Department of Engineering

William Chen

Part-Time Lecturer of Engineering

Office Location

149 John Mitchell Center



Academic Degrees

  • B.S. Mechanical Engineering, University of the Philippines, 1971
  • MS Applied Mechanics, University of Minnesota, 1975


Bill has worked and consulted extensively in the area of computer modeling and analysis of complex metal and composite structures.  His clients were in the aerospace, industrial as well medical industries.  Some of the highlights of his career:

He led a team of engineers during the NASA’s Challenger Recovery and Columbia Return-To-Flight programs in assisting contractors (Thiokol, Lockheed Martin) troubleshoot problems and validate solutions.  For the Challenger Recovery program, he and his team developed a full up finite element model of the solid booster using superelement methods to simulate the structural response of the field joints during launch.  For the Columbia program, he developed detailed thermal finite element model of the tank insulation to help validate the fixes.

While employed at Vanguard Space Technologies, he headed a team of engineers conduct validation of large composite antenna subjected to transient launch loads and orbital heat environment.  He also developed software to analyze the bond line loads and stresses as well as thermal analysis interfaces for the transient orbital thermal analysis of large composite structures.

Consulting with General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, he performed the flutter analysis and conducted test support for the validation of the unmanned aircraft structures.  He also developed software to streamline the structural analysis process for the structures group.

He headed the design and analytical activities in the development of products and equipment for various electronics and medical products companies.  For some of companies he also headed the implementation of MCAE based (mechanical computer-aided engineering) paradigm in upgrading their product development process.  He led the team at Boeing (formerly Rockwell Aerospace) in enhancing the Space Shuttle design and analysis process.

While consulting with various clients, Bill also taught basic engineering courses at the University and Community College levels.  After retiring, he has a strong desire to be in academia and has hoped to impart some of his 30 plus years of engineering experience and expertise to young engineers.  He developed the Statics and Strength of Materials courses for Southern Maine Community College (SMCC).  He taught in various capacities at University of the Philippines, University of Minnesota, Winona State University and SMCC.  He enjoyed teaching Mechanics and Heat Transfer.


  • “An Interface for ADAMS and SDRC I-DEAS,” ADAMS User’s Conference, Ann Arbor, Michigan, September, 1989