|Vol. 17, No. 34||June 11, 1998|
The medal was presented by Andrew B. Kirkpatrick Jr., chairman of the University's Board of Trustees.
The highest award given by the University, the medal is presented to citizens of the state and region who have made humanitarian, cultural, intellectual or scientific contributions to society, achieved noteworthy success in their professions or have given significant service to the University, state or region.
Making the presentation, Kirkpatrick called Böer "a pioneer in the field of solar energy research and advocacy" who has "enlightened many about thoughtful and educated use of the world's natural resources.
"As teacher, mentor, author, lecturer and visionary, you have left an indelible mark on the world from which we benefit in ways known and unknown for years to come," he said.
Böer received his doctorate in physics summa cum laude from the Humboldt University in 1952, where he later served as director and chaired professor. He came to the physics department at Delaware in 1962.
At the University, he founded and served as first director of the Institute of Energy Conversion, one of only two University Centers of Excellence in Photovoltaic Research and Education in the nation.
A fellow of the American Physical Society and the president of the American Solar Energy Society in 1976-77, Böer was named to the advisory board of the Photonic Center of the WISTA Scientific and Industrial Center Berlin-Aldershof in 1995 and is the U.S. representative of WISTA, the only non-German on the board. WISTA fosters cooperative enterprise between business and scientific institutions with more than 3,400 scientists and technicians, representing almost 200 companies and institutions.
The author of Survey of Semiconductor Physics and 300 publications and also holder of 28 patents, Böer is internationally known for his pioneering work in solid state physics and large-scale conversion of solar energy into electric energy.
In 1987, the University created the Karl W. Böer Solar Energy Award in his honor, which has been presented to former President Jimmy Carter and others.
-Sue Swyers Moncure
Photo by Jack Buxbaum