Distinguished University Professor Ellen Williams was named a 2016 Distinguished Alumna at the California Institute of Technology, where she received her PhD in Chemistry in 1982. Caltech cited "her sustained record of innovation and achievement in the area of structural-surface physics. She founded the Materials Research Science and Engineering Center at the University of Maryland and was the chief scientist for BP. She now serves as director of the Advanced Research Project Agency–Energy in the U.S. Department of Energy." The award was presented May 21 in Pasadena.