|James H. Williams, Jr.
MIT: Room 3-358
Phone & voicemail:
About Professor Williams:
James H. Williams, Jr. (S.B. and S.M. — Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Ph.D. — Trinity College, University of Cambridge) is the School of Engineering Professor of Teaching Excellence, Charles F. Hopewell Faculty Fellow, and Professor of Applied Mechanics in the Mechanical Engineering Department at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is also Professor of Writing and Humanistic Studies in the School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences. He has received many awards and published numerous papers and reports in conjunction with his teaching, consulting, and research in the mechanical characterization of advanced fiber reinforced composites; wave propagation in large space structures; in-process and post-process quality control; reliability; dynamic fracture; nondestructive evaluation with emphasis on acoustic emission, thermal, and ultrasonic responses of composites; dynamic behavior of structures subjected to seismic excitation; and the development of computerized database systems for composite materials selection. He has been interviewed, cited, or featured in hundreds of newspaper, magazine, and broadcast media pieces. These pieces have included worldwide popular print media such as People, Playboy Fashion, Time-Life, L'Uomo Vogue, Vanity Fair, Wired, several biographical anthologies, and newspaper articles in North America, South America, Europe, Africa, Asia, and Australia. Formerly, as a senior design engineer at the Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company, he performed a broad range of mechanics calculations on both industrial and governmental systems including, for example, stress and dynamical analyses of catapults, turbines, and propulsion shafting on the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN-68), as well as overall ship accelerations and turning radii under various loading conditions. He has also conducted dozens of major multi-year consultations for the US government and international corporations involving a multiplicity of structural systems on high-performance aircraft, automobiles, rockets, offshore oil platforms, and hydroelectric power generation stations. If unavailable at his office, he can likely be found attempting to hit a 200-yard three-iron to an elevated green somewhere in the Boston area.
Prepared Fall 2019 Presentation to MIT Mechanical Engineering Faculty:
Selected Non-Technical Articles:
As of March 24, 2006, the National Transportation Safety Board
appeared to acknowledge the error of its previous analyses and dispositions concerning
the inspection of Airbus A300 composite rudders by virtue of its
“urgent recommendation” and “immediate release” of
Safety Recommendations A-06-27 and A-06-28: “NTSB Urges Inspections
of Certain Airbus A300 Rudders.” Furthermore and finally, Airbus has
also changed its inspection policies: “Airbus has stepped up
inspections on the composite vertical stabilizers on about 400 of its
oldest planes,” CompositesWorld.Com, December 4,
2007/December 27, 2007; and “Rigorous Airbus Rudder Checks Now
Required,” Sky Talk, December 19, 2007.
(Professor Williams has several hundred publications in refereed journals, conferences, and major reports to industrial and governmental agencies.)