In 2007 when the Welsh Government committed to establishing the Coleg Cymraeg, Professor Robin Williams was invited to chair the Planning Board formed to turn the concept into reality. In under a year he had succeeded in securing a consensus among the members of that board in favour of a model that was implemented with the establishment of the Coleg in 2011.
Several of the Coleg’s core programmes, including the Academic Staffing Scheme and the scholarships schemes for students, are based on proposals outlined in the report drawn up by Robin Williams in 2008. He continues to be generous in his support for the Coleg, for instance until very recently being a member of the Coleg’s Research and Publications Group. A native of Meirionnydd, although he has lived for many years in the Vale of Glamorgan, his has been a brilliant academic career. His main research interests are in semiconductor physics, advanced electronic devices and nanotechnology and he has published over 300 academic papers. Much of his research included collaboration with industry around the world and he has also been involved with a variety of national and international committees in physics and engineering, including United Kingdom Research Council committees. He was Head of the School of Physics and Deputy Vice-chancellor at Cardiff University, and from 1994 to 2003 was Vice-chancellor of Swansea University. He is currently a member of the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales.