Dr Ned Ekins-Daukes from the Department of Physics has been awarded a Royal Society industry fellowship to support his work on solar technology.
The Royal Society has announced its latest fellowship grants aimed at strengthening links between academia and industry. Among the awardees is Dr Ned Ekins-Daukes from the Department of Physics at Imperial College London. The grant will support him for four years as he works a part time secondment with IQE Solar, a company that designs and manufactures the advanced semiconductor wafer products used in solar cells.
Dr Ekins-Daukes has worked on advanced solar technologies for 18 years, specialising in photovoltaic solar cells that convert sunlight to electricity. The Royal Society grant will now give him the flexibility to work with IQE Solar on his research looking at highly efficient solar cells. “I am delighted to be given the chance to get work so closely with a commercial partner,” says Dr Ekins-Daukes “this will help me transfer our research into a commercial product that can deliver clean electricity effectively and reliably.”
The grant was awarded to support research on multi-junction solar cells, a class of solar technology that achieves the very highest performance by capturing more of the light falling on the cells. The collaboration builds upon an existing joint project with IQE Solar. “We are extremely pleased to welcome Dr Ekins-Daukes to our team as part of the Royal Society’s Fellowship Programme. Ned brings a wealth of world-class knowledge and expertise to IQE Solar at a time when the commercial roll-out of concentrated photovoltaics is set to take off.” says Andrew Johnson, IQE Solar’s Concentrated Photovoltaics (CPV) Technology Director “His contribution to optimising and improving high efficiency, advanced solar technology will help ensure IQE’s position as a global leader as the adoption of CPV for utility scale energy generation gathers pace.”
Dr Ekins-Daukes will start his secondment in October and will be wasting no time. “The goals for cost and performance in solar energy are always moving, the technology we are working on will deliver some near term commercial opportunities as well as establish longer term options.” says Dr Ekins-Daukes “I’m really looking forward to the challenge.”
The Royal Society Industry Fellowship scheme is funded by the Royal Society, EPSRC, BBSRC, NERC, Rolls Royce and BP. Industry fellowship grants were also awarded to three other academics, Dr Nathan Griffiths from University of Warwick, Dr Rachel Smith from University of Sheffield and Dr Mike Dodds from University of York.
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