Greg Williams

I'm really just a small-town country boy from western North Carolina who loves the beach. I recently retired from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and now teach full-time in the coastal engineering program at UNCW? How I made it through that first career to now academia and enjoy a loving family is nothing of my own doing. God’s hand has been on my life before I even knew it or Him. My grandparents provided a spiritual stability that I did not get at home. Quiet, steady, supportive, but most of all ever-present, they were the embodiment of family. Their faith demonstrated to me what real Christian living was supposed to be. I regularly attended church with them back home and seeing God at work in their lives set me on my path. Like many freshmen in college moving to the “big city,” I searched for my place and where I belonged. Again, God’s faithfulness to me was demonstrated in bringing several godly friends into my life. We were not angels, but we all knew we were solidly founded together in our faith routinely attending church together and exploring what that faith meant. In graduate school, I again found God’s presence through the people He brought into my life ultimately meeting my future wife. Despite many trips and stumbles through those years, I can see God’s guiding hands… man plans his way, but God establishes his steps (Proverbs 16:9). God took a self-centered, arrogant, high school jock who thought primarily only of himself, and allowed him to see what he could do on his own, which was not much. With much grace, He put amazing and God-loving people in my life, from my grandparents to friends in college to my future wife to show me His love and that it’s not all about me. My life continues to be a journey of searching how to put others before self, and I know that I often fail. But I know through God’s love and discipline that I am getting there. John 15:13 says, “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.” The greatest example of this love is what Jesus did on the cross, but I also have had friends who have practically demonstrated this love day-by-day, and I have a family that no matter my faults is always there for me. I want my students to know that I am there for them. I tell them that my goal is not to try to trick them or throw them curves, but to walk alongside them and support them as they navigate classes. I try to let them know that I care and that I will be there to support them. And I try to throw in some engineering history and humor along the way.

My Life

Favorite Quote

"Employ your time in improving yourself by other men's writings so that you shall come easily by what others have labored hard for." Winston Churchill

Friends describe me

Easy going, kind, good company to be around

My hobbies

Reading, playing banjo, hanging with my family, following Manchester United, NC State Wolfpack and Washington Commanders

Fantasy dinner guests

Abraham Lincoln, Winston Churchill, Dwight Eisenhower, Jon Meacham

Best advice I ever received

Poor planning on your part, does not constitute an emergency on my part. - My Dad

My undergrad alma mater

N.C. State University

My worst subject in school


In college I drove

1972 Toyota Celica and 1984 Jeep CJ-7

If I weren't a professor, I would

want to be an historian or history professor

Favorite books

Doctrines of Grace by Boice and Ryken; Team of Rivals by Goodwin; Command and Control by Schlosser; Citizen Soldiers by Ambrose; anything by Jon Meacham and Erik Larson

Favorite movies

A Christmas Story; Christmas Vacation; Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?; Godfather; Godfather II; Shawshank Redemption; Notting Hill

Favorite city

Wilmington, NC and Granite Falls, NC

Favorite coffee

Southern Pecan from Kaldi Coffee Roasters in Wilmington, NC

Nobody knows I

like to collect old engineering tools like slide-rules, scientific calculators, and textbooks...OK, well actually lots of people know that. I'm kind of a geek about things like this.

My latest accomplishment

By God's grace, I will have been married for 33 years in Oct 2023. I also retired and have started a new career on faculty in the coastal engineering program at UNCW.

Current Research

Since I'm a non-tenured lecturer, I'm not currently conducting research. However, I am studying the pedagogy of engineering so I can be a better instructor and communicator.