Harvey Mudd College engineering Professor Emeritus Harry E Williams Jr was born in Pasadena and attended Cathedral High School before receiving a degree in mathematical engineering from Santa Clara University in 1951. From there, he went on to the California Institute of Technology, where he earned his master’s of Science in 1952 and PhD in engineering in 1956.
Williams joined Harvey Mudd College in 1960 as a professor of physics, pending an opening in the Department of Engineering. A year later, he moved to engineering where, for the next 40 years, he taught courses from fluid and solid mechanics, to thermodynamics and more, helping to build the department from its infancy.
For his many years of distinguished teaching on service to the college, Williams was named an Honorary Alumnus in 1999. The Harry E Williams Mechanic Prize, established in his honor, recognizes a senior engineering major for his or her proficiency in and enthusiasm for the application of mechanics in engineering problems.
Williams retired in 2000 but remained an active part of the Harvey Mudd community as a professor emeritus, maintaining an office and continuing to publish collaborative works. He was also a regular contributor to top journals in applied mechanics and published numerous articles.