University of North Texas

UNT Insider | October 2012 issue | National Academy of Engineering member joins UNT faculty

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National Academy of Engineering member joins UNT faculty

From a UNT News Service press release

Jim Williams

Jim Williams

Jim Williams, one of the world's leading authorities on titanium alloys and a member of the National Academy of Engineering, has joined UNT's College of Engineering faculty.

"Dr. Williams is a world-renowned materials researcher and academician. His long experience and expertise will help the Department of Materials Science and Engineering reach its goals, mission and path to prominence in structural materials," says Narendra Dahotre, chair and professor of materials science and engineering.

Williams came to UNT as a distinguished research professor with a part-time appointment in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering in July 2012. Most recently he served on the faculty at Ohio State University and previously as the dean of engineering. He also served on the faculty at Carnegie Mellon University for 13 years, including six years as the dean of the College of Engineering.

In addition to his extensive experience in academia, Williams also has had an impressive career in the aerospace industry. He has worked for Boeing, Rockwell and GE's aviation division. His work in the aviation industry is credited with improving safety, fuel efficiency and environmental impact. While at GE his team introduced several new materials and worked to decrease titanium defects in aeronautical turbine engines. No titanium-related catastrophic engine failures have occurred since this work was implemented.

"I enjoy interacting with the students and -- particularly in engineering -- I think it is really important that the undergraduate students get exposed to people with industrial experience," Williams says. "One way to accomplish this is to expand our summer industry internship opportunities for our students. I hope to facilitate this expansion."

During his career, he has had more than 250 publications and has been involved in winning and conducting millions of dollars in research grants. In 1987, Williams was elected to the National Academy of Engineering. Williams is the second National Academy of Engineering member to join UNT. Alan Needleman, professor of materials science and engineering, joined the faculty as a visiting professor in 2007 and became a full-time member of the faculty in 2008.

At UNT Williams plans to help the department further strengthen its structural materials program by collaborating on research projects, participating in strategic planning and facilitating outreach with industry.

"Structural materials are important to high-quality manufactured goods in this country, yet many of the materials departments around the country have either abandoned or reduced their effort in that area," Williams says. "To revitalize America's manufacturing sector we are going to have to make high-value products. High-value products can't be competitive without high-quality and high-performance materials."

Buddy Price with UNT News Service can be reached at

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October 2012

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