ARL engineer recognized as a Federal Engineer of the Year

April 09, 2015

Dr. Cyril L. Williams received special recognition as the U.S. Department of the Army, U.S. Army Research Laboratory 2015 Federal Engineer of the Year at a ceremony held recently at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.

The Federal Engineer of the Year Award (FEYA) is sponsored by the Professional Engineers in Government and honors engineers employed by a federal agency that employs at least 50 engineers worldwide. FEYA recipients are individuals who perform on the cutting edge of their profession and are recognized for their high-caliber achievements. The award's criteria are based on factors such as engineering achievements, education, professional and technical society activities, previous honors and awards, and civic and humanitarian activities.

Williams, a mechanical engineer in the Weapons and Materials Research Directorate's Impact Physics Branch was recognized for providing research that led to an understanding of the behavior and consequent failure of materials when they are subjected to extreme dynamic conditions. His research will play a significant role in helping bridge technological gaps that have existed in this field since the 1960s. Williams explained how his experimental approach led the process of understanding how high-rate materials behave simultaneously at the continuum, individual-grain, and atomic levels.

"These approaches culminated with an ARL patent application. The knowledge obtained from my work will help develop a clear understanding of how the structure of a material at the atomic and grain level reconfigures and adapts under ultra-high strain-rate conditions," said Williams. "This research is pivotal for developing lightweight protective materials for military applications as well as space-vehicle shielding from orbital debris."

Williams is an active member of the National Society of Professional Engineers and executive head of the Government Relations, American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME–Delaware Section). His civic and humanitarian activities include service as a mentor in the STEM program at MOT Charter School in Middletown, Del.

When asked what winning the FEYA meant to him, Williams replied: "I am honored to be the recipient. This award is very special because it strengthens my commitment to the Soldier, public service, and the engineering profession."

As ARL's 2015 Federal Engineer of the Year, Williams is recognized as being among the best and brightest engineers in the federal government.

The U.S. Army Research Laboratory is the nation's premier laboratory for land forces and is part of the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command (RDECOM), which has the mission to develop technology and engineering solutions for America's Soldiers. RDECOM is a major subordinate command of the U.S. Army Materiel Command. AMC is the Army's premier provider of materiel readiness. If a Soldier shoots it, drives it, flies it, wears it, eats it, or communicates with it, AMC delivers it.

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Last Update / Reviewed: April 9, 2015