Mechanical engineering, Bush School former student receives prestigious engineering award

Adam D. Williams, a 2007 Master’s Program in International Affairs (MPIA) graduate of the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University, has received the 2012 Black Engineer of the Year Award in the category of the Most Promising Engineer in Government by Black Engineering and Information Technologymagazine.

The publication recently recognized 35 African American engineers for their accomplishments in government, industry, K-12 and collegiate education, community service, and entrepreneurship. Currently, Williams is a senior member of the technical staff and an international security technical systems analyst at Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where he serves in a number of capacities in the areas of global security engagement, nuclear nonproliferation, nuclear energy development, geopolitics, and international security.

While studying mechanical engineering at Texas A&M, Williams heard a speech on the importance of public service at the Bush School and decided to pursue a graduate degree in international affairs. After receiving his B.S. in engineering, he was accepted into several prestigious graduate programs, including the Bush School, where he chose to accept a diversity fellowship with the MPIA program at the Bush School. Today, he says he credits the school’s faculty with his successful career.

“This is a thank you for all of the opportunities that each of them afforded me. I can truly say that I wouldn’t be where I am today without them. I hope that I can continue to turn their good investment into success and progress on a world stage.”

Williams realized that his skills combining technical and policy expertise were unique while interning with several federal agencies.  After graduation, he participated in a 2008 team responsible for securing venues of the Beijing Summer Olympic Games. The team analyzed security measures by reporting on and designing physical protection systems. Williams was a site leader in Mongolia and the Chinese cities of Shanghai, Chengdu, and Xian. His success with that team led to his involvement in creating an inter-governmental agreement between the United States Department of Energy and the People’s Republic of China to promote nuclear security safeguards and training. Williams’ knowledge and input into the government-to-government program will enable the training of nuclear security experts throughout Asia and the Pacific.

Other significant projects include his involvement in the creation of Gulf Nuclear Energy Infrastructure Institute (GNEII), a multi-institutional, multinational institute to educate future Arab decision makers and nuclear power program leaders. The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy named GNEII as an important initiative to achieve “the president’s vision of enhanced science and technology partnership with the Muslim world.”

Despite his busy professional schedule, Williams still finds time to make a difference in his community, mentoring students, serving as a student liaison for the Executive Council of the Southwest Chapter of the Institute for Nuclear Materials Management, and encouraging university students in the Southwest towards careers in nuclear technology areas. He also works with the Special Olympics and the Albuquerque Rocket Reader program to help at-risk first graders improve their reading skills.