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Honsberg presented William R. Cherry Award

Christiana Honsberg

Christiana Honsberg. Photographer: Stuart Bowden

Recognizing her contributions to the advancement of photovoltaics

Christiana Honsberg, professor in the School of Electrical, Computer and Energy Engineering and director of the Solar Power Laboratory, has been chosen to receive the William R. Cherry Award in recognition of her multiple contributions to the advancement of photovoltaics (PV).

Honsberg was presented the award at the IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference that took place in New Orleans June 14 to 19. She also had the distinction of delivering her Cherry Award acceptance talk during the conference opening keynote session.

Honsberg was nominated for the award by Martin Green, Scientia Professor at the Australian Centre for Advanced Photovoltaics at University of New South Wales. He selected her for her leadership in the research, engineering and education of advanced concept, high performance solar cells, across a range of technologies.

“My main involvement with Christiana was during her time as a post-doc through academic work at UNSW in Sydney,” said Green. “Christiana did a great job there not only on the research front, but in developing our educational programs.”

Honsberg’s notable contributions include the pioneering of advanced PV concepts ranging from the development of a generalized thermodynamic theory for determining efficiency limits of solar cells, to making seminal advances in the understanding of intermediate band, interband and quantum well approaches.

She also is a co-inventor of the so-called “Very High Efficiency Solar Cell (VHESC)” that combines optical/solar cell architectures that produced a sum-of-the efficiencies result of 42.8 percent. In addition Honsberg has contributed to the advancement of III-Nitride solar cells and is responsible for inventing and licensing of methods to produce high performance Si solar cells. She also is the co-developer of the popular PV CD-ROM educational online course that is now widely used in solar cell education at universities across the world.

Honsberg serves as director and lead investigator to the first U.S. multi-institutional Engineering Research Center (ERC) on photovoltaics, Quantum Energy and Sustainable Solar Technologies (QESST), which is jointly supported by the U.S. National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of Energy. She leads and coordinates the ERC’s R&D efforts across some 30 national and international academic and industry partners, with a focus on enabling solutions to harness solar power in economically more viable and sustainable ways.

The William R. Cherry Award is named in honor of William R. Cherry, a founder of the PV community. In the 1950’s, he was instrumental in establishing solar cells as the ideal power source for space satellites and for recognizing, advocating, and nurturing the use of PV systems for terrestrial applications.

The William R. Cherry award was instituted in l980, shortly after his death. The purpose of the award is to recognize an individual engineer or scientist who devoted a part of their professional life to the advancement of the science and technology of PV energy conversion. The nominee must have made significant contributions to the science and/or technology of PV energy conversion, with dissemination by substantial publications and presentations. Professional society activities, promotional and/or organizational efforts and achievements are not considerations in the election for the award.


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Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering

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