Ohio State names new dean of College of Engineering
David B. Williams, president of The University of Alabama at Huntsville, has been named dean of The Ohio State University College of Engineering. Subject to approval by the university Board of Trustees, his appointment will be effective April 18, 2011.
Gregory Washington, professor of mechanical engineering, will continue to serve as interim dean of the college until Williams arrives on campus. “I know that the College of Engineering and the university community join me in thanking him for his superb dedication, energy, and leadership as interim dean. Under his leadership, the college has progressed significantly. Greg has been offered the position of Ohio State’s associate vice president for innovation and strategic partnerships,” said Joseph A. Alutto, executive vice president and provost.
“We are very fortunate to have attracted David Williams to Ohio State,” said President E. Gordon Gee. “He has a superb track record as a scholar and an academic leader, and he has created substantial partnerships to spur innovation and the commercialization of faculty discoveries. Dr. Williams will build on the strong progress made by Greg Washington in his service as interim dean.”
“David Williams has a world-class academic reputation, and his work in building research partnerships between universities and industry and government is well-proven,” said Jeff Wadsworth, president and CEO of Battelle. “I look forward to working with David and building on the strong relationship between Battelle and Ohio State’s College of Engineering.”
As dean, Williams will provide leadership for the College of Engineering in academic programming and research; in student, faculty, and staff recruitment, retention, and development; and in financial resource management and development.
A native of Leeds, England, Williams holds B.A., M.A., Ph.D., and Sc.D. degrees from the University of Cambridge.
At Alabama, research-intensive university of 7,700 students and 1,200 faculty, he was instrumental in several innovations: the hiring of two world-class eminent scholars, being named the first college campus in the United States to operate an office for Oak Ridge National Laboratory; and the creation of a pioneering research collaboration agreement with Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne. He also guided the campus through two major challenges: the largest reduction in state appropriations of any university system in the country (28% since spring 2008) and the tragic shootings of 6 faculty and staff by another professor (2/12/10).
Before joining the University of Alabama at Huntsville in 2007, Williams spent 30 years at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pa. At Lehigh, he earned extensive academic research, and administrative credentials, serving as professor of materials science and engineering and in many administrative posts. His research and administrative experiences were strongly supported by many federal agencies, including NASA and the U.S. Army.
From 1980 to 1998, he directed Lehigh University’s Electron Microscope Laboratory and the Lehigh Microscopy School, long considered the world leader in electron microscopy education. He chaired Lehigh’s Materials Science and Engineering Department from 1992 to 2000. He also created Lehigh’s Center for Optical Technologies, for which he led efforts to acquire more than $30 million in external funding. He also initiated numerous multi-institution science and engineering research proposals to government agencies and is credited with generating a more than 80 percent increase in research expenditures at Lehigh from 1999 to 2006.
Williams is co-author and editor of 11 textbooks and conference proceedings and the author or co-author of 220 refereed publications and 210 abstract/conference publications on the application of analytical and transmission electron microscopy to studies of precipitation and segregation in metals and alloys. He has given more than 250 invited presentations in 28 countries.
A fellow of three international professional societies, Williams is a former editor of Acta Materialia and the Journal of Microscopy and has served on numerous editorial boards. He is past president of the International Union of Microbeam Analysis Societies and the U.S. Microbeam Analysis Society.
The Ohio State University has focused on engineering and the sciences since its beginning in 1870. The Department of Mathematics and Engineering was one of the original seven departments. Today, the College of Engineering offers 13 undergraduate and 13 graduate engineering programs through 10 departments, as well as two undergraduate and three graduate degrees from the Knowlton School of Architecture.
The College of Engineering graduate program is rated best in Ohio and 29th nationally among 198 engineering schools ranked by U.S. News and World Report. Among its 280 full-time faculty, 12 are members of the National Academy of Engineering.
More than 25 research laboratories address the needs of industry and government on topics such as electromagnetics, radar, lasers, antennae, ergonomics, biodynamics, advanced polymer and composite engineering, nanotechnology, manufacturing, gear dynamics, die casting and applied software technology. Faculty in the College of Engineering received $128 million in externally funded research in FY 2009, and the College graduated 296 students with master’s degrees and 128 PhD students in the 2009-2010 academic year.