Nathan Williams Headshot

Nathan Williams

Assistant Professor

Department of Sustainability
Golisano Institute for Sustainability

585-475-5802
Office Location

Nathan Williams

Assistant Professor

Department of Sustainability
Golisano Institute for Sustainability

Bio

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. 

585-475-5802

Areas of Expertise

Select Scholarship

Journal Paper
Lukuyu, June, et al. "Building the supply of demand: Experiments in mini-grid demand stimulation." Development Engineering 6. (2021): 100058. Web.
Udeani, Chukwudi, Paulina Jaramillo, and Nathaniel J Williams. "A techno-economic and environmental assessment of residential rooftop solar-Battery systems in grid-connected households in Lagos, Nigeria." Development Engineering 6. (2021): 100069. Print.
Muhwezi, Bob, Nathaniel J Williams, and Jay Taneja. "Ingredients for growth: Examining electricity consumption and complementary infrastructure for Small and Medium Enterprises in Kenya." Development Engineering 6. (2021): 100072. Print.
Allee, Andrew, et al. "Predicting initial electricity demand in off-grid Tanzanian communities using customer survey data and machine learning models." Energy for Sustainable Development 62. (2021): 56-66. Print.
Izar-Tenorio, Jorge L, Paulina Jaramillo, and Nathaniel J Williams. "Techno-economic feasibility of small-scale pressurized irrigation in Ethiopia, Rwanda, and Uganda through an integrated modeling approach." Environmental Research Letters 16. 10 (2021): 104048. Print.
Subramanian, R, et al. "Air Pollution in Kigali, Rwanda: Spatial and Temporal Variability, Source Contributions, and the Impact of Car-free Sundays." Clean Air Journal 30. 2 (2020): 1-15. Web.
Published Conference Proceedings
Mugyenyi, Joel, et al. "Smart metering technologies for mini grids in Africa: An Overview." Proceedings of the 2021 IEEE PES/IAS PowerAfrica. Ed. Kennedy Aganah. Nairobi, Kenya: IEEE Xplore, 2021. Print.
Wamalwa, Fhazhil and Nathaniel J Williams. "Integration of an off-grid solar-PV-battery system after grid connection using model predictive control: A case study in Kenya." Proceedings of the 2021 IEEE PES/IAS PowerAfrica. Ed. Kennedy Aganah. Nairobi, Kenya: IEEE Xplore, 2021. Print.
Raji, Tunmise, et al. "Challenges of microgrid project development in sub-Saharan Africa: an industry perspective." Proceedings of the 2021 IEEE PES/IAS PowerAfrica. Ed. Kennedy Aganah. Nairobi, Kenya: IEEE Xplore, 2021. Print.
Yoder, Elizabeth and Nathaniel J Williams. "Load Profile Prediction Using Customer Characteristics." Proceedings of the IEEE PES/IAS PowerAfrica 2020. Ed. N/A. Nairobi, Kenya: IEEE, 2020. Web.
Invited Article/Publication
Williams, Nathan, Samuel Booth, and Ian Baring-Gould. "Survey Use in Micro-grid Load Prediction, Project Development, and Operations." NREL Technical Report. (2019). Web.

Currently Teaching

ISUS-890
1 - 9 Credits
Research fulfillment of Sustainability Ph.D. dissertation requirements.
ISUS-877
0 Credits
The Research Internship is designed to enhance the educational experience of PhD students through full-time employment.
ISUS-807
1 - 9 Credits
Research in fulfillment of Sustainability Ph.D. dissertation or M.S. capstone requirements.
ISUS-780
1 - 6 Credits
An independent project in sustainability serving as a capstone experience for students completing the non-thesis option. This course requires a formal proposal and a faculty sponsor.
ISUS-790
1 - 6 Credits
Independent research in sustainability leading to the completion of the MS thesis. This course requires a formal proposal and a faculty sponsor.
ISUS-808
3 Credits
This class will explore how decisions are made when confronted with multiple, often conflicting, criteria or constraints. The focus will be on the following analytical methods: linear and stochastic programming, optimization, and Monte Carlo simulation. Case studies will focus on sustainability multi-criteria problems such as energy planning, sustainable development, resource management, and recycling. Students will apply methods learned to a project involving their dissertation research.
ISUS-791
0 Credits
MS or PhD students requiring additional time to complete their thesis
ISUS-706
3 Credits
The goal of this course is to introduce students to economic concepts and analysis pertaining to sustainable systems. This course offers a nontechnical introduction, but based on rigorous economic reasoning. Additionally, a thorough treatment of models relevant to each topic is provided. The over-arching goal is for students to gain an appreciation for the logic of economic reasoning while teaching economics as it pertains to sustainable systems.

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