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DOE researcher to receive Böer Solar Energy Medal

Lawrence L. Kazmerski

10:38 a.m., Feb. 16, 2007--Lawrence L. Kazmerski, director of the U.S. Department of Energy's National Center for Photovoltaics (NCPV) at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden, Colo., will receive the 2007 Karl Böer Solar Energy Medal of Merit during a ceremony to be held at 3 p.m., Thursday, April 5, in Gore Recital Hall of the Center for the Arts at the University of Delaware.

The medal and a cash award of $40,000, funded by the Karl W. Böer Solar Energy Medal of Merit Trust, is given every two years to an individual who has made significant pioneering contributions to the promotion of solar energy as an alternate source of energy through research, development or economic enterprise or to an individual who has made extraordinarily valuable and enduring contributions to the field of solar energy in other ways.

The award is given in honor of Karl Wolfgang Böer, a longtime University faculty member, founder of UD's Institute of Energy Conversion and a distinguished scientist in the field of solar cells.

“We are pleased to award this year's medal to Lawrence Kazmerski who, throughout a distinguished career spanning more than 30 years, has been a pioneer and leader in the field of solar electricity,” Robert W. Birkmire, executive director of the Karl W. Böer Solar Energy Medal of Merit Trust and director of UD's Institute of Energy Conversion, said. “It is an appropriate tribute to a researcher who has written extensively and delivered lectures on a wide variety of topics related to renewable energy. It is also especially fitting that this recognition is given to a researcher whose initial career in thin-film photovoltaics was largely influenced and guided by the technical contributions of Karl Böer himself.”

The recipient of the award is chosen by a panel of commissioners composed of scientists and presidents of several solar energy-related professional societies, a representative of the U.S. Secretary of Energy and a member of the Böer family.

Kazmerski, who was named director of NREL's NCPV in 1999, was the first research staff member in photovoltaics at NREL, then the Solar Energy Research Institute (SERI). He has a doctorate in electrical engineering from the University of Notre Dame and was on the faculty of the University of Maine before joining SERI in 1977. He has been an adjunct professor at the University of Colorado, Colorado School of Mines and the University of Denver.

Kazmerski has published more than 300 journal papers and delivered nearly that many lectures on solar cells, thin films, semiconductor materials and devices, surface and interface analysis, scanning probe microscopy, nanoscale technology, high-temperature superconductivity and semiconductor defects. An author and editor of four books, he is editor-in-chief of the Elsevier journal, Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews. He has also led efforts to document via video media and exhibits the contributions of solar energy pioneers and organizations over the past half century so they will not be lost to those who follow in their footsteps.

Kazmerski is a member of the National Academy of Engineering. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, a Fellow of the American Physical Society and a Fellow of the AVS Society for Science and Technology. He has received several recognitions for his research and technical leadership, including the AVS Peter Mark Award, the Nelson W. Taylor Award for Materials Science from Pennsylvania State University and the World Photovoltaics Award.

He has received three R&D 100 Awards for the development of methods and instruments that characterize the electro-optical, chemical and structural properties of materials at the micro- and atomic-scales.

The first Karl W. Böer Solar Energy Medal of Merit award was presented in 1993 to former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, who was cited as an individual who spurred development and focused world attention on solar energy.

Other recipients of the Böer medal include:

1995, David E. Carlson, vice president of the Thin Film Division of Solarex, an AMOCO subsidiary;

1997, Adolf Goetzberger, founder of the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems;

1999, Stanford R. Ovshinsky, a pioneer in the science of amorphous semiconductors resulting in the development of low-cost, thin-film silicon solar cells;

2001, Allen M. Barnett, a pioneer in high-performance, thin-crystalline silicon solar cells and currently research professor in UD's Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering;

2003, Martin A. Green, Inaugural Scientia Professor at the Centre for Photovoltaic Engineering in Sydney, Australia, and foundation director for the Centre for Third Generation University of New South Wales in Sydney; and

2005, Yoshihiro Hamakawa, adviser professor to the chancellor at Ritsumeikan University in Shiga, Japan, and a prominent scholar in the field of solar photovoltaic energy.

Article by Neil Thomas

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