Ken A. Williams

Senior Advisor


Industry Expertise

Industry Groups

Dr. Ken Williams has a 45-year engineering career as a pioneer with state-of-the-art (SOTA) computer modeling and simulation software. He has a PhD in Mechanical Engineering and is a Registered Professional Engineer (PE) licensed in the state of California.

In 1975 he was a staff member at the Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory attempting the first-ever supercomputer modeling of complex fluid and heat transfer processes, such as occurs in nuclear reactors. That first-generation software was developed for the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission and used to quantify safety issues in commercial power reactors including Three Mile Island, and then for weapons material ‘production reactors’ in the aftermath of Chernobyl. After a decade at The Lab, Dr. Williams left to develop new engineering software for commercial industry. He was one of the early employees in Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) based in Albuquerque, New Mexico. At SAIC new software was developed and commercialized to support licensed operator training at nuclear power reactors, and to design new reactor concepts for the Department of Energy.

After a decade at SAIC, Dr. Williams co-founded CPFD Software, LLC to develop and then market software licenses and services related to its highly specialized computational fluid dynamics (CFD) software package. Its two software packages, Arena-flow® and Barracuda Virtual Reactor® are the only tools capable of modeling fluidization of solid particulates. Fluidization is critical to manufacturing automotive powertrain castings, and has wide applications across broad and diverse chemical and petrochemical industries. Fortune 500 companies, including GM, Ford, CAT, Toyota, Honda, ExxonMobil, Shell, Total, CB&I, UOP/Honeywell, Dow Chemicals, BASF, Samsung, Alstom, DuPont, Mitsubishi, and GE license the software to optimize their manufacturing operations. Dr. Williams developed a salesforce and international agents to generate software sales in China, Japan, Europe, India and the Middle East. He has worked closely with these industry giants to advance their manufacturing technology for automobile engines, and for various chemicals, including plastics, gasoline, and polysilicon (photovoltaic silicon). Today advanced computer simulation software plays a critical role in the engineering process design, optimization and safety assurance. Dr. Williams’ pioneering computer software work over four decades has now translated into significant benefits to major refining, chemicals process and power industries worldwide.

In 2018 he sold CPFD Software, LLC using FOCUS Investment Banking as his advisor; Dr. Williams remains on the board of the acquiring company. He now lives in southern California and supports the FOCUS Irvine office, and remains active in the chemical and power industry, and as an angel investor in the ‘tech coast’ region of California.