Mr. Williamson graduated from Worcester Polytechnic Institute in 1964 with a B.S. in Physics and then from the University of Wisconsin in Madison in 1966 with an M.S. in Physics. Subsequently, he completed numerous management courses including the Stanford University Business School Executive Institute in 1980.
In July 1966 Mr. Williamson joined General Dynamics Convair Division in San Diego, where he worked on developing a solid-state guidance system for the ATLAS missile. In January 1971, he transferred to General Dynamics Electronics Division (GDE) where he worked on the team developing new ATE technology, then known as “third generation” – basically instruments-on-a-card with a universal pin interface - and leading the technical proposal for the S-3A Hybrid Automatic Test System (HATS) competition. When GDE was awarded the S-3A HATS contract in 1973, Mr. Williamson was promoted to his first management position as HATS program manager. The project engineer for HATS was John Slattery, memorialized by the annual NDIA Slattery Award.
The first successful deployment of this new technology on CV-67, the JFK, led to this new instrument-on-a-card technology being used as the basis for GDE’s successful proposal for the F-16 Avionics Intermediate Shop (AIS). Mr. Williamson was responsible for several portions of this proposal and the subsequent program planning activities. In 1978, he was made program director for the design, development and production of the ATE to test a new Terrain Following Radar system for the F-111. This program was completed on schedule and under budget.
From 1982 through 1986, as GDE program director for Navy ATS, Mr. Williamson led the proposal team for the Navy CASS pre-FSD. After leading successful CASS pre-FSD contract performance, Mr. Williamson led the GDE negotiation team, which completed a teaming arrangement with Grumman for pursuit of the CASS FSD contract. Mr. Williamson led all GDE efforts during the resultant intense competition. The FSD contract was awarded to a General Electric/Honeywell team in December 1986.
In 1987 Mr. Williamson was selected to lead the General Dynamics team to develop a prototype tester, which could support the high failure rate F-16 LRUs and satisfy the Air Force’s urgent mobility requirement. This effort was entirely company funded and involved personnel from General Dynamics (GD) Fort Worth (now Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company), the aircraft prime contractor, as well from GDE. After many successful field demonstrations of this prototype, GDE was awarded the mobile Improved AIS (IAIS) development and production contract in 1989. The company-funded development and prototyping activities allowed the cost and schedule for development and production of this new mobile tester to be accomplished within the existing budget and schedule for procuring the original full-size AIS stations.
After the initial program was established with the US Air Force, Mr. Williamson led the GDE efforts to propagate the IAIS to allied nations using the F-16, beginning with the Multinational Fighter Program Group (Belgium, The Netherlands, Denmark, and Norway). The four countries signed an agreement to use the IAIS in 1992. Today, the IAIS is used in 16 countries operating the world’s most popular fighter, the F-16.
The architecture/design of the AIS/IAIS hardware and software was primarily GDE proprietary and closed. Mr. Williamson convinced GDE and GD Fort Worth management that the architecture/design must be transitioned to an open architecture using DoD/industry standards. He led a GDE/GD Fort Worth team that developed this technology insertion roadmap including company funded research and development. This plan has been implemented over subsequent years resulting in the open architecture, which exists in today’s rack mounted version of the IAIS (RIAIS).
In total, over 400 AIS stations to 18 nations and 63 mobile IAIS stations were delivered. The RIAIS is still in production with 30 delivered to date and more planned by several nations.
In 1997 Mr. Williamson retired from what is now BAE Systems North America. Since then he has worked part time for CDI/M&T as their program manager for San Diego Operations. He is responsible for 10 people who support engineering and production efforts in the ATS area at the Navy’s North Island facility.
Mr. Williamson was the General Dynamics representative on the Navy Ad Hoc ATE Project for the Navy founded in 1975, under National Security Industrial Association (NSIA). Mr. Frank McGinnis was the industry chairman for this project. This Navy Ad Hoc ATE Project evolved into the current NDIA ATC and Mr. Williamson was an active member of the Steering Committee until January 2008. He worked on and led several ATC efforts including writing the group’s charter. In addition, Mr. Williamson was a member of the USAF MATE User’s Group Executive Committee from 1989 to 1991.