Faculty Member Wins Award for Novel Research in PV Solar Cell Technology

September 21, 2018

The Emirates Energy Award has been awarded to Dr. Ibraheem Almansouri, Assistant Professor of Microsystems Engineering at Masdar Institute, for his novel research on advanced solar cells technology undertaken as part of his PhD studies. 

His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy, presented the award to Dr. Almansouri. His Excellency Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, Vice Chairman of the Supreme Council of Energy, Ahmed Buti Al Muhairabi, Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Energy, and other officials were also present at the ceremony. Organized every two years, the Emirates Energy Award 2014-2015 cycle recognized valuable projects and programs representing more than 112 entries from 12 countries in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.

Photovoltaics (PV) panels, which turn direct solar irradiance into energy, are widespread but are still relatively inefficient compared to other forms of fossil-based energy. Dr. Almansouri’s research sought to identify new approaches for low cost but high-efficiency solar devices that use silicon well as other materials that when stacked convert a large portion of the solar spectrum into electrical power.

The award-winning project aimed to achieve this by replacing conventional multi-junction solar cell substrates with a crystalline silicon (c-Si) substrate, which offers substantial cost reduction. Dr. Almansouri’s research thesis was titled “Silicon Cells for Tandem Solar Cell Structures” and was selected out of 14 entries for the ‘Young Professional Energy’ category, which awards achievements relevant to energy management issues demonstrated by young professionals of less than 35 years of age. 

Dr. Behjat Al Yousuf, Interim Provost, Masdar Institute, said: “We are very proud of Dr. Almansouri for winning the Emirates Energy Award. Solar energy remains one of the most promising types of renewable energy for our region and we are confident Dr. Almansouri’s further research will help the UAE and other countries meet their renewable energy targets.”

Dr. Almansouri said: “Beginning my professional career with one of the most prestigious regional prizes such as the Emirates Energy Award is truly exciting. I am really grateful to be part of the Emirates Energy Award legacy.”

His thesis advisors for the project included Dr. Gavin Conibeer, Deputy Director of the School of Photovoltaic and Renewable Energy Engineering, New South Wales, Australia, and Dr. Martin Green, a Scientia Professor at the University of New South Wales and Director of the Australian National Energy Agency (ARENA) supported Centre for Advanced Photovoltaics, and editor-in-chief of the academic journal Progress in Photovoltaics.

Dr. Almansouri obtained his BSc in Electrical Engineering from the American University of Sharjah in 2008, after which he joined the Masdar Institute Fellowship Program to obtain his postgraduate qualifications. He received his MSc in Renewable Energy Management from the University of Freiburg in Germany. He went on to complete his PhD in Photovoltaic and Renewable Energy Engineering from Australia’s University of New South Wales in 2015.

Clarence Michael
News Writer
9 February 2016