Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Suniva Founder and CTO, Dr. Ajeet Rohatgi, Honored by U.S. EPA & American Solar Energy Society for Lifetime Achievement

NORCROSS, Ga.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--After over thirty years of innovative research and discoveries in photovoltaic (PV) technology, Dr. Ajeet Rohatgi, founder and CTO of Suniva, was recently recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the American Solar Energy Society (ASES) for a lifetime’s contribution to making solar technology a realistic, low-cost energy solution. The U.S. EPA will honor Dr. Rohatgi as an Individual Climate Protection Award Winner in a ceremony held today at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C.

In addition, ASES selected Dr. Rohatgi as this year’s Hoyt Clarke Hottel Award Winner, for contributions in solar energy technology, and will honor him at the SOLAR 2009 conference, in Buffalo, NY on May 11-16, 2009.

Dr. Rohatgi is a regents professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology, where he founded the school’s PV research program and later established the first University Center of Excellence for Photovoltaic Research and Education (UCEP), a program funded by the U.S. Department of Energy. In 2007, he founded Suniva, a Norcross, GA-based company, to commercialize the world’s most advanced low-cost high-efficiency solar cells.

“This is a critical time in the history of solar research and deployment. Never before in my career have I seen today’s confluence of technological advances, political will and economic conditions necessary to bring solar into the mainstream. I’m honored to receive such recognitions as America and the world embrace photovoltaics as a practical energy solution,” said Rohatgi.

Throughout his career, Dr. Rohatgi has pushed the frontiers of PV cell performance and cost through research into the effects of impurities in silicon solar cells, the design and modeling of solar cells and the development of new fabrication techniques that simultaneously speed manufacturing and reduce costs. Dr. Rohatgi has authored and co-authored over 375 technical papers about solar, set 14 solar cell world records and helped more than 40 of the world’s largest solar companies develop new technologies.

Dr. Rohatgi was also selected by the Aspen Institute’s 2009 Energy and Environment Awards as one of five finalists in the Individual Thought Leadership category. These recent recognitions add to previous honors received by Dr. Rohatgi, including the IEEE Cherry Award, Georgia Tech’s Distinguished Professor Award and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s Rappaport Award.

Dr. Rohatgi’s company, Suniva, recently won the Atlanta Business Chronicle’s 2009 Envention Environmental Award and was recognized by the Technology Association of Georgia as one of the Top 10 Innovative Georgia Technology Companies as well as by AlwaysOn as one of the Top 50 green technology companies in the Eastern U.S.

“These awards from the business and scientific communities validate the direction Suniva has chosen,” said Suniva CEO John Baumstark. “The combination of renowned PV scientists and an executive team turning their vision into a reality is quickly making solar a competitive energy technology and an important part of American industry.”

In March, Suniva was one of five clean technology companies invited to the White House for an event where President Obama pledged his ongoing support of increased research and development funding to build America’s new energy economy. Suniva was also one of 14 US companies invited on the Obama administration’s first trade mission to India, which focused on solar energy technology.

For more on Suniva and Dr. Rohatgi’s vision, please visit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vqu9T8tyuK4