Charles H.K. Williamson, professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering and a popular Cornell teacher, has been named New York state's top professor by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE).
Williamson received the New York State Professor of the Year award at a ceremony in Washington, D.C., on Nov. 16, along with winners from 42 other states, the District of Columbia and Guam.
Also recognized were four national winners of the U.S. Professor of the Year. Former Cornell Vice Provost Mary Sansalone previously won the national award in 1992 while she was a civil and environmental engineering professor at Cornell. Daniel Huttenlocher, Cornell professor of computer science, won the New York state prize in 1993.
An expert in fluid dynamics, Williamson has research interests that include problems of vortex dynamics and instabilities, vortex-induced vibration, aircraft wake vortices, vortex pair instabilities and ocean engineering. He also serves as director of the Fluid Dynamics Research Laboratories.
Williamson won the 1994 W.M. Keck Foundation Award for engineering teaching excellence, as well as the 1999 Weiss Presidential Fellowship from Cornell. His papers have been cited more than 2,500 times.
He earned his bachelor's degree in naval architecture from Southampton University in England and his Ph.D. in fluid mechanics from Cambridge University. Following six years at the California Institute of Technology, he joined the Cornell faculty in 1990.
The Professor of the Year awards recognize professors for their influence on teaching and their commitment, particularly to undergraduate students, and are sponsored by the Carnegie Foundation and administered by CASE.