UNSW Scientist receives award for work on solar cell efficiency

Brett Hallam was one of three UNSW researchers to receive an award from Premier Gladys Berejiklian earlier this week. Hallam was recognized for his work in PV technology, and given the Award for Energy Innovation in New South Wales.

The New South Wales Premier Prizes are awarded annually to “reward leading researchers for cutting-edge work that has generated economic, environmental, health, social or technological benefits for New South Wales,” according the NSW Government.

Hallam received the award for his work in boosting the output of solar panels, which UNSW says will lead to cheaper energy generated from PV.

Hallam’s research is focused on techniques for manipulating the charge state of atomic hydrogen in silicon to neutralize performance-limiting defects in solar cells. He has worked closely with the solar industry for years, and achieved several solar efficiency records.

Two other UNSW researchers received awards for their work in oceanography and cancer research. The prestigious award for NSW Scientist of the Year, and the $60,000 prize that comes with it, went to Professor Gordon Wallace of the University of Wollongong for his work in robotics.

“A strong and dynamic research and development system is critical to driving innovation in the state’s economy,” said Premier Gladys Berejiklian. “This year’s prizes again demonstrate NSW has some of the world’s best and brightest scientists and technologists across a diverse range of disciplines right here in our own backyard.”

UNSW has long been at the center of solar research, and was home to the lab where the modern PV cell was developed decades ago.