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21 June 2019

Alta Devices’ co-founder Atwater wins 2019 IEEE William Cherry Award for outstanding contributions to PV science and technology

At the 46th annual IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference (PVSC 2019) in Chicago (24-28 June), professor Harry Atwater, the Howard Hughes Professor of Applied Physics and Materials Science at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), will reeive the 2019 IEEE William Cherry Award for major innovations in the progress and future of photovoltaic science and technology.

The IEEE PVSC organizing committee established the award in memory of one of the founders of the photovoltaic field, William R. Cherry, to recognize individuals who have made “outstanding contributions to the advancement of photovoltaic science and technology”. The award selection is made by the William R. Cherry Committee, composed of all past general chairmen of the specialist’s conferences and all past recipients of the award.

Atwater has shown “unique insight into photovoltaics research from his first paper in 1982”, and has since contributed to more than 450 publications in the field. “The passion and creativity of professor Harry Atwater to improve photovoltaic technologies are widely recognized,” comments award committee chair Dr Pierre Verlinden.

During his career Atwater has focused on two main scientific research themes: photovoltaic solar energy conversion and light-matter interactions in materials. He has created new high-efficiency solar cell designs and has pioneered principles for light management in solar cells. Atwater is the co-founder of Alta Devices of Sunnyvale, CA, USA, which holds the record for single-junction solar cell efficiency.

“Professor Atwater’s vision for the potential of highly efficient, flexible solar technology has dramatically contributed to the progress of our whole industry,” comments Alta Devices’ CEO Jian Ding.

Atwater currently serves as director of the DOE (Department of Energy) Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis, and as strategic director for the QESST ERC program. Atwater received his B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1981, 1983 and 1987, respectively. He held the IBM Postdoctoral Fellowship at Harvard University from 1987 to 1988 and has been a member of the Caltech faculty since 1988.

See related items:

NREL's Emery wins IEEE’s Cherry Award

NREL’s Kurtz wins Cherry Award from IEEE

NREL’s Jerry Olson wins IEEE's Cherry Award

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