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Kaiser, William

William KaiserWilliam Kaiser, Professor

UCLA Gold Shield Prize, 2007
Fellow, American Vacuum Society, 1994

Research Group: Actuated Sensing & Coordinated Embedded Networked Technologies

Office: 56-147L Engr. IV, Phone: 310.206.3236, Email



Professor Kaiser received a PhD in Solid State Physics from Wayne State University in 1984. From 1977 through 1986, as a member of Ford Motor Co. Research Staff, his development of automotive sensor and embedded system technology resulted in large volume commercial sensor production. At Ford, he also developed the first spectroscopies based on scanning tunneling microscopy. From 1986 through 1994, at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Dr. Kaiser developed and demonstrated the first electron tunnel sensors for acceleration and infrared detection and initiated the NASA/JPL microinstrument program.

In 1994, Professor Kaiser joined the faculty of the UCLA Electrical Engineering Department. In collaboration with Professor Greg Pottie, he initiated the first wireless networked microsensor programs with a vision of linking the Internet to the physical world through distributed monitoring. This continued research includes the topics of actuated sensor networks for environmental monitoring, networked embedded systems, low power integrated circuits and systems for wireless networked sensing. Professor Kaiser served as Electrical Engineering Department Chairman from 1996 through 2000.

Professor Kaiser has over 220 publications, over 140 invited presentations, and 35 patents. He has received the Allied Signal Faculty Research Award, the Peter Mark Award of the American Vacuum Society, the NASA Medal for Exceptional Scientific Achievement, the Arch T. Colwell Best Paper Award of the Society of Automotive Engineers, two R&D 100 Awards, the Brian P. Copenhaver Award for Innovation in Teaching with Technology, the 2007-2009 Gold Shield Faculty Prize, and Best Paper Award at the BodyNets 2008 Conference, Best Demonstration Award at the Wireless Health 2010 Conference and Best Paper Award at the Wireless Health 2011 Conference.

Research Interests

Professor Kaiser's research has concentrated on the development of distributed networked, embedded computing for linking the Internet to the physical world. The applications for this technology that his group has pursued include distributed systems for factory automation, biomedical research, healthcare, space science, security, and defense. His background includes distributed low-power system development, low-power analog and digital electronics, low-power wireless communication systems, and microsensor technology. Professor Kaiser's teaching efforts include the development of new courses for both undergraduate and graduate programs emphasizing a combination of fundamental concepts and applications to design.

Working in close collaboration with the UCLA community he has been developing the new field of Wireless Health and the new UCLA Wireless Health Institute (WHI). This includes work with his WHI Director colleagues, Dr. Bruce Dobkin, MD (UCLA Neurology), and Professor Majid Sarrafzadeh (UCLA Computer Science Department). WHI now includes over 20 programs focused directly on advancing patient outcomes, promoting health and wellness, and creating new healthcare delivery methods.

Professor Kaiser is also dedicated to research in embedded computing in support of energy efficiency. This includes development of the new Low power Energy Aware Platform (LEAP). The LEAP system provides the first complete platform characterization of energy usage including energy usage in each computing platform component and attributed to each supported computing task as well as each event. This capability has been shown to be necessary to enable energy and performance optimization and has fundamentally not been previously available. LEAP enables direct energy measurement of discrete events in kernel and user space systems. Direct measurements provided by LEAP that enable the optimization goals.

Professor Kaiser’s research also includes development of distributed sensing in support of energy efficiency and sustainability. This is focused on developing methods for introducing energy efficiency and reducing electrical energy and other resource usage through a combination of innovations in comprehensive and cost-effective energy monitoring coupled with behavioral change research. This technology has expanded in impact from an initial delpoyment including real time user feedback of 60 residential units to now several hundred.

For more information on Professor Kaiser’s research group, please see For information on Wireless Health please see

Awards and Recognitions

  • Best Paper Award at the Wireless Health 2011 Conference
  • Best Demonstration Award at the Wireless Health 2010 Conference
  • Best Paper Award at the BodyNets 2008 Conference
  • 2007 UCLA Gold Shield Faculty Prize
  • 2005 Brian P. Copenhaver Award
  • 1998 Arch T. Colwell Award, Society of Automotive Engineers
  • 1995 Allied Signal Faculty Research Award
  • 1994 Fellow of the American Vacuum Society
  • 1991 Peter Mark Award of the American Vacuum Society


  • G. J. Pottie and W.J. Kaiser, Principles of Embedded Networked Systems Design, Cambridge University Press, September 2006.
  • D. Estrin, G. Borriello, R. Colwell, J. Fiddler, M. Horowitz, W.J. Kaiser, et al., Embedded, Everywhere, National Academy Press, Washington DC, USA, 2001.
  • W. J. Kaiser and J. A. Stroscio, editors, Scanning Tunneling Microscopy, Academic Press, MA, 1993.
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