Dr. Bruce W. Williams

Research Scientist

Research in bulk and sheet metal forming processes: computation and experiment

Natural Resources Canada

Current research and/or projects


I have been studying metal deformation and fracture for many years for applications mainly relating to the automotive and nuclear sectors.  My research focuses on using a combination of computational, analytical, and experiment techniques to better understand mechanics of materials.   I am particularly in favour of using computation to better understand how metal behaves, but using computation also drives the need for the development of new and innovative testing methodologies to help develop more complex material models.  A specific focus of my research has been modelling deformation in hexagonal closed packed metals such as magnesium, titanium, and zirconium.

Research and/or project statements

Current Research Projects:

  • Study of metal forming processes for manufacture of lightweight automotive components: warm forming, forming limit diagrams, hydro/gas bulge forming, extrusion, multi-axial testing. 
  • Non-linear finite element analysis in metal forming and fracture mechanics; user-defined material subroutines; Lagrangian-Eulerian solution techniques. 
  • Characterization of asymmetric and anisotropic hexagonal closed packed metals: magnesium, zirconium, and titanium alloys.


Education and awards

Ph.D. (2008), M.A.S (2002) and B.A.S (2001) in Mechanical Engineering, University of Waterloo.


Key publications

  1. B.W. Williams and K.P. Boyle, “Characterization of anisotropic yield surfaces for titanium sheet using hydrostatic bulging with elliptical dies”, International Journal of Mechanical Sciences, doi:10.1016/j.ijmecsci.2016.05.022,2016.

  2. B.L. Boyce, S.L.B. Kramer, C.H.M. Simha, B.W. Williams, and +50 co-authors, “The second Sandia Fracture Challenge: predictions of ductile failure under quasi-static and moderate-rate dynamic loading”, International Journal of Fracture, Vol. 198, pp. 5-100, 2016.

  3. B.W. Williams, S.R. Agnew, R.W. Klein, J. McKinley, ”Development of thin-walled magnesium alloy extrusions for improved crash performance based upon texture control”, In: Magnesium Technology 2015, pp 203-208, TMS (The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society), 2015.

  4. B.W. Williams, S. St Lawrence, and B.W. Leitch, “Comparison of the measured and predicted crack propagation behaviour of Zr-2.5Nb pressure tube material”, Engineering Fracture Mechanics, Vol. 78, pp. 3135-3152, 2011.

  5. B.W. Williams, M.J. Worswick, G. D’Amours, A. Rahem, and R. Mayer, “Influence of forming effects on the axial crush response of hydroformed aluminum alloy tubes”, International Journal of Impact Engineering, Vol. 37, pp. 1008-1020, 2010.