Ellen Williams, Distinguished University Professor, has been named a foreign member of the prestigious Royal Society.

She was among 10 new foreign fellows and 50 new fellows announced on April 29 in London. The society is a fellowship of many of the world’s most eminent scientists and is the oldest scientific academy in continuous existence.

Williams came to UMD in 1981 for a post-doctoral fellowship and became a full professor in 1991. At Maryland, she pioneered the use of very powerful electron scanning, tunneling microscopes to study the surface of materials like silicon at the atomic level. In 1996 Williams founded the University of Maryland Materials Research Science and Engineering Center, serving as its director until 2009. She served as Chief Scientist at BP from 2010-14 and on December 8, 2014, she became director at ARPA-E.