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Max L. Williams Jr.

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Max L. Williams Jr. Obituary
Max L Williams, Jr. Professor Williams, Dean Emeritus of the School of Engineering at the University of Pittsburgh, retired from the University in September 1990 as Distinguished Service Professor of Engineering Emeritus. He had come to Pittsburgh in 1973 from the University of Utah where he had been Dean of the College of Engineering and Distinguished Professor of Engineering. Prior to those eight years in Salt Lake City he had been at the California Institute of Technology as Professor of Aeronautics since receiving his doctorate there in 1950. His undergraduate work was completed at the Carnegie Institute of Technology in 1942 just prior to his entering the U.S. Air Force. His main professional research and extensive industrial consulting activities have been concentrated in the field of general materials behavior and structural mechanics and design. He has published extensively, with a specific interest in both cohesive and adhesive fracture. This experience is reflected in his being the founder and Editor-in-Chief of The International Journal of Fracture from which he retired in 1997. Dr. Williams has lectured nationally and internationally, as for example a Sigma Xi National Lecturer and as a Visiting Professor and National Science Foundation Fellow at the Imperial College (London), in addition to his many professional presentation. He was a Professional Engineer and has served on many governmental technical advisory committees such as the National Institute of Dental Research, the National Science Foundation, the National Aeronautics and Space Agency, and the National Materials Advisory Board where he was Chairman of its Council on Materials, Structure and Design. For the Office of Science and Technology Policy he chaired the Structural Mechanics Committee for the Interagency Task Group on Cooperative Automotive Research, and Dr. Williams has been an Associate Member of the Defense Science Board. For approximately twenty years he served as a consultant in structure and materials for the Department of Defense; he also served for several years as a technical advisor to the Department of State. Professor Williams complete a four year term as a member if the U.S. Air Force Scientific Advisory Board in 1990 and during 1985-87 held a two year appointment to the General Lew Allen Research Chair at the U.S. Air Force Institute of Technology, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton as Distinguished Visiting Professor of Aeronautics. The subsequent year, 1987-88, he became Science Advisor to the Commander of the Acquisition Logistics Center at Wright-Patterson AFB before returning to his teaching and research duties at the University of Pittsburgh. During the 1993-94 period, he was a von Humboldt Visiting Research Professor at the Fraunhofer Institut fur Werkstoffmechanik in Freiburg, Germany. In 1995 he was designated a Distinguished Alumnus of the California Institute of Technology. Since 1995 he has been an Adjunct Professor of Aeronautics at the University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Williams was elected a member of the National Academy of Engineering in 2003. Dr. Williams is survived by his children: Gregory and Richard Williams and Christine Mann as well as three step-children: Pamela Allande, Marilyn Shupe and Walter McKinney and Mel his admiring and loving wife of 46 years. Condolences may be sent to www.cookwaldenfuneralhome.com


Published in Austin American-Statesman on Sept. 25, 2013
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