Carnegie Mellon University

Nathan  Williams

Nathan Williams (E 2017)

Special Faculty, Engineering and Public Policy

  • Wean Hall 3703
Carnegie Mellon University
5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213


Nathan Williams is a faculty member in the Department of Engineering and Public Policy (EPP) at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU). 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. He is also a visiting instructor at the CMU Africa campus in Rwanda where he teaches courses on energy systems and a Research Fellow at the Kigali Collaborative Research Center.


He completed his Ph.D. in Engineering and Public Policy at CMU focusing on barriers to electrification in East Africa via privately operated microgrid utilities. His interest in energy poverty in developing countries was sparked while serving as a Peace Corps volunteer in a remote unelectrified village in the West African nation of Burkina Faso. Following his time in the Peace Corps, Nathan joined the Centre for Energy Research at the Nelson Mandela University in South Africa, where in earned a M.Sc. focusing on the application of solar photovoltaic technologies to rural electrification. He also has a B.S. in Physics and Mathematics from Whitworth University. Prior to coming to CMU, Nathan spent three years developing renewable energy IPPs in sub-Saharan Africa.