Harry Atwater Wins 2019 IEEE William R. Cherry Award

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Atwater is recognized for his contributions to photovoltaic science and technology at the 46th annual IEEE PVSC conference.


June 21, 2019

Howard Hughes Professor of Applied Physics and Materials Science Harry A. Atwater is the recipient of IEEE's 2019 William R. Cherry award which recognizes an individual for his/her outstanding contributions to photovoltaic science and technology. Atwater has been an active contributor to the photovoltaic research community for over 35 years. Throughout his career, he co-founded six companies, including Luminescent Energy, ETC Solar, and Alta Devices, which currently holds the world record for one-Sun single-junction solar cell efficiency and module efficiency. With over 450 publications, his scientific work centers around two themes: photovoltaic solar energy conversion and light-matter interactions in materials.

Beyond his role as professor in the departments of Applied Physics and Materials Science, Atwater is the founding Editor-in-Chief for ACS Photonics, and is Associate Editor for IEEE Journal of Photovoltaics. He founded the Gordon Research Conference on Plasmonics in 2006 and served as chair in 2008. He is the founding Director of the Resnick Sustainability Institute and currently serves as Director of the DOE Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis, both at Caltech, and serves as the Strategic Director for the QESST ERC program.

As stated on the IEEE website, "William R. Cherry was a founder of the photovoltaic 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 photovoltaic systems for terrestrial applications. The William R. Cherry award was instituted in 1980, 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 photovoltaic 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."

IEEE is comprised of engineers, scientists, and allied professionals, and is the world's largest technical professional organization dedicated to advancing technology for the benefit of humanity. For more information, please visit: https://www.ieee-pvsc.org/PVSC46/awards-cherry.php