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Engineering and mines dean named

Submitted by Carla Browning
Phone: (907) 474-7778


J.R. Williams J. Richard Williams has been named dean of the University of Alaska Fairbanks College of Engineering and Mines. Williams most recently served five years as dean of the College of Engineering at the United Arab Emirates University and has more than 30 year of academic and research administration experience. His tenure includes 13 years at the Georgia Institute of Technology, three years at the University of Idaho and 17 years at California State University, Long Beach, where he secured more than $38 million in externally-funded research.

Williams has also worked closely with the National Science Foundation, industry and other agencies to secure more than $13 million in support of the Southern California Coalition for Education in Manufacturing, for which he was the director. He will hold a full-professor appointment at UAF and as the engineering dean will be responsible for academic planning, administrative leadership and external funding for the college.

"I am truly pleased that Dr. Williams will be joining UAF," said Provost Paul Reichardt. "His wealth of experience as an engineer and an administrator will serve us well as we continue to build on our instructional and research programs in engineering."

Williams' research interests are in the areas of renewable energy, nuclear power and propulsion, energy conversion and the economic and environmental aspects of energy generation. He directed experimental research on heat transfer processes in nuclear reactors, advanced nuclear reactor concepts, nuclear electric power and analyses of reactor shielding performance.

Williams received his bachelor's, master's degrees in physics from Georgia Institute of Technology in 1962 and 1964, respectively. He received a master's degree in nuclear engineering from in 1965 and a Ph.D. in nuclear engineering in 1967 both also from Georgia Tech. He is a registered professional engineer in California. He's expected to start at UAF August 1, 2005.

In 2004, UAF's College of Science, Engineering and Mathematics and the School of Mineral Engineering were reorganized into the College of Engineering and Mines and the College of Natural Science and Mathematics. This restructuring was undertaken, in part, to provide a higher profile for all engineering programs at UAF by combining them into one administrative unit.

CEM undergraduate degree programs include civil engineering, computer engineering, electrical and computer engineering, geological engineering, mechanical engineering, mining engineering and petroleum engineering. Graduate degree programs include arctic engineering, civil engineering, electrical engineering, engineering management, environmental engineering, environmental quality science, geological engineering, mechanical engineering, mineral preparation engineering, mining engineering, petroleum engineering and science management.

The Institute of Northern Engineering, formerly an independent research organization, which included the Water and Environmental Research Center, the Transportation Research Center and the Arctic Energy Technology Development Laboratory, is now part of the College of Engineering and Mines.

The Institute of Northern Engineering, formerly an independent research organization, is now part of the College of Engineering and Mines. As a result, the Mineral Industry Research Laboratory and the Petroleum Development Laboratory that were research components of the former School of Mineral Engineering are now components of INE. Total research expenditures for the college are anticipated to be more than $10.5 million in the current fiscal year.

UAF is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. In addition, UAF's engineering programs receive specialized accreditation from the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology.

CONTACT: Paul Reichardt at (907) 474-7096 or John Aspnes, interim dean at (907) 474-7730 or for more information about CEM's academic programs visit http://www.uaf.edu/sme/CEMAcademic.html.

A high resolution photo is available for download at http://www.uaf.edu/files/news/download/releasephotos/05/0506jrwilliams.jpg.