Richardson Joins Chemical Engineering Department in Return to U of A

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Will Richardson

The Ralph E. Martin Department of Chemical Engineering is excited to welcome U of A alumnus Will Richardson, BSBE’07, to its faculty as an associate professor.

Richardson joins the U of A after seven years as a member of the bioengineering faculty at Clemson University. In addition to his Bachelor of Science in biological engineering from the U of A, Richardson holds a doctorate in biomedical engineering from Texas A&M University and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Virginia, funded by the American Heart Association.

“I could not be more excited about returning to my alma mater,” Richardson said when asked about this professional homecoming. “Growing up in Arkansas, I have seen firsthand the state’s rich potential and am deeply motivated to contribute now as a faculty member to U of A’s education, research and economic impact. It is invigorating to see so much growth in NWA from the time I was a student, especially in the areas of data science and health care — my particular areas of interest.”

Richardson’s research expertise is biochemical systems engineering. His research program is actively supported by the National Institutes of Health and Department of Defense. Recent publications of his work can be found in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, eLife, Acta Biomaterialia other Journal of the American Heart Association.

Sharing further details about his research, Richardson explained its connection to fighting heart disease.

“We build computational models of biochemical reaction networks as well as experimental tissue culture bioreactors in order to better understand and control the complex bio-chemo-mechano-systems that regulate cardiac remodeling. By combining computational modeling, data science and in vitro screening tools, our research mission is to engineer personalized medicine approaches for combating heart disease.”

In addition to his research, Richardson’s current teaching interests include computational network modeling and biomedical data science. He also serves as a reviewer for over a dozen academic journals. As an alumnus, Richardson was recognized with the Early Career Alumni Award by the U of A College of Engineering in 2015.

“I am very excited to welcome Will back to the U of A and into chemical engineering,” said department head Keisha Walters. “He is one of the two faculty that will join our department this year in the area of ​​data science.”

She added that “Will brings new expertise and additional perspectives that will complement and strengthen the department’s research and education missions.”

Richardson shares an eagerness to advance those missions.

“I can hardly wait to join the excellent students and faculty here in chemical engineering, to collaborate with other departments and institutions across the state and to pursue our collective potential for uncovering new knowledge, training future engineers and improving human health,” he said.

About the Department of Chemical Engineering: Chemical engineering has been a part of the University of Arkansas curriculum since 1903. Today, the Ralph E. Martin Department of Chemical Engineering has an enrollment of over 300 students in its undergraduate and graduate degree programs and houses five endowed chairs and eight endowed professorships to support its faculty. Faculty expertise includes cellular engineering, chemical process safety, advanced materials, and membrane separations. A wide range of fundamental and applied research is conducted in the areas of energy, health, sustainability and computational chemical engineering. The department is also home to the Chemical Hazards Research Center and is one of three national sites for the Membrane Science, Engineering, & Technology (MAST) Center. The Department of Chemical Engineering is named for alumnus Ralph E. Martin (BSCh.E.’58, MSCh.E.’60) in recognition of his 2005 endowment gift.

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