Dr. Nathan Williams is an Assistant Professor at the Golisano Institute for Sustainability at the Rochester Institute of Technology. His research focuses on African energy systems with a particular interest in the use of renewable and decentralized energy technologies to expand access to electricity. His work has applied various methods including techno-economic modeling, risk analysis and machine learning. More broadly, he is interested in how infrastructure systems in the Global South can be planned in an integrated and sustainable manner to support social and economic development in underserved communities.
Before coming to RIT, Dr. Williams was an Assistant Research Professor at Carnegie Mellon University and an instructor at the Carnegie Mellon University Africa campus in Kigali, Rwanda. He also spent several years developing large scale renewable energy projects in South Africa. His interest in energy and development was sparked while serving as a Peace Corps volunteer in an unelectrified rural community in Burkina Faso. He has a B.S. in Physics and Mathematics from Whitworth University, a M.Sc. in Physics from Nelson Mandela University and a Ph.D. in Engineering and Public Policy from Carnegie Mellon University.
In the News
April 3, 2023
RIT Golisano Institute for Sustainability Ph.D. student wins Outstanding Graduate Woman
Sherralyn Sneezer was named this year’s Outstanding Graduate Woman for her commitment to working with indigenous communities to develop renewable energy systems on tribal land.
September 23, 2022
RIT sustainability professor’s research part of $5.5 million Rockefeller Foundation grant
Nathan Williams, an assistant professor in sustainability whose research focuses on African energy systems, will play a key role in a project made possible by a $5.5 million grant from the Rockefeller Foundation to accelerate development and promote climate resilient infrastructure investment across sub-Saharan Africa.
August 31, 2021
RIT professor to work with Native American communities pursuing energy sovereignty
Assistant Professor Nathan Williams and doctoral student Sherralyn Sneezer to lead research that will help identify potential pathways to energy sovereignty in Native American communities.