Hank Yochum
Professor, Program Director
(434) 381-6357
[email protected]


Professor Yochum received his Ph.D. from Wake Forest University and B.S. from the College of Charleston. Prior to joining SBC, he was an engineer/member of technical staff at Lucent Technologies/OFS Specialty Photonics. Yochum has research interests in experimental condensed matter physics and nanotechnology. He is particularly interested in the design and characterization of nanostructured optical devices and defects in optical materials. He frequently collaborates with undergraduates in his lab. Yochum is also active in middle school science teacher education. He has received funding from NSF, the Jeffress Foundation and the State Council on Higher Education of Virginia. Yochum's hobbies include snowboarding and playing with his son. His teaching duties include the Technology and Society engineering design course, Circuits, Statics, Optics and General Physics. 

 Bethany Brinkman, P.E.
Assistant Professor
(434) 381-6104
[email protected]

Professor Brinkman received her Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from the University of Minnesota, where she researched temporal and spatial variations in natural organic matter and how these variations impact water treatment. She also spent some time as a consulting engineer working on the implementation of ultrafiltration membranes for water utilities. Her current research interests include feed forward control systems, pilot scale treatment, engineered wetlands and organic matter dynamics. She enjoys teaching Introduction to Engineering Design, Statics, Dynamics and Materials Science.

Scott Pierce, P.E.
Associate Professor
(434) 381-6560
[email protected]

Professor Pierce received his Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from Georgia Tech. He has teaching interests in machine design, strength of materials, computer-aided design, materials and manufacturing, dynamics and physics. He has research interests in precision engineering and metrology, computer-aided geometric tolerance analysis, design, and control of extremely high precision positioning systems. Pierce has worked with undergraduate engineering students on several bio-engineering projects.


Timothy C. Scott
Professor of Practice
(434) 381-6557

T.C. Scott is a Professor of Practice at Sweet Briar. He earned his B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in mechanical engineering from the University of Michigan. He also holds a certificate in automotive engineering from the Chrysler Institute of Engineering. Scott’s interests include teaching, laboratory development and student project supervision. He has many years of experience in the industry, consulted more than 30 companies, and guided the reorganization and improvement of the undergraduate laboratory courses at UVa. 


Scott Hyman
Whitney-Guion Professor of Physics
(434) 381-6158

Professor Hyman has research interests in radio astronomy and image processing. He is currently conducting a wide-field search for  transient radio emission from the center of our Galaxy in order to  discover new types of astronomical objects. He has published  extensively on his research, including an article in the journal Nature on the discovery of the bursting transient source GCRT  J1745-3009. He has received funding from the National Science  Foundation, NASA, Research Corporation and the Jeffress Memorial  Trust.

Paulette Porter-Stransky
Project Coordinator
(434) 381-6447

Originally from the Buffalo, N.Y., and Toronto, Canada, areas, Paulette came to Sweet Briar in 2003 in the human resources department but soon joined the education and engineering departments. With a diverse background, Paulette is always ready to volunteer to help. Her current position as project coordinator and faculty assistant for teacher education, MAT, M.Ed. programs, physics and The Margaret Jones Wyllie '45 Engineering Program keeps her actively involved in data collection from students. She assists faculty in multiple roles, in addition to recruiting for both programs. Paulette is also the coordinator of the Student Hospice Volunteers, and is an active supporter of Relay For Life.