Leading lights of solar technology named in 40 Under 40 list
UNSW researchers Bram Hoex, Brett Hallam and Alison Ciesla have received an esteemed award that recognises young professionals who have made their mark in solar technology internationally.
Three young rising stars from UNSW’s School of Photovoltaic and Renewable Energy Engineering (SPREE) have made the prestigious 40 Under 40 list for solar professionals.
The 40 Under 40 award recognises those under the age of 40 whose work is influencing solar technology development at a global level.
Associate Professor Bram Hoex (39), Scientia Fellow, Dr Brett Hallam (32) and Post-Doctoral Fellow Dr Alison Ciesla (32) of UNSW will be recognised
for their achievements by Renewable Energy World at the Intersolar North America conference this week.
All three have been recognised individually for their work at UNSW Engineering and both A/Professor Hoex and Dr Hallam are currently in San Francisco to receive their awards.
A/Professor Hoex says he is chuffed to be listed among the young achievers of the solar world.
“It is a great honour for me to be part of this prestigious list as it shows that our research and educational work is having an impact on the world,” he says, which is a sentiment echoed by Dr Hallam.
Dr Ciesla, who is daughter to UNSW solar technology pioneer, the late Professor Stuart Wenham, adds that it is nice to have one’s work noticed at the global level.
“I do what I do because I feel strongly that it is important for the future progress of solar,” Dr Ciesla says.
A/Professor Hoex and Dr Hallam intend to capitalise on the opportunity of being among the solar industry’s global elite by networking with prospective partners.“However, it does mean a lot that others also see the value and the importance of what I am doing.”
“I am hoping to engage with US-based photovoltaic and equipment manufacturers and also visit existing project partners in the Bay area,” Dr Hallam says.
The work done in SPREE that helped get A/Professor Hoex noticed was his research into improving cost-effectiveness of silicon-based solar cells.
“I particularly focus on reducing the losses at the front and rear surface of the solar cell, both the contacted as well as the non-contacted regions,” A/Professor Hoex says.
“This can be done by applying nanoscale thin films on the silicon surfaces.
“Nanoscale thin films can also be used to extract electron or ‘holes’ selectively, and these kinds of contacts are now enabling world-record solar cell efficiencies.”