Christopher Williams, professor of mechanical engineering in the College of Engineering and interim director of the Macromolecules Innovation Institute at Virginia Tech, was recently named the L.S. Randolph Professor in Mechanical Engineering by the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors.

The L.S. Randolph Professorship in Mechanical Engineering was established in 1985 to honor the person who served as Virginia Tech’s dean of engineering from 1913 to 1918 and for whom Randolph Hall is named. The professorship recognizes and rewards an outstanding faculty member in the College of Engineering’s Department of Mechanical Engineering.

A member of the Virginia Tech faculty since 2007, Williams is an internationally recognized expert in the area of 3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing. His research has spanned the entire value chain of additive manufacturing from creating new materials, design methods, printing processes, and educational approaches, to exploring techniques for ensuring quality and cybersecurity in the final printed products.

Williams and his collaborators have been successful in receiving external funding for their research. He has been engaged in more than $16 million in external funding and his research awards have come from many different sources, including the National Science Foundation, the Office of Naval Research, the Department of Energy, and industry. Through this funding, his lab has grown substantially and he has successfully mentored eight Ph.D. students, 13 master’s degree students, and three post-doctoral researchers.

Together with his students and collaborators, Williams has co-authored 80 peer-reviewed journal articles, 99 peer-reviewed conference articles, and four book chapters. His articles have appeared in top journals, such as Applied Materials, Materials and Design, ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces, and Additive Manufacturing.

In addition, Williams has given 85 invited talks in the industrial, federal agency, and academic forums. He has given four invited international keynote addresses, including one at the prestigious Dagstuhl Seminar on "Computational Aspects of Fabrication", where he was one of only three U.S. engineering academics selected to attend. He also has given a number of invited webinars, hosted by professional organizations, regarding his research.

Williams received National Science Foundation CAREER Award in 2013 to research additive manufacturing of copper cellular materials. Last year, he received Virginia Tech’s Alumni Award for Excellence in Graduating Advising and the College of Engineering Dean’s Award for Research Excellence.

In 2017, Williams received the John R. Jones III Faculty Fellowship in Mechanical Engineering and in 2015, he was named the Electro-Mechanical Corporation Senior Faculty Fellow in Advanced Manufacturing Systems.

Williams received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida and a master’s degree and Ph.D. from Georgia Tech.

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