William Wood, Ph.D., Mechanical and Materials Engineering
William Wood is one of the newest additions to PSU's Mechanical and Materials Engineering department, but he is a familiar face around Oregon's metals industry. It is safe to say he has played a significant role in working with industry to further its competitive manufacturing technology in a global marketplace.
Wood likes to say that although he was formally educated at the University of Notre Dame and University of California-Berkeley, his real education has come from collaborative research. Wood and his students have partnered with the majority of major metals companies in the region, as well as small start-ups.
"The great thing about PSU is that we combine instruction with opportunities to conduct laboratory experiments that are almost always connected to the needs of a local company. Engineers from our partner companies can interact directly with our students."
In 2002, PSU created its first major materials science laboratory. Under Wood's leadership, PSU has been catapulted into the ranks of major national universities with graduate materials science and engineering degree programs, and one of a very few that includes a focus on metals-industry-oriented education and research. However, like all his colleagues on the faculty, Wood focuses on giving students experiences that prepares them for the workplace.
"Our close collaboration with industry means that companies come to us nearly every day with problems requiring specialized facilities and expertise to refine the manufacturing process. Students don't have to wait until their first job to learn how to wrestle with tough real-world problems."