Suntech Power Holdings Co., Ltd. (NYSE: STP), the world’s largest manufacturer of crystalline silicon photovoltaic (PV) modules, has recently announced that Dr. Stuart Wenham, Suntech’s Chief Technology Officer, has won the top prize at the 2009 Inventor of the Year awards hosted by NewSouth Innovations (NSi), the technology commercialization company of the University of NSW, Australia (UNSW).
Dr. Wenham who holds a dual position as the Director of the UNSW’s ARC Photovoltaic Centre of Excellence, is a world-leading solar cell inventor with more than 25 years experience in solar research and development. He has invented or co-invented eight suites of solar cell technologies, and was instrumental in helping develop Suntech’s breakthrough Pluto technology. Suntech is currently utilizing the Pluto technology to produce PV cells on commercial grade solar wafers with conversion efficiencies of approximately 19% on mono-crystalline PV cells and 17% on multi-crystalline PV cells – around 12% above standard screen printed crystalline silicon solar cells.
“The standard of excellence among the finalists at these awards was first class and I’m humbled to have been chosen top inventor,” said Dr. Wenham. “Through the course of my career I have witnessed solar progress from the lab to field installations and now into a multi-billion dollar global industry. The potential of solar to redefine energy generation is enormous and I have no doubt that we will witness further breakthroughs that will facilitate even greater adoption of solar.”
Dr. Zhengrong Shi, Suntech’s Chairman and CEO, said, “Stuart’s contribution to the solar industry has been exceptional and it is fitting that he receive this award. Under his guidance, we have successfully commercialized the high efficiency Pluto technology and plan to start shipments within the next few months. This technology clearly demonstrates the strength of Suntech’s R&D capability and leadership position in crystalline silicon solar technologies.”
The NSi Inventor of the Year awards reward innovative technologies of UNSW researchers and students that benefit the community and the environment. This is the first year of the awards, which carry a total prize pool of AUD$20,000. One hundred and twenty leaders from business, media and research organisations attended the 23 April awards event.
NewSouth Innovations Pty Limited (NSi) commercialises research and technology developed by the University of New South Wales.
NSi is a company limited by shares, and is a wholly owned subsidiary and controlled entity of UNSW. Formally Unisearch Limited, the organisation was restructured in 2005 and NSi was formed with a business model clearly focused on intellectual property (IP) commercialisation and technology transfer. A Registered Research Agency, NSi is located within the Research Precinct on the Kensington campus of UNSW
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