Plenary Speakers


Every year the APSRC features a range of international and Australian Plenary Speakers. The 2020 Plenaries will be listed here as they are confirmed.

Last year’s APSRC 2019 included the following Plenary speakers. 

Ramteen Sioshansi is a professor in and associate department chair of the Department of Integrated Systems Engineering, an associate fellow in the Center for Automotive Research, and a faculty affiliate member of the Center for Energy Research, Training, and Innovation at The Ohio State University. His research focuses on the integration of advanced energy technologies, including renewables, energy storage, and electric transportation, into energy systems. He also works in energy policy and electricity market design, especially as they pertain to advanced energy technologies. Currently he is serving a third two-year term on the Electricity Advisory Committee of the U.S. Department of Energy and is chair of its Energy Storage Subcommittee.

Andreas Zourellis is the Technical Lead of Aalborg CSP’s solar thermal plants and has professional experience with thermal energy systems for various industrial applications. For the past 5 years he has been responsible for driving Aalborg CSP’s growth through project development of solar thermal plants in both Denmark and across the globe. Andreas Zourellis since joining Aalborg CSP has contributed to the realization of some of Denmark’s most cost-efficient solar district heating plants. He has played an instrumental role in achieving attractive feasibility and thereby successful implementation of concentrated solar heat (CSH) applications in the country. These include first-of-its-kind energy systems that utilize the parabolic trough technology in combination with other renewable sources, such as flat solar-thermal panels, biomass and organic rankine cycle. These breakthrough solar-thermal projects serve as best practices on a global scale today. With a strong thermal engineering background, Andreas Zourellis knows exactly that a solar system design perfectly tailored to project requirements enhances technical, financial and environmental benefits. His deep knowledge of boiler technologies and systems is of great value, when it comes to developing new projects in collaboration with clients and ensuring that the customer’s energy needs are met in the most cost-efficient way. Besides his extensive experience with solar technologies, Andreas Zourellis has a broad knowledge of district heating/cooling planning and energy saving projects.

Alexander Colsmann studied physics at the Ludwig-Maximilians Universität Munich, where he received his diploma in 2003. Heworked on his diploma thesis “Light emission and transistor effect in organic semiconductors” in the group of Prof. Jochen Feldmann. In 2003 he joined the Optoelectronics group of Prof. Uli Lemmer at the University of Karlsruhe. In 2008 he was awarded his PhD for his thesis “Charge carrier transport layers for efficient organic semiconductor devices”. Since then he has been leading the organic photovoltaics research group at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT). In 2016, he accomplished his Habilitation. At the same time, he expanded his research capacities to a fundamental understanding of perovskite solar cells. He is member of the board of directors at KIT’s Material Research Center for Energy Systems (MZE) and spokesperson of the KIT-Energy Center, representing the energy research of 1,800 scientists in its full breadth. In 2012 the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) awarded a 4.3 Mio. Euro early career researcher grant to Alexander Colsmann that is dedicated to the research on organic tandem solar cells. Further research interests include semi-transparent solar cells for building integration and mobile applications, organic light emitting diodes (OLEDs), printed electronics, polymer electrodes, charge carrier transport layers, electrical doping of organic semiconductors and copper indium diselenide (CIS). In 2015 he was awarded the Gips- Schüle-Prize on “Eco-friendly solar cell fabrication from organic nanoparticle dispersions”. In 2019 he received the Erwin-Schrödinger-Prize for his work on “The perfect solar cell: How ferroelectricity improves power harvesting in perovskite solar cells”.

Martin Green is Scientia Professor at the University of New South Wales, Sydney and Director of the Australian Centre for Advanced Photovoltaics, involving several other Australian Universities and research groups. His group’s contributions to photovoltaics are well known and include holding the record for silicon solar cell efficiency for 30 of the last 35 years, described as one of the “Top Ten” Milestones in the history of solar photovoltaics. Major international awards include the 1999 Australia Prize, the 2002 Right Livelihood Award, also known as the Alternative Nobel Prize, the 2007 SolarWorld Einstein Award, the 2016 Ian Wark Medal from the Australian Academy of Science and, most recently, the 2018 Global Energy Prize to be presented in St Petersburg this October.

Keith Lovegrove is a leading expert in concentrating solar power (CSP). He has more than 30 years’ experience in solar energy combined with 15 years of teaching experience in undergraduate and postgraduate courses in Energy Systems and Systems Engineering. He has worked extensively on the storage of solar energy with hydrogen and ammonia. He was previously the leader of the Solar Thermal Group at the Australian National University. In that role he was the lead inventor and design and construction team leader of the 500m2 (world’s largest) Generation II Big Dish solar concentrator. 
Keith has a Bachelor of Science (First Class Honours) and PhD from the Australian National University. He has represented Australia as International Energy Agency (IEA) Solar PACES (Power and Chemical Energy Systems) Solar Chemistry task representative over many years and currently is the alternative executive committee representative. In 2012, he was a Member of the Australian Prime Minister’s Science, Engineering and Innovation Council, Expert Working Group on Climate Energy and Water Links. He is a member of the University of Adelaide’s Centre for Energy Technology advisory board, board member of the Australian Solar Thermal Association and also serves on the Australian Renewable Energy Agency’s advisory panel.

Daniel Mugnier has professional experience in engineering solar thermal systems for large DHW applications and above all solar heating and cooling systems. Managing the innovation department of TECSOL – one of the French leading solar engineering companies – Daniel Mugnier is involved as well in numerous R&D projects on solar thermal at the national, European and international level. He is also author of several publications and presentations at international conferences on solar energy. He is currently Chairman of the IEA Solar Heating and Cooling Programme as well as French delegate to IEA PVPS Task 1 and French participant to IEA PVPS Task 17 (on solar mobility).

Melissa Pang is Director of Project Solutions at the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA). Throughout her career, Melissa has worked as a consulting engineer in industries such as defence, building services and energy efficiency. The past six years have been spent at ARENA in multiple roles: developing and contributing to ARENA’s solar R&D to commercialisation strategy, managing ARENA’s marine and geothermal energy portfolios, navigating the multi-dimensional and multi-stakeholder issues surrounding the grid integration of renewable energy technologies and, finally, managing Project Solutions team to deliver ARENA’s complex contracts.

Vasilis Fthenakis develops methodologies, predictive models, and control technologies for resolving problems at the interface of energy and the environment. Recent investigations include variable renewable energy systems integration and life cycle sustainability analysis. His pioneering work on environmental impact and resource availability of photovoltaic (PV) technologies has helped resolve concerns for rapid growth commercialization. Fthenakis joined Columbia in 2006, in a joint appointment with Brookhaven National Laboratory, and founded the Center for Life Cycle Analysis (CLCA), with the objective to guide technology and energy policy decisions with holistic and well balanced descriptions of the sustainability profiles of energy systems. His research on the life-cycles of renewable, nuclear, and coal technologies has been a crucial contribution to today’s key debates about energy and climate change and has put several energy technologies on a comparable basis with solar.  He created an International Energy Agency Task on PV Sustainability that brought together LCA analysts from fourteen countries and produced a number of consensus documents guiding credible LCA studies worldwide. Recently he co-founded the Global Clean Water Desalination Alliance (GCWDA) and was elected in its Board of Directors. The GCWDA was launched during the COP21 Paris and was also represented in COP22 Marrakesh. The CLCA team is currently leading GCWDA efforts to integrate PV with desalination making it both clean and affordable. Fthenakis has a BS in Chemistry from the National University of Athens, a MS in Chemical Engineering from Columbia University, and a PhD in Fluid Dynamics and Atmospheric Science from New York University. He is the author of three books and 400 scientific articles and reports. He serves on the Editorial Boards of Progress in PhotovoltaicsEnergy Technology, and the Journal of Loss Prevention.  Early in his career he served as a safety and environmental consultant for major oil and chemical companies and as an expert on investigating major chemical accidents in the U.S.

Dr Lachlan Blackhall is Entrepreneurial Fellow and Head, Battery Storage and Grid Integration Program at The Australian National University. Previously, Dr Blackhall led the development of capabilities to monitor, optimise and control residential solar generation and battery storage, as well as the development of virtual power plant technology to aggregate energy storage to deliver services to energy networks, markets and utilities. Dr Blackhall holds a BE, BSc and a PhD in engineering and applied mathematics, is a Senior Member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and a Fellow of both the Institution of Engineers Australia (IEAust) and the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering (ATSE).

Professor Kylie Catchpole is at the Research School of Engineering at the Australian National University. Her research interests are in nanotechnology and new materials for solar cell applications.  She has a physics degree from the ANU, winning a University Medal, and a PhD from the ANU. She was a Post-doctoral Fellow at the University of New South Wales and the FOM Institute for Atomic and Molecular Physics, Amsterdam. She has published over 100 papers, which have been cited over 6000 times to date.  Her work on plasmonic solar cells has been featured in the news sections of Science magazine and The Economist and in 2010 her work on nanophotonic light trapping was listed as one of MIT Technology Review’s ‘10 most important emerging technologies’.  In 2011 she was an episode winner on ABC TV’s ‘New Inventors’.  In 2015 she was awarded the John Booker medal in engineering science from the Australian Academy of Science.