Seminar - Reflections on Microscopy & Analysis: From Viewing the Small World to Leading on a Larger Stage


Location: 126 DeBartolo Hall

Presented by David B. Williams, Ohio State University

Abstract: It is 150 years since Henry Sorby first viewed an alloy structure under a visible-light microscope and also invented micro-spectroscopy, the first combination of imaging and analytical techniques. I have spent my academic life studying alloys with various microscopy and spectroscopy techniques and recently was honored by the Henry Clifton Sorby Lifetime Achievement Award of the International Metallographic Society (IMS). “Lifetime” is a somewhat sobering adjective, so this timely confluence of anniversaries prompted me to think what I had learned in my professional life that might be of use to others, particularly younger academics and researchers early in their careers. By some standards, I have had a successful career spanning the range from assistant professor to president of a Carnegie Tier-I research university. So, rather than focusing on a historical microscopy talk (which is about all I am qualified to deliver) I will present lessons I have learned in the “bright field” of microscopy/materials research and the “dark field” of university administration and how each side can benefit from the other.

David Williams

Bio: David B. Williams is the Monte Ahuja Endowed Dean’s Chair, Executive Dean of the seven professional colleges, and Dean of the college of engineering at The Ohio State University. The professional colleges comprise 26,000 students, 1,000 faculty, and 2,000 staff members with an annual budget of $660M. As Dean of Engineering, he is responsible for the strategic vision, mission and goals of the college. He leads a research program that expends $120M annually, oversees the education of 10,000 students and an administration of almost 1,000 faculty, research scientists, and staff. From 2007 to 2011, Williams was President of the University of Alabama in Huntsville. He was instrumental in leading UAHuntsville into the Carnegie Foundation Tier-One research classification. He instituted UAHuntsville’s Office of Technology Commercialization and served on various business and economic development boards including the Tennessee Valley Corridor, the Alabama Business Council, the Alabama Space Science and Education Council, and the Huntsville Madison County Chamber of Commerce. Before joining UAHuntsville, Williams spent 31 years at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, PA, where he is now Emeritus Professor of Materials Science and Engineering. As Vice Provost for Research from 2000-2006, he increased research expenditures by 80%, created Lehigh’s Office of Technology Transfer and served on the Executive Boards of the North East Tier Ben Franklin Technology Partnership and the Central PA Life Sciences Greenhouse A native of Leeds, England, Williams holds four degrees (BA, MA, PhD, ScD) and four Blues (in rugby and athletics) from the University of Cambridge. He is a fellow of four US (ASM, TMS, MSA and AAAS) and two UK (IOM3 and RMS) professional societies, and has given almost 300 invited presentations in 29 countries. He edited Acta Materialia and Journal of Microscopy, and is author, co-author, or editor of 11 textbooks and conference proceedings including the world-leading text Transmission Electron Microscopy with C. Barry Carter (Plenum Press 1996, Springer 2009). He has published more than 400 papers on electron-microscopy studies of metals and alloys.