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College of Engineering

Hackney Award


Dr. Derek G. Williamson

The T. Morris Hackney Endowed Faculty Leadership Award honors a faculty member who exemplifies the constant guidance and leadership necessary to make The University of Alabama College of Engineering exceptional. Dr. Derek G. Williamson, associate professor of civil, construction, and environmental engineering and interim associate dean of undergraduate and graduate programs, is the recipient of the 2024 T. Morris Hackney Endowed Faculty Leadership Award.

Williamson earned his bachelor’s degree in engineering and public policy from Washington University in St. Louis. He also holds a master’s degree and doctorate in environmental engineering from the University of Texas at Austin. Williamson joined the civil engineering department at the University in 1999. His research has centered around the biological, physical, and chemical fate of pollutants in the environment. Originally focusing on organics in soils, upon arriving at UA, Williamson transitioned his research to air pollutants and their exchange with the Earth’s surface. He founded and directed the aircraft-based Atmospheric and Environmental Research Operations program from 2004-2010. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the U.S. Department of Energy have supported Williamson’s research.

In 2010, Williamson shifted his focus to service leadership in undergraduate education as well as several teaching initiatives. In 2019, he won the inaugural College of Engineering Excellence in Undergraduate Education Award. He has directed four undergraduate degree programs (civil, construction, architectural, and environmental engineering), totaling over 800 students, and developed and led the ABET assessment program for the CCEE department. At the University level, Williamson has served on all major educational councils, including as the three-time chair of the core curriculum committee. He has enjoyed co-leading and teaching engineering students abroad in Spain and Cuba, developing new graduate and undergraduate courses, mentoring graduate students through the Tide Together Program, and serving as the American Society of Civil Engineers student chapter faculty advisor. Currently, Williamson is highly engaged in coordinating, leading, and supporting the recruiting, educational missions, and student-facing activities for the College of Engineering.

This award was established as a tribute to T. Morris Hackney and was made possible by the contributions of John H. Josey and his son, Howard Josey.


2024: Dr. Derek G. Williamson
2023: Dr. Ajay Agrawal
2022: Mark L. Weaver
2020: Bharat Balasubramanian
2019: Kenneth G. Ricks
 Gregory B. Thompson
2017: W. Edward Back
2016: John Baker
2015: Jay K. Lindly
2014: Susan L. Burkett
2013: Tim A. Haskew
2012: Allen S. Parrish
2011: K. Clark Midkiff Jr.
2010: Kenneth J. Fridley
2009: Viola Acoff
2008: Beth Todd
2007: Kevin Whitaker
2006: David B. Brown
2005: Charles L. Karr
2004: John Wiest
2003: David Cordes
2002: Robert Griffin
2001: Stuart Bell
2000: Lloyd “Pete” Morley
1999: Verle N. Schrodt
1998: Daniel Turner
1997: Gary C. April

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