Engineering and was subsequently elected to SDL’s board of directors the same year. In 2013, he was appointed SDL president. During his tenure as president, Hinton guided SDL through rapid, unprecedented growth, leveraging SDL’s world-class workforce and expertise in small satellite systems, electro-optical sensor systems research and development, cyber analytics and other core competencies to grow the laboratory’s portfolio.

Since 2013, SDL’s program revenue has increased by an average of approximately 18% each year, with a total increase of 349%. During the same period, employment has risen by 221%. Six buildings have been constructed or acquired to accommodate the growth in programs and operations, and seven buildings and other spaces have been leased, increasing laboratory and office space by approximately 427,000 square feet since 2013.

Hancock most recently served as SDL’s executive director of programs and operations, overseeing engineering and operations and all programs in the Civil and Commercial Space, Strategic and Military Space, and Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (C4ISR) divisions. He was previously division director of Civil and Commercial Space, responsible for a portfolio of projects for government, academic and commercial customers.

“Jed has been a valuable leader at SDL whose breadth and depth of knowledge about our partners and their missions, our capabilities and our people will serve the organization well as he assumes the post of president,” Carlson said. “He is uniquely qualified to take SDL to new levels of growth in providing NASA with innovative solutions to ‘explore, discover and expand knowledge for the benefit of humanity,’ and in providing the Department of Defense and other customers with cutting-edge technologies to help ensure our nation’s security.”

Hancock is an expert in optical sciences, system engineering and program management. He has served as program manager for numerous civil and military space programs and as an optical science and engineering resource for the laboratory. He specializes in designing and analyzing electro-optical systems and has led space instrumentation program teams developing infrared, visible and ultraviolet systems. He managed the camera detector assembly program at SDL for NASA’s Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security-Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) mission.

Hancock earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in electrical engineering from USU and a master’s and doctorate from the University of Arizona’s College of Optical Sciences. His research encompasses electro-optical system design, remote sensing and calibration.

SDL has been solving the technical challenges faced by the military, intelligence and science community, and industry for over six decades and supports NASA’s mission to drive advances in science, technology, aeronautics and space exploration to enhance knowledge, education, innovation, economic vitality and stewardship of Earth. As one of 14 university affiliated research centers, SDL serves as a subject matter expert in its core research areas to the U.S. government, ensuring that essential engineering and technology capabilities are maintained. SDL is a research laboratory headquartered in North Logan, UT, and has offices in Albuquerque, NM; Bedford, MA; Colorado Springs, CO; Dayton, OH; Houston, TX; Huntsville, AL; Los Angeles, CA; Stafford, VA; and Washington, D.C. For more information, visit

Scott Hinton
Pictured in this May 14, 2021 photo at Utah State University's Space Dynamics Laboratory is SDL President H. Scott Hinton. Following a 19-year career with SDL, first as a member of the board of directors, then as president, Hinton will retire on June 30, 2021. (Credit: Allison Bills/Space Dynamics Laboratory)
Jed Hancock
Utah State University's Space Dynamics Laboratory Director of Programs and Operations Jed Hancock has been appointed president of SDL effective July 1, 2021. Hancock will succeed H. Scott Hinton, who will retire on June 30, 2021. Hancock is pictured in this May 14, 2021 photo at SDL. (Credit: Allison Bills/Space Dynamics Laboratory)


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