Keith Williams headshot
KW

Keith A. Williams

Associate Professor
Unit: School of Engineering and Applied Science
Department: Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Office location and address
Thornton E204
351 McCormick Rd
Charlottesville, Virginia 22903
Education
M.S. ​University of Kentucky, 1998
Ph.D. ​Penn State, 2001
Post-Doc ​Molecular Biophysics Group, Delft University of Technology, Netherlands, 2001-2004
Biography

I was born in Georgia, USA in 1972; moved shortly thereafter to the middle east (Jordan) and then southern Africa, including Rhodesia (Zimbabwe), Botswana, and South Africa, attending local/native schools throughout. I completed middle school education via correspondence with The Calvert School in Baltimore, Maryland. I then returned to the US for three years of high school.

I completed my MS degree in physics at the University of Kentucky in 1999; my studies included a one-year stipendium at the Ruprecht-Karls University in Heidelberg, Germany. My graduate work included two research appointments in Japan. I completed my Ph.D. in materials physics at Penn State University in 2001, and undertook postdoctoral research in the Molecular Biophysics Group at the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands, thereafter establishing a nanophysics laboratory in the physics department at the University of Virginia.

I became Program Manager and division CTO for the Materials, Corrosion, and Environmental Technologies Department of Leidos (f/k/a SAIC), based at the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, D.C., while on leave from UVa. That work is ongoing and includes numerous projects.

I am deeply engaged in teaching and training young scientists and engineers, as well as university/ community projects with particular emphasis on experiential research. Some of this work work took place in my capacity of Resident Faculty Fellow in the Hereford Residential College, at the University of Virginia (2007-2010). I began a visiting professorship at the University of Virginia School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) in August 2012, in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

My recent teaching experience at UVa includes design of new maker-style introductory engineering curriculum, featuring hands-on design and build experience using CAD, 3D printing and related prototyping techniques in Introductory Engineering (ENGR 1620). I also helped implement embedded advising in UVa's introductory engineering curriculum; this effort has been very successful in assisting young students along their path of career development. I am pleased to note that all courses are very highly rated by students, and many of my former students remain in contact well after graduation.

ENGR 1620: Introduction to Engineering
Credits: 3
ENGR 1620 is a cornerstone course for first year engineering students. They are introduced to the philosophy and practice of engineering through hands-on experience in developing solutions for various open-ended, realistic challenges while considering the various contexts in which these challenges occur. Students will also learn about the majors SEAS offers and receive advisement about careers, plans of study, and major declaration. Prerequisite: First year enrollment in SEAS; exceptions are by instructor permission.
ENGR 1624: Introduction to Engineering
Credits: 4
Cornerstone course for first-year SEAS undergraduates, introducing them to engineering practice and design philosophy, via exposure to open-ended, realistic , hands-on challenges. Students engage in both individual and team work, and consider the contexts in which engineering challenges arise. SEAS majors and potential career paths are also introduced. Students who have taken ENGR 1620 or 1621 or both, can't enroll in ENGR 1624.
ECE 2501: Special Topics in Electrical and Computer Engineering
Credits: 1–5
A second-level undergraduate course covering a topic not normally covered in the course offerings. The topic usually reflects new developments in the electrical and computer engineering field. Offering is based on student and faculty interests.
ECE 2502: Special Topics in Electrical and Computer Engineering
Credits: 1–5
A second-level undergraduate course covering a topic not normally covered in the course offerings. The topic usually reflects new developments in the electrical and computer engineering field. Offering is based on student and faculty interests.
ENGR 3502: Special Topics in Engineering
Credits: 3
Special topics in engineering will vary based upon student and faculty interests.

Mead Endowment Honored Professor's Program, "For outstanding potential to become a friend of students and an example for other faculty." 2009-2010

Fund for Excellence in Science and Technology (FEST) Award, "For highly innovative research projects that will lead to strong proposals for outside funding and early career recognition." 2005