Martin Williams

Martin Williams

Associate Professor and First Year Coordinator

Contact Information

Telephone: 519-824-4120 x58546


Office: MacN 213


Dr Williams obtained his Ph.D. degree in Experimental Condensed Matter Physics from Imperial College, University of London, United Kingdom in 1993. His doctoral research work was based on quantum transport studies of III-V arsenide and antimonide semiconductor systems, receiving full support as a Commonwealth scholar. He is a chartered Physicist and member of the Institute of Physics.

Professional Experience

In 1993 Dr Williams joined the department of Physics at the University of Guyana, Guyana, South America as an Assistant Professor where he worked on the design and testing of Solar Flat-Plate Collectors. He served as Head of department from 1993–1996. In 1999 he was the recipient of a Commonwealth Post doctoral Fellowship to pursue work on quantum dot luminescent concentrators for solar cell applications, at Imperial College, University of London, United Kingdom. He joined the Solid State Engineering Group at the University of Nottingham, United Kingdom as a Research Fellow from 2001-2003 and worked on the electrical and RF characterization of III-nitrides for high-speed device applications, a in collaborative venture with the National Research Council, Canada. In 2005 he joined the department of Physics, University of Guelph as a Lecturer, and in 2009 as an Assistant Professor.

Professional Activities & Awards

Dr. Williams has been nominated for TV Ontario’s Best Lecturer Award in 2009 and 2010 in recognition of his impact on students, and passion for teaching.  He has served as an Assistant Chief Examiner, Physics, for the Caribbean Examination Council (CXC) Grade 12 Standardized Exams and as a panel member for the curriculum development and implementation of the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Grade 12 Standardized Examination.

Dr. Williams is a former United Kingdom Commonwealth Scholar and Fellow.

Research Activities

Dr. Williams’ primary research interest is Physics Education and he is especially interested in exploring the following areas:

  • Among modern classroom technologies (interactive peer response systems –clickers, interactive computer simulations) and teaching paradigms (active learning classrooms), what works and what doesn’t work? And how does one quantitatively measure this, given the challenge of setting up target and control groups?
  • How to create a learning environment in undergraduate physics courses which engages and improves student retention, especially among women, minorities and first generation university students.
  • How to design and deliver inquiry-based physics labs to improve undergraduate learning outcomes.
  • How to create effective training of Teaching Assistants to deliver enhanced learning and assessment outcomes.