For the parents who are wondering about the credibility of the very demanding, but uniquely rewarding, experience being offered to their son or daughter: Dr. Rob Williams is a seasoned aerospace professional who brings decades of research and education experience to the Discovery Lab Global Program.

His resume includes experience as a technical adviser for an Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) research branch specializing in advanced sensing algorithms. As a former engineering professor at the Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT), he conducted research in adaptive neural signal processing while also advising Masters and Ph.D. engineering students. He is a former DARPA program manager specializing in small UAS (or “drones”), a former analyst for the National Air and Space Intelligence Center (NASIC) for space technologies, and a special projects engineer in the Washington DC area. He has a Ph.D. in electrical engineering.

He is a retired Air Force officer. He enlisted in the Air Force right out of high school and earned his commission upon completing his bachelor of science through a competitive process that only selected the top 7%. He was recognized as a distinguished graduate upon receiving his commission, a recognition given to the top 10%. 

Dr. Williams has also received myriad accolades during his career to include the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Engineer of the Year Award in Technical Excellence. The AIAA is the world’s largest technical society dedicated to global aerospace. Dr. Williams has been recognized for his leadership in the innovative outreach program, one he is committed to making available to the public through Discovery Lab Global.