Professional Staff Biographies
Robert W. Birkmire
IEC Director since 1996. A graduate of Lowell Technological Institute with MS and Ph.D. from UD. Eight patents. Over 200 publications. Current research involves characterization of thin film semiconductors for PV applications. Honored with the World Renewable Energy Network Pioneer Award, July 2002.
Wayne A. Buchanan
IEC Research Associate I. A graduate of the University of Delaware. Over 20 publications. Current research involves the deposition and optimization of a-Si and CdTe solar cells. Served as chair of the IEC Safety Committee, 1994-2004.
Ujjwal K. Das
IEC Associate Scientist. BS and MS from Visva Bharati University, India, with PhD from Jadavpur University, India. Over 25 publications. Current research involves silicon surface passivation by plasma deposited amorphous silicon layers to improve open circuit voltages.
IEC Research Associate II. BS and PhD from University of Otago, New Zealand. Two patents. Over 30 publications. Current research involves investigating various aspects of CdTe/CdS solar cells. Joseph and Emma Mellor Prize in Chemistry, University of Otago.
Shannon L. Fields
IEC Research Associate II. BA from Frostburg State University; AAS from DTCC; BME from UD. PCT patent application pending. Nine publications. Current focus involves engineering design and construction of components used in vacuum deposition systems.
IEC Research Associate II. BS from Case Western Reserve University; PhD from UD. Five patents. Over 25 publications. Current research involves: The kinetics of atmospheric-pressure selenization/sulfization of Cu-Ga-In precursors; Cu(InGa)Se2 PV devices on PBO film substrates.
IEC Scientist. BSEE from Case Western Reserve University; MEE from Cornell University; PhD from UD. Over 95 publications. Current research involves the enhanced growth rate of nanocrystalline Si bottom cell by PECVD using novel gas mixtures for a-Si/nc-Si micromorph tandem.
IEC Associate Scientist. BS from the University of Maryland, College Park. Six patents. Over 95 publications. Currently serves as co-principal investigator on R&D contracts for institutions including NREL, DARPA, NEDO, BP Solar, SOHIO, ISET, University of Toledo, and Spire.
IEC Research Associate I. AAS from DTCC. Prior experience at Bartol Research Institute, responsible for all aspects of high altitude balloon borne cosmic ray measurement systems. Currently provides eletrical support in all existing research fields at IEC.
IEC Business Administrator I. Responsible for managing the financial, personnel, administrative and support functions of the Institute of Energy Conversion and maintenance and engineering changes to the facility. Interacts with government agencies and officials, legislators, industry representatives and the chief administrators and faculty of the University.
T. W. Fraser Russell
Emeritus, IEC Chief Engineer and Department of Chemical Engineering Allan P. Colburn Professor. Graduate of University of Alberta with MS in Chemical Engineering, Ph.D. from UD. 6 patents. Member, National Academy of Engineering. Honored with the DuPont Engineering Excellence Award (2005); University of Delaware Alumni Wall of Fame (2006); ASEE Chemical Engineering Division Lifetime Achievement Award in Chemical Engineering Pedagogy (2009). Research interests are semiconductor reaction and reactor engineering, photovoltaic unit operations, and multi-phase fluid mechanics.
William N. Shafarman
IEC Scientist. BS from UD; MA and PhD from the University of Rochester. One patent. Over 130 publications. Currently directs research projects on polycrystalline thin film solar cells and serves as principal Investigator on several government and industrial contracts.
IEC Research Associate II. M.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Delaware. Chris oversees the day to day operations of several research efforts, educating and managing undergraduate researchers, using and maintaining device characterization systems, including IV testers and solar simulators, the QE system, capacitance-voltage, LBIC, and the damp heat stress chambers.