As director of Battelle Memorial Institute, one of the world's largest organizations for theoretical and applied research on metals, ceramics, and fuels, and as head of the War Metallurgy Committee, Clyde Williams is probably the best known metallurgist in the United States today. And because of an inborn ability to make friends he is undoubtedly one of the best liked. Clyde Williams was born in Salt lake City in 1893 and was educated at the University of Utah where he received his B.Se. degree in 1915. After holding a number of jobs as chemist and metallurgist, he was made superintendent of the Northwest Experiment Station, Bureau of Mines, where for a number of years he supervised research on iron and steel metallurgy and refractories, and on coal beneficiation and utilization.
In 1925 he became chief metallurgist for Columbia Steel Corporation, a position he held until Battelle Memorial Institute was founded in 1929, when he was appointed assistant director. In 1934 he was made director, and under his leadership Battelle has experienced phenomenal growth; the original staff of about 30 has expanded to more than 900, and the expenditure of money contributed by industry for sponsored research, and out of Battelle's own endowment for fundamental research, has increased from less than $200,000 to more than $3,000,000 annually.
Clyde Williams' most dramatic and valuable contribution to metallurgy was as head of the War Metallurgy Division of the Office of Scientific Research and Development, and as chairman of the War Metallurgy Committee of the National Research Council, which established and supervised the scores of war research projects in metallurgy all over the country. Owing to the accomplishments of these agencies which were due largely to Mr. Williams' organizing and administrative ability, the art and science of metallurgy made strides between 1940 and 1945 that were at least as great as, and probably greater than, the cumulative advance made all during the years between the two world wars.
One of Mr. Williams' outstanding characteristics is his strong sense of duty and his unfailing loyalty to his community and to his profession. He has taken an active part in the civic affairs of Columbus, where Battelle is located, and he has worked hard for more than 20 years to further the aims and activities of A. I. M. E., serving in many responsible capacities including that of director from 1941 to 1944.