- Brett Hallam of UNSW has been declared winner of the 2020 Stuart R Wenham Young Professional Award by the IEEE
- An Associate Professor of UNSW Engineering, Hallam is an expert for hydrogen passivation in silicon solar cells
- His work focuses on developing techniques for manipulating the charge state of atomic hydrogen in silicon to neutralise performance-limiting defects in solar cells
Global technical professional organization IEEE, previously the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, has selected Brett Hallam, Associate Professor of the University of New South Wales (UNSW) Engineering department for the Stuart R Wenham Young Professional Award 2020. The university says this is the highest award globally in the field of PV technology for young researchers.
The award is in the memory of Hallam’s PhD guide and late UNSW solar technology Professor Stuart Wenham. Hallam completed his PhD in PV engineering at UNSW and is regarded as an expert for hydrogen passivation in silicon solar cells.
Nominated by Australia’s ‘Father of Photovoltaics’ and UNSW Scientia Professor Martin Green, Hallam’s work has led to a significant increase in electrical output of solar panels which will lead to cheaper PV generated electricity. He has collaborated globally with industrial solar cell manufacturers and research institutes that led to achieving world-record silicon solar cell efficiencies. As a consultant for Suntech Power, he developed the innovative Pluto technology and was part of the team which fabricated the world’s first p-type Cz silicon solar cell with an efficiency greater than 20%.
Hallam’s work focuses on developing techniques for manipulating the charge state of atomic hydrogen in silicon to neutralise performance-limiting defects in solar cells, specifically avoiding a natural and ironic form of degradation for solar panels that occurs under sunlight.
“I nominated Brett for this award because of the significance of his work on hydrogenation of silicon cells. This has helped push UNSW PERC cells to number one position worldwide, now accounting for over 80% of global solar manufacturing capacity,” said Green about Hallam, the second UNSW researcher to have received the IEEE Young Professional Award after Professor Bram Hoex in 2016.