William Jordan grew up in Denver, Colorado. He obtained Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Metallurgical Engineering from the Colorado School of Mines. He followed that with an M.A. degree from Denver Seminary. He worked as a Metallurgical Engineer for a steel company in Ohio for five years. He then went back to school to pursue a Ph.D. in Mechanics and Materials Engineering from Texas A & M University.
He joined the faculty at Louisiana Tech University in the fall of 1985. He rose through the ranks and became a full Professor in 2001. For the years 2000-2005 he served as the Mechanical Engineering Program Chair.
He conducted research in the areas of mechanical behavior of materials, ethics, and engineering education reform. He was principal or associate investigator on more than 15 different sponsored research projects which resulted in more than 100 professional presentations and publications. He also maintained a practice as a registered Metallurgical Engineer in the state of Louisiana.
While at Louisiana Tech he served as faculty advisor for several different student organizations, including seven years as advisor for the A.S.M.E. student section. He was actively involved in campus wide activities. During the 2000-2001 academic year he served as the President of the Louisiana Tech University Senate. He was a finalist three times for the Tech Foundation Undergraduate Teaching Award.
Dr. Jordan retired from Louisiana Tech University at the end of spring quarter 2005. He became Baylor University's first Mechanical Engineering Department Chair that fall.