- Brett Hallam of the UNSW has been adjudged the winner of 2022 Prize for New Innovators in Australia
- Part of the Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science, it recognizes Hallam’s research into solar cell improvement as having delivered economic, social and environmental benefits
- Hallam wins the $50,000 prize for his work that has enabled 10% improvement in solar cell performance
The 2022 Prize for New Innovators at the Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science in Australia has been awarded to the University of New South Wales’ (UNSW) Associate Professor Brett Hallam for his work on improving performance of industrial solar panels, and making them cheaper, thus delivering economic benefits.
According to UNSW, Hallam is a global leader in the field of hydrogen passivation in solar cells through which light-induced degradation of solar cells can be avoided thus bringing down the cost of solar PV technology.
The $50,000 prize is awarded to recognize early achievement towards commercialization of scientific research that has economic, social and environmental benefits. It recognizes Hallam’s efforts to stop a form of ironic degradation in installed solar panels that led to a 10% improvement in the performance of solar cells. The discovery has helped Australian consumers save approximately $500 million and global consumers $17 billion in 2021, and more continue to save.
“I grew up in country Victoria and my dad’s a plumber. When I was growing up, I spent time installing solar systems with him and I was always fascinated about how they could turn sunlight into electricity,” said Hallam who works at the UNSW Engineering department. “I hope my work can help inspire other researchers as they continue to grow and fall in love with science.”
In May 2020, Hallam won the ‘highest award globally’ for young researchers in PV technology when he was selected for the Stuart R Wenham Young Professional Award 2020 (see Australian Solar Researcher Wins Award).