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UNSW professor elected to engineering academy for contributions in solar energy development

UNSW Sydney’s Scientia Professor Martin Green has been inducted into the United States National Academy of Engineering (NAE) for technical contributions that have enabled the widespread use of silicon photovoltaics.

Prof. Green is among 106 new members and one of 18 international researchers nominated and chosen by their peers to join the Academy, which is among the highest professional distinctions accorded to engineers.

NAE membership honours those who have made outstanding contributions to “engineering research, practice, or education, including, where appropriate, significant contributions to the engineering literature” and to “the pioneering of new and developing fields of technology, making major advancements in traditional fields of engineering, or developing/implementing innovative approaches to engineering education.”

The Academy recognised Prof. Green “for technical contributions enabling the proliferation of silicon photovoltaics”.

Arguably the world’s foremost solar pioneer, Prof. Green specialises in photovoltaics at UNSW’s School of Photovoltaic and Renewable Energy Engineering (SPREE).

He led the teams at UNSW that developed PERC technology, improving the quality of both the top and the rear surface of standard silicon solar cells.

This helped increase the conversion efficiency of standard solar cells by over 50 per cent in relative terms from 16.5 per cent in the early 1980s to 25 per cent in the early 2000s.

These innovations and advances in solar technology are considered instrumental in the global transition to renewable energy, with solar now the lowest cost option for bulk electricity supply.

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