Photo of Professor Rachel Williams

Professor Rachel Williams BSc MS PhD CEng MIPEM FIMMM

Professor of Ophthalmic Bioengineering Eye & Vision Sciences


Personal Statement

I have over 25 years of experience in the design and development of advanced materials for medical applications. My expertise lies particularly in the design and characterisation of the bulk and surface properties of materials and how to modify them to optimise the properties for a specific application. I graduated with a BSc in Engineering Science from the University of Exeter and was awarded a scholarship to study at the University of California where I studied for a Masters in Biomedical Engineering at the Davis campus. I returned to the UK and joined the Biomaterials group at the University of Liverpool to study for my PhD. After my PhD i took up a postdoc position at Liverpool and a year later was appointed to a lectureship. I have developed my academic career at The University of Liverpool and about 20 years ago began to specialise in leading research on strategies to develop innovative ways to modify materials and their surfaces to treat sight threatening conditions such as age-related macular degeneration, retinal detachment and surface ocular disorders. I work closely with both clinical and industrial partners to ensure the appropriate translation of my research. I currently hold a Fellowship from the EPSRC on Building Advanced Materials to Treat Vision Loss under the Engineering for Growth Fellowships scheme. In 2014 I received a Recognising Inspirational Scientists and Engineers (RISE) award from the EPSRC. In 2018 I was honoured to receive the President's Prize from the UK Society for Biomaterials in recognition of outstanding contributions during a lifetime career to the UK Biomaterials field.

Prizes or Honours

  • Chapman Medal (Institute of Materials, Mineral and Mining, 2022)
  • President's Prize (UK Society for Biomaterials, 2018)
  • RISE award (Recognising Inspirational Scientists and Engineers) (EPSRC, 2014)
  • The 2009 Armourers & Brasiers Materials Science Venture Prize (The Worshipful Company of Armourers & Brasiers, 2009)
  • Biocompatibles Endowed Award (UKSB Council, 2007)

Funded Fellowships

  • EPSRC Engineering for Growth Fellowship (Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), 2014 - 2020)
  • RAEng/The Leverhulme Trust Senior Research Fellowship (Royal Academy of Engineering, 2012 - 2014)