M.S. ​University of Kentucky, 1998Ph.D. ​Penn State, 2001Post-Doc ​Molecular Biophysics Group, Delft University of Technology, Netherlands, 2001-2004

"Foremost, I aim to support the growth and progress of young scientists and engineers; I enjoy ongoing communications with them long after graduation."

Keith Williams, Visiting Professor

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.


  • 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

Selected Publications

  • “Tuning transport in carbon nanotube field-effect transistors by low-energy electron beam exposure and applied universal backgate” Journal of Physics: Condensed Matter 22(33) 334212 (2010). Jack Chan, Brian Burke, Michael Cabral, Chong Hu, Joe Campbell, Lloyd Harriott, and Keith A. Williams
  • "Multiple-Trap Correlations in the Room-Temperature Random Telegraph Signal of a Carbon Nanotube Field-Effect Transistor" Physical Review B 80, 033402 (2009). Tsz Wah (Jack) Chan , Brian Burke , Kenneth Evans , Keith Williams, Smitha Vasudevan, Mingguo Liu , Joe Campbell , Avik Ghosh
  • "Deep-UV Pattern generation in PMMA" Nanotechnology 19 215301 (2008). Brian G Burke, Timothy J Herlihy Jr, Andrew B Spisak and Keith A Williams
  • “Carbon nanotubes with DNA Recognition”, Nature 420(6917) 761 (2002). K.A. Williams, Peter T.M. Veenhuizen, Beatriz G. de la Torre, Ramon Eritja, Cees Dekker
  • “Raman Spectroscopic Investigation of H2, HD, and D2 Physisorption on Ropes of Single-Walled Carbon Nanotubes”, Phys. Rev. Lett. 88(16) 165502 (2002). K. A. Williams, B.K. Pradhan, P. C. Eklund, M. K. Kostov and M. W. Cole

Courses Taught

  • ECE 2066 : Introduction to Information Science
  • ECE 4140 : Fundamentals of Nanoelectronics
  • ECE 5150 : Microelectronic Integrated Circuit Fabrication
  • ENGR 1620 : Introduction to Engineering
  • STS 2500: American Politics of Science
  • PHYS 1090 : Galileo & Einstein, History of Physics
  • PHYS 1610 : Calculus-based Physics, for majors
  • PHYS 582 / ECE 407 : Introduction to Nanophysics
  • PHYS 304 : Physics of the Human Body
  • PHYS 311 : Widely-Applied Physics - Energy Production & Storage
  • PHYS 142R : Calculus-Based Physics, for Rodman Scholars
  • PHYS 231 : Calculus-Based Physics
  • INST 263 : Intro. Traditional Black & White Photography
  • INST 287 : Local Foods: From Garden to Table

Featured Grants & Projects

  • National Science Foundation Nanoscience Undergraduate Education (NUE) Grant 0532515:

    "We're Not in Kansas Anymore"

    A Hands-On Introduction to the New World of Nanoscience and Technology, with PI John Bean and co-PIs Avik Ghosh, Nathan Swami, Lloyd Harriott, and Kurt Kolasinski.