William Mass

William Mass

William Mass, Work Environment, Center for Industrial Competitiveness, Economic & Social Development of Regions, Global Studies, Institute for Visualization and Perception Research, Climate Change Initiative

Associate Professor in Economic & Social Development of Regions and Global Studies; Co-Director of Center for Industrial Competitiveness
Kitson 200

Research Interest

  • Data Visualization Applications for Policy Development & Performance Review
  • Organizational and Regional Development
  • Technology Development, Diffusion and Transfer
  • Climate Change Education

Educational Background

  • B.G.S., Social Sciences, University of Michigan
  • Ph.D., Economics, Boston College
  • M.P.H, Occupational and Environmental Health, Harvard School of Public Health


William Mass is Co-Director of the Center for Industrial Competitiveness and a faculty member of the graduate programs in the Economic and Social Development of Regions, and Global Studies.  He is a member of the Climate Change Initiative. His research has concentrated on technology transfer, development and diffusion within and across the U.S., Europe and Asia; and local and regional development policies in the United States. In recent years he has been sole or lead author of policy reports focused on workforce development and regional indicator systems for assessing regional social, environmental and economic performance. He is a co-founder with Georges Grinstein of the Weave (Web-based Analysis and Visualization Environment) software development project at UMass Lowell that was launched with support of the Open Indicators Consortium (OIC), a national organization of 17 regional planning or state level government agencies and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Mass, Ph.D. has directed many Weave applications to diverse data domains such as demography, education, workforce development, energy, housing, health status, public safety, environmental quality, toxics use, neighborhood level community assets, and election outcomes. Mass is also a Research Associate at the Institute for Visualization and Perception Research where the locus of Weave software development is located at UMass Lowell. Weave was awarded the 2011 Certificate of Achievement, Open Source Software World Challenge 2011. He is co-author of five publications of conference papers related to Weave development and applications.

Mass has provided recent policy reports for the following organizations and public agencies including: “Metrics to Enhance Analyses of Comparative State Public Higher Education Alignment with Projected Workforce Requirements” for the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education (2012); “Skills for Green Jobs in the United States” for the International Labour Organization (2010); “A Comparison of Selected Best Practice Indicator Frameworks to Inform Key National Indicators” for  The State of the USA (2008); “New England Measures & Indicators: Regional System Tools and A Proof of Concept to Advance a National Model,” for the National Academy of Sciences (2007). 

William Mass received the Newcomen Essay Prize from Business and Economic History for his publication on technological and organizational innovations in the pre-automobile companies that were the foundation for the development of the Toyota enterprises. He is the co-editor of Organizational Capability and Competitive Advantage, and he has won a Newcomen Special article prize from Business History Review for his published work on the history of industrial research in the United States. He was a Trustee of the Business History Conference and a member of the Editorial Advisory Board of the Journal of Industrial History. 

William Mass was Chair of the Regional Steering Committee and Principal Investigator for the subcontract from the U.S. National Institute for Standards and Technology that established the Merrimack Valley Manufacturing Partnership (MVMP), one of the five regional industrial modernization programs within Massachusetts. William Mass served on the MVMP Board of Directors from 1994-1999. He was a member of the Executive Committee and a Director of MassExcellence (1996-2007), a non-profit and state supported organization. MassExcellence administers the state quality award program and provides examiner training in the use of the Baldrige criterion for performance excellence.

Mass served as Interim Dean of Graduate Programs, College of Management, at the University of Massachusetts Lowell in 1994-95. He was the 1992-93 Newcomen Research Faculty at the Harvard Business School, and 1984-85 National Institute for Occupational Health and Safety Fellow at the Harvard School of Public Health. He has previously taught at the University of Massachusetts Boston, University of Connecticut at Hartford, Tufts University, and the Harvard School of Public Health.