Walter Scott, Jr. College of Engineering

Williams, John D.


Office: Engineering Research Center 1320
Phone: 970-491-8564

Dr. John D. Williams

Director, Electric Propulsion & Plasma Engineering Laboratory


Mechanical Engineering

School of Advanced Materials Discovery

Dr. Williams’s research interests include modeling of erosion phenomena of ion thruster components such as ion extraction grids and hollow cathodes, as well as experimental evaluation of plasma and ion beam interactions with materials for both aerospace and terrestrial applications. Recent work has been in fabricating superlattice quantum well structures for high figure of merit thermoelectics and producing plasmas in confined pockets to enhance thin film deposition processes for solar cells.


  • Ph.D. 1991, Colorado State University—Mechanical Engineering
  • B.S. 1986, Colorado State University—Mechanical Engineering


Research Interests

  • Modeling of Erosion Phenomena of Ion Thruster Components
  • Experimental Evaluation of Plasma and Ion Beam Interactions with Materials for both Aerospace and Terrestrial Applications

Honors and Awards

  • 2011 – Jack E. Cermak Undergraduate Advising Award, Colorado State University
  • 2011 – Nominated for Best Teacher, CSU Alumni Association and Student Alumni Connection
  • 2009 – Most Helpful Professor, Association of Engineering Students at CSU
  • 2008 – Most Helpful Professor, Association of Engineering Students at CSU

International Connections

  • Country: Spain
    Contact: Universidad Politecnica de Madrid, Spain, Scholarly efforts with Institutions
  • Country: Japan
    Contact: Tokyo Metropolitan University, Collaboration