School of Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering


Professor David Williams OBE FREng FSA BSc PhD DEng CEng FIMechE

Photo of Professor David Williams OBE FREng FSA

Emeritus Professor of Healthcare Engineering

David was Professor of Healthcare Engineering from 2003 and retired as Emeritus Professor in October 2019. For 10 years he was Director of the cross-campus Loughborough Research School of Health and Life Sciences and then University Academic Lead in Defence Medicine, a similar cross-campus role.

This appointment followed roles as Manufacturing Technology Director, Bespak Europe, and then Technical Director, Bespak Group Operations. Bespak is a supplier of drug delivery devices to the pharmaceutical industry. This was preceded by ten years as Professor of Manufacturing Processes at Loughborough including four years as the Head of Department of Manufacturing Engineering. His early career, while including industrial jobs with GKN and Metal Box, was primarily in Cambridge University Engineering Department. This culminated in a tenured lectureship and included Fellowships at Sidney Sussex and Downing Colleges.

David holds a First Class Honours BSc in Mechanical Engineering from UMIST, Manchester, the PhD degree of Cambridge University and the UMIST DEng higher degree. He has been a Chartered Engineer and Member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers since 1982 and Fellow since 1990, joining as a student member in 1972. He has been a member of the Institute of Directors since 2000, a Fellow of CIRP since 2000 (Emeritus 2018), and a Senior Member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (USA) since 1998 (Member since 1988, Life Senior Member 2020).

He was made a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering in 2002 and an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in 2014 for services to science and engineering. He was awarded the 2016 Institution of Chemical Engineers Donald Medal in 2017 for outstanding services to biochemical engineering in particular substantial contributions to the rapidly growing regenerative medicine sector.

David has also been Honorary Historical Consultant to the Royal Armouries since 2009 and Honorary Editor of the Journal of the Arms and Armour Society since 2015 and was elected President of the Arms and Armour Society in April 2021. He was made a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries in 2015.

Recent research has focussed on the manufacturing of cell-based therapies and on defence medicine and rehabilitation.

This has included the leadership of large user and challenge led research and training consortia and cross-institutional initiatives such as the EPSRC Centre for Innovative Manufacturing in Regenerative Medicine and the EPSRC/MRC Doctoral Training Centre/Centre for Doctoral Training in Regenerative Medicine and the associated EPSRC ETERM 12 Postdoctoral Fellowship programme.

David remains active in healthcare, manufacturing and heritage research.

He is Chief Investigator of the MOD funded project “Optimising Rehabilitation Pathways in Severely Injured Personnel: An ADVANCE Study Extension” which is a collaboration between Loughborough University, The Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre at Stanford Hall, the Royal Centre for Defence Medicine and Imperial College.

Long-term strands of heritage research are in the history and economic growth of the Birmingham gun trade and in the development of interchangeable manufacturing in Britain.

Shariatzadeh, M, Chandra, A, Wilson, S, McCall, M, Morizur, L, Lesueur, L, Chose, O, Gepp, MM, Schulz, A, Neubauer, JC, Zimmermann, H, Abranches, E, Man, J, O’Shea, O, Stacey, G, Hewitt, Z, Williams, D (2019) Distributed automated manufacturing of pluripotent stem cell products, The International Journal of Advanced Manufacturing Technology, 106, ISSN: 0268-3768. DOI: 10.1007/s00170-019-04516-1.

Thurman-Newell, J, Petzing, J, Williams, D (2019) Establishing the variation of blood metrics within UK Biobank to inform cell therapy manufacturing processes, Regenerative Medicine, 14(11), pp.1029-1046, ISSN: 1746-0751. DOI: 10.2217/rme-2018-0168.

Rothwell, D, Fong, D, Stapley, S, Williams, D (2019) A clinically applicable tool for rapidly estimating muscle volume using ultrasound images, European Journal of Applied Physiology, 119(11-12), pp.2685-2699, ISSN: 1439-6319. DOI: 10.1007/s00421-019-04242-2.

Ford, M, Hodgetts, TJ, Williams, D (2017) Innovation strategies for defence: the successful case of Defence Medical Services, RUSI Journal, 162(2), pp.52-58, ISSN: 0307-1847. DOI: 10.1080/03071847.2017.1301216.

Archibald, PRT, Chandra, A, Thomas, D, Chose, O, Massourides, E, Laabi, Y, Williams, D (2016) Comparability of automated human induced pluripotent stem cell culture: a pilot study, Bioprocess Biosyst Eng, ISSN: 1615-7591. DOI: 10.1007/s00449-016-1659-9.

Naing, MW, Gibson, DA, Hourd, P, Gomez, SG, Horton, RBV, Segal, J, Williams, D (2015) Improving umbilical cord blood processing to increase total nucleated cell count yield and reduce cord input wastage by managing the consequences of input variation, Cytotherapy, 17(1), pp.58-67, ISSN: 1465-3249. DOI: 10.1016/j.jcyt.2014.09.003.

Soares, FAC, Chandra, A, Thomas, RJ, Pedersen, RA, Vallier, L, Williams, DJ (2014) Investigating the feasibility of scale up and automation of human induced pluripotent stem cells cultured in aggregates in feeder free conditions, J Biotechnol, 173, pp.53-58, DOI: 10.1016/j.jbiotec.2013.12.009.

Hourd, P, Ginty, P, Chandra, A, Williams, DJ (2014) Manufacturing models permitting roll out/scale out of clinically led autologous cell therapies: regulatory and scientific challenges for comparability, Cytotherapy, ISSN: 1465-3249. DOI: 10.1016/j.jcyt.2014.03.005.

Nikolaev, NI, Liu, Y, Hussein, H, Williams, DJ (2012) The sensitivity of human mesenchymal stem cells to vibration and cold storage conditions representative of cold transportation, J R Soc Interface, 9(75), pp.2503-2515, DOI: 10.1098/rsif.2012.0271.

Williams, DJ, Thomas, RJ, Hourd, PC, Chandra, A, Ratcliffe, E, Liu, Y, Rayment, EA, Archer, JR (2012) Precision manufacturing for clinical-quality regenerative medicines, Philos Trans A Math Phys Eng Sci, 370(1973), pp.3924-3949, ISSN: 1364-503X. DOI: 10.1098/rsta.2011.0049.

Williams, D and Harding, D (2021) The manufacturing of Manton’s Pattern 1833 Carbine lock, a late Ordnance flintlock, and Lovell’s Pattern 1842 Percussion lock, the first purpose-designed Ordnance percussion sidelock, Journal of the Arms and Armour Society, 23(6), pp.474-492, ISSN: 0004-2439.

Williams, D, Abbott, P, Harding, D (2021) ‘A lock so tallying in all its parts, that any part of one lock may fit another’: exploring the standardisation and interchangeable manufacturing of New Land Pattern Musket Locks, Arms & Armour, pp.1-50, ISSN: 1741-6124. DOI: 10.1080/17416124.2021.1883915.

Williams, D and Harding, D (2018) The Enfield Lock barrel mill of 1815 and moves to replace musket barrel grinding by turning c1780 to c1840, Arms and Armour, 15(1), pp.22-57, ISSN: 1741-6124. DOI: 10.1080/17416124.2018.1436494.

Williams, D (2016) Henry Nock, Walter Dick and Charles Lennox, The Duke of Richmond, and the Journey to the Final Designs of the Nock screwless lock, Arms & Armour, 13(1), pp.28-47, ISSN: 1741-6124. DOI: 10.1080/17416124.2016.1191742.

Williams, DJ and Godwin, B (2014) Dual-Ignition Musket Locks Including a Matchlock — a Note on their Design and Utility, Arms and Armour, 11(1), pp.4-16, ISSN: 1749-6268. DOI: 10.1179/1741612414Z.00000000028.

Williams, DJ (2013) Greener, William (1806-1869). In Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press. DOI: 10.1093/ref:odnb/105126.

Williams, DJ (2013) Goodman, John Dent (1816-1900). In Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press. DOI: 10.1093/ref:odnb/101283.

Current Collaborations

  • Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre
  • Royal Centre for Defence Medicine
  • Imperial College
  • Royal Armouries
  • Wallace Collection
  • School of the Art Institute of Chicago

David has had many external roles spanning academic visitor, policy and research funding membership and chairing of panels both national and international, industrial and other advisory board roles, and consultancies. Some of the more distinctive that have been current over the last decade, outside the heritage area, are:

  • 2020: A*STAR Singapore Member of the Post Award Review Panel for the HBMS IAF-PP
  • 2020: Panel Member (LS7) ERC 2020 Evaluation of Completed Projects
  • From 2020: MilliporeSigma, Technical Advisory Board Member
  • 2019-2021: A*STAR Singapore Biopharma Manufacturing Cluster Advisory Board
  • 2018-2021: Member Royal Academy of Engineering Membership Panel 9 Medical & Bioengineering
  • 2017-2020: Member Royal Academy of Engineering Leverhulme Trust Senior Research Fellowships Panel
  • 2018-2020: Member UKRI Future Leaders Fellowships Panel Pool
  • 2016-2019: Member European Research Council Consolidator Award Panel Life Sciences 7
  • From 2015: The Electrospinning Company, Harwell, Scientific Advisory Board Member
  • 2010-2019: Deputy Chair NHS National Institute for Health Research Invention for Innovation Panel B
  • 2016-2019: FloDesignSonics, Wilbraham MA, USA, Scientific Advisory Board Member
  • 2019: Scientific Reviewer for the Integrated Cell Therapy Manufacturing Initiative, A-STAR, Singapore
  • 2018-2019: Generalist Evaluator for Norwegian (RCN) Centres for Research-based Innovation (SFI)
  • 2018: A-STAR and NRF Singapore Funding Panels in Regenerative Medicine
  • 2018: Enterprise Ireland PMTC Career-FIT Opportunities Panel
  • 2016-2017: Visiting SIMTech Fellow, and 2017: A-STAR Visiting Expert to PharmBio Cluster, Singapore
  • 2016-2017: Vinnova Sweden Competence Centre Competition Generalist Evaluator and Panel Chair
  • 2015-2018: Member Royal Academy of Engineering Research Fellowships Steering Group
  • 2015-2017: Member Defence & National Rehabilitation Centre National Workstream Steering Group
  • 2015: Research Council Norway Panel Chair & Generalist Evaluator Centres for Research-based Innovation
  • 2014 and 2015: VINNOVA Sweden Strategic Research Area Initiative Expert Evaluator
  • 2014: Enterprise Ireland Technology Centre Programme Expert Panel
  • 2013-2018: HEFCE Research & Knowledge Exchange Committee Member
  • 2013-2017: Visiting Professor School of Computing & Engineering, University of Huddersfield
  • 2012-2019: Member Innovate UK/MRC Biomedical Catalyst Fund Major Awards Committee
  • 2004-2012: Independent Member of the Defence Science Advisory Council

Athena Swan Bronze award

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The Wolfson School of Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering
Loughborough University
LE11 3TU