April 9, 2018
Colleagues, friends, and family gathered Friday, April 6, 2018, to honor William S. Hammack and thank supporters Jim and Karen Morris at a ceremony marking Hammack’s appointment as the Donald and Dolores Morris Professorial Scholar.
Hammack, a professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at Illinois, has pioneered new and novel approaches to engineering outreach. He received his BS in Chemical Engineering from Michigan Technological University in 1984 and his MS and PhD from the University of Illinois in 1986 and 1988, studying intramolecular electron transfer under the late Dr. Harry G. Drickamer. Prof. Hammack joined the department as a faculty member in 1998 after teaching at Carnegie Mellon for a decade.
From 1999 to 2006, he created a groundbreaking series of over 200 pieces for public radio that described what engineers do, why they do it, and how. Dr. Hammack also created and is host of the popular YouTube channel “engineerguyvideo.” His YouTube videos and pieces for public radio have been seen or heard millions of times around the world.
The Donald and Dolores Morris Professorial Scholar was established by Illinois alumnus Jim Morris (BS ChemE ’81) and his wife Karen Morris in honor of Jim’s parents, Donald and Dolores Morris. As children of the Depression, Donald and Dolores came from humble beginnings and always stressed the importance of a college education to their three children.
After he graduated from Illinois, Jim Morris joined Exxon and over the years he has held a variety of different positions with Exxon and ExxonMobil. He has worked on projects throughout the Gulf Coast and around the world, including offshore production operations in Nigeria and a liquefied natural gas project in Qatar. Now chief facilities engineer for ExxonMobil Upstream, he is responsible for the global application of facilities technologies, career development for engineers, and planning key strategic initiatives. He and his wife Karen live in Houston, Texas.