Plenary & Invited Speakers


The 2018 APSRC includes the following Plenary speakers

Dr Jeremy Leggett is a social entrepreneur and writer. He founded and is a director of Solarcentury, an international solar solutions company (1998 – present), and founded and is chair of SolarAid, a charity funded with 5% of Solarcentury’s annual profits that builds solar lighting markets in Africa (2006 – present). He chaired Carbon Tracker, a climate-and-finance think tank analysing climate risk in the capital markets, from its start in 2010 until 2017. He was the first winner of the first Hillary Laureate for International Leadership in Climate Change (2009), has won a Gothenburg Prize (2015), and was the first non-Dutch winner of a Royal Dutch Honorary Sustainability Award (2016). He has been described in the Observer as “Britain’s most respected green energy boss”.  He is author of four books, the most recent of which is The Winning of The Carbon War, an account of what he sees as the “turnaround years” in the dawn of the global energy transition, 2013 -2015, with an update edition spanning 2016 and 2017. He continues to chronicle that transition, and its intersection with the information revolution, in a blog ( and a column in Recharge magazine. He lectures on short courses in business and society at the Universities of Cambridge (UK) and St Gallen (Switzerland), and is an Associate Fellow at the Environmental Change Institute at Oxford University. A more detailed biography can be found here.

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.

Dr Xiaojing (Jeana) Hao is an inaugural UNSW Scientia Fellow, an ARC DECRA and a Senior Lecturer in the UNSW School of Photovoltaic and Renewable Energy Engineering. She obtained her PhD in 2010 at UNSW and was awarded an inaugural ASI/ARENA Research Fellow in 2011. With the support of this fellowship, she initialized a new line of research in the field of kesterite photovoltaics at UNSW. Since commencing her PhD in 2006, she has been devoting herself to the research for low-cost high-efficiency thin film and tandem solar cells for more than ten years, initially using Si quantum dot, and then kesterite and perovskite, more recently extended to other abundant and environmentally-friendly “green” photovoltaic materials. She also contributes to reducing the manufacturing cost of III-V/Si tandem cells. Dr Hao now leads a strong group in the above areas. Her team so far has achieved 4 independently certified world records in abundant, environmentally-friendly CZTS (Cu2ZnSnS4) solar cells. Xiaojing was selected as one of the UNSW “20 rising stars who will change our world” ( She has published more than 100 peer-reviewed journal papers including Nature Energy, Advanced Energy Materials etc. with several awards for her excellence.

Dr Juzer Vasi has been with the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay since 1981, where he is currently Professor Emeritus. His research interests have been in the areas of microelectronics and photovoltaics. He was Principal Investigator of the “National Centre for Photovoltaic Research and Education” (NCPRE) at IIT Bombay, and India Research Thrust Leader for Photovoltaics of the “Solar Energy Research Institute for India and the US” (SERIIUS). He was an Editor of the IEEE Transactions on Electron Devices during 1997-2003, and a member of the Scientific Advisory Committee to the Cabinet of the Government of India from 2006 to 2017. He is a Fellow of the Indian National Academy of Engineering and a Fellow of IEEE. He has a B.Tech. degree in Electrical Engineering from IIT Bombay, and a Ph.D. from The Johns Hopkins University. He will be presenting on “An Overview of Solar PV Deployment in India” at the 2018 APSRC.

Kirsty Gowens is General Manager, Project Delivery at ARENA, and is a highly experienced commercial lawyer and corporate governance professional who joined ARENA in 2016. Prior to commencing work with ARENA, Kirsty was General Counsel for Indigenous Business Australia. In that role h provided advice on commercial maters and administrative law matters, including co-investment and incentive structures, company law, contracts and finance arrangements. She also played a key role in supporting the governance functions of the Board and overseeing IBA’S governance, compliance and legal risk management framework. A committed development specialist, Kirsty’s previous experience includes working with the Northern Land Council, NSW Native Title Service, North Australian Aboriginal Legal Service and NSW Legal Aid Commission. She has also worked as an investigator with the NSW Ombudsman and a mediator of complaints for the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission.In addition to her legal qualifications, Kirsty has postgraduate qualifications in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies. She is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and the Law Society of the ACT. She recently completed her Masters in Public and International Law at the University of Melbourne.

Dr Craig Turchi has been with the Concentrating Solar Power program and Thermal Systems Group at NREL for over ten years, where he leads NREL’s CSP Systems Analysis task and assists with the development and assessment of heat-transfer fluids, thermal-storage concepts, and advanced power systems. He was responsible for development of several of the CSP technology metrics associated with the U.S. Department of Energy’s SunShot Initiative (2012) and has championed the development of supercritical-CO2 power systems for CSP applications. Craig currently leads a project under the U.S. DOE’s Gen3 CSP program that is investigating liquid-based, high-temperature heat transfer and storage systems for CSP. The goal of the work is to design, develop, test, and validate at 2-MWt, an integrated system that uses a liquid heat-transfer fluid. Phase 1 considers two candidate HTFs: a ternary Mg/Na/K-chloride salt and liquid sodium, before down-selection to a single, integrated design.

Dr Stephen White leads CSIRO’s Energy Efficiency Research. He also manages the “Engaged Communities” Program in the Low Carbon Living Cooperative Research Centre (LCL CRC). He oversees a significant portfolio of residential energy efficiency research, including responsibility for the NatHERS Software and the Liveability Real Estate Marketing Framework. He serves on a number of national committees including chairing the ASBEC Sustainable Housing Task Group. He is an international expert in solar air-conditioning and refrigeration where he has served on various international and national committees including (i) Advisory Board member for the International Journal of Refrigeration (ii) Advisory Board member UK “Interdisciplinary Centre for Storage, Transformation and Upgrading of Thermal Energy” (i-STUTE) and (iii) Leader of SubTask C in the International Energy Agency Task48 “Quality Assurance and Support Measures for Solar Cooling”. He has been a leading proponent of the world first AS5389 solar cooling energy savings calculation standard, and various industry road-mapping exercises. He has won a number of prizes and is a member of the Australian Refrigeration and Building Services (ARBS) “Hall of Fame” He has a strong interest and experience in commercialization and technology transfer to industry.

Dr. Peter G. Loutzenhiser is an Associate Professor in the Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology. He is pursuing research in the areas of Solar Thermochemistry and the development of related Solar Concentrating Technologies, and he was the recipient of the ASME Solar Energy Division’s prestigious Yellott Award in 2018. Dr. Loutzenhiser received his PhD in Mechanical Engineering from Iowa State University in May 2006. The research for his PhD was performed at the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Testing and Research (EMPA) in conjunction with the International Energy Agency Solar Heat and Cooling Programme Task 34/Energy Conservation in Buildings & Community Systems Annex 43. Dr. Loutzenhiser was a post-doctoral researcher at the Paul Scherrer Institute, applying his extensive solar experience to the field of Solar Thermochemistry. He continued his research at the ETH Zurich in Solar Thermochemistry where he was a Lecturer and Research Associate prior to joining the faculty of the Georgia Institute of Technology. Dr. Loutzenhiser has been actively engaged in the ASME‘s Solar Energy Division since 2009 and has been active on the Executive Committee and very active within the ASME International Conference on Energy Sustainability.


The following Plenary speakers were at the 2017 conference

Simon Corbell was appointed as the first Victorian Renewable Energy Advocate in December 2016 to promote the state’s renewable energy sector, provide independent advice to the Victorian Government and assist the state in meeting its renewable energy targets. Simon was previously Deputy Chief Minister and Minister for Environment and Climate Change of the ACT and served in the ACT Legislative Assembly between 1997 -2016. In these roles he championed policy which put the ACT on track for 100 per cent renewable energy by 2020, through policies to support large scale solar, wind and battery storage projects. Simon was a joint winner of the Banksia Foundation’s Gold Award for the ACT Solar Auction program in 2015, and has been recognized by the Clean Energy Council and the Climate Alliance for his work in championing the clean energy transition in Canberra and nationally. He is also a Patron of the Australian Solar Council, Adjunct Professor of the University of Canberra and Associate Honorary Professor at the ANU Energy Change Institute.

Dr. Cliff Ho is a Distinguished Member of the Technical Staff at Sandia National Laboratories, where he has worked since 1993 on problems involving solar energy, water safety and sustainability, heat- and mass-transfer processes in porous media, and microchemical sensor systems for environmental monitoring. Dr. Ho has authored over 200 scientific papers, including 10 patents, and he is an author and co-editor of two books. He received an Outstanding Professor Award at the University of New Mexico in 1997, and he received the national Asian American Engineer of the Year Award in 2010.  Dr. Ho received an R&D 100 Award in 2013 for his development of the Solar Glare Hazard Analysis Tool, and an R&D 100 Award in 2016 for the development of the Falling Particle Receiver for Concentrated Solar Energy. In 2008, he won Discover Magazine’s The Future of Energy in Two-Minutes-or-Less video contest. Dr. Ho received his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin–Madison in 1989, and his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California at Berkeley in 1990 and 1993. He will be presenting ‘State of the Art in Concentrating Solar Tower Technology’ at the APSRC on Tues 5th Dec.

Werner Weiss is a founding member and director of the Austrian research institute AEE – Institute for Sustainable Technologies (AEE INTEC) in Gleisdorf and has been working on national and international solar thermal and energy efficiency projects since the beginning of the 1980s. He headed numerous national and international projects – especially in the framework of EU, IEA and UNIDO programs. Since 2009 he has been a board member of the European Technology and Innovation Platform on Renewable Heating and Cooling and since 2010 the Austrian representative in the Executive Committee of the Solar Heating and Cooling Programme of the International Energy Agency (IEA). From 2010 to 2014 he acted as chairman of this IEA programme. He is a member of the Scientific Council of EURAC Research in Italy and member of the Peer Review College of the Danish Council of Strategic Research. Since 2007 he has been a lecturer at Vienna University of Technology and the University of Applied Sciences – Technikum Wien.

Wes Stein, Chief Research Scientist for Solar Thermal at CSIRO and Director of the Australian Solar Thermal Research Initiative, has over 25 years of experience in developing high temperature CSP technology as well as extensive experience in the power industry. He has been responsible for developing and managing more than $50M of CSP research projects as well as championing the CSP strategy and roadmap for CSIRO and Australia. He represents Australia on the IEA SolarPACES Executive Committee.

Dr Tom Campey is the General Manager, Strategy and Knowledge Sharing. In this role he helps ARENA decide where to focus its financial assistance and related efforts to best achieve ARENA’s objectives. Prior to ARENA, Tom worked at the CSIRO, where he led a project to develop a roadmap for low emissions technologies in Australia. Before CSIRO, Tom spent five years at McKinsey & Company, focused mainly on strategy, serving clients in a wide range of industries including energy, mining, banking and retail. Tom holds a Bachelor of Engineering (Mechanical and Space), a Bachelor of Science (Physics) and a PhD (Physics) from The University of Queensland.

Greg Wilson is the Director of the National Center for Photovoltaics at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). Greg is responsible for NREL’s photovoltaics (PV) and PV reliability R&D portfolio and for continued development of the National Center for Photovoltaics many interfaces and partnerships with the global PV community. The National Center for Photovoltaics (NCPV) at NREL focuses on technology innovations that drive industry growth in U.S. photovoltaic (PV) manufacturing. The NCPV is a central resource for US capabilities in PV research, development, deployment, and outreach. Prior to joining NREL in 2011 he spent nearly 17 years at SunEdison (previously MEMC) where he directed the Epitaxial Silicon and New Materials R&D groups between 1997 and 2009. In 2009 he joined the merger and acquisition team that acquired SunEdison and Solace.

Pierre J. Verlinden is Vice-President and Chief Scientist at Trina Solar, the world’s largest PV manufacturer. He is also Vice-Chair of the State Key Laboratory of PV Science and Technology. Dr. Verlinden has been working in the field of photovoltaics for more than 35 years and has published over 170 technical papers and contributed to a number of books. Before joining Trina Solar, Dr. Verlinden served as Chief Scientist or head of R&D department in several other PV companies in USA and Australia, including SunPower, Origin Energy, Amrock and Solar Systems.

Dr Jenny Riesz is a Principal at the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO), the organisation responsible for operating Australia’s major electricity grids.  She works in the Future Power System Security program, identifying and addressing future power system challenges.  Prior to working at AEMO, Jenny was a Research Associate at the University of New South Wales, conducting research on 100% renewable power systems.  She previously worked at ROAM Consulting, working with a wide range of electricity industry participants, modelling electricity systems and renewable energy.  Her PhD was in physics, at the University of Queensland.

The following Invited speakers also presented

Kylie Catchpole is Professor in the Research School of Engineering at the Australian National University.  She has over 100 scientific publications, with a focus on using new materials and nanotechnology to improve solar cells.  Her work on plasmonic solar cells was named as one of the top 10 emerging technologies in 2010 by MIT Technology Review, and in 2013 she was awarded a Future Fellowship from the Australian Research Council.   In 2015 she was awarded the John Booker Medal for Engineering Science from the Australian Academy of Science.

Professor Qingbo Meng is a full professor at Institute of Physics (IOP), Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), and Director of the Renewable Energy Laboratory, IOP. He received his PhD from Changchun Institute of Applied Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences in 1997. In 1997-1999, he was a postdoctoral fellow in IOP, CAS. From 1999 to 2002, he was a STA Fellow (Science and Technology Agency of Japan) and Researcher of the University of Tokyo and KAST in Japan. He was selected as “Hundreds of Talents of CAS” in 2001, “Distinguished Young Scholars” from NSFC in 2007 and “hundreds of leading talent of Beijing Science and Technology” in 2013. His current research interest focuses on solar energy materials & devices, including new generation solar cells, photocatalytic materials and photonic crystal materials. He has published over 200 papers which were cited over 7000 times (h-index 50). He has applied over 70 patents, and over 50 patents were authorised. He will be presenting ‘Stability investigation on perovskite solar cells: from materials to the device‘ at the APSRC.

Dr. Korbinian S. Kramer studied Mechanical Engineering with a focus on Renewable Energy Conversion in Augsburg, Germany. He holds a doctoral degree from the University of Freiburg in Innovation Management. At the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems he is heading a working group on testing, quality assurance and technical characterization of heating and cooling technologies, such as solar thermal and heat pumps. Involvement in standardization work since more than 10 years and over 40 publications are part of his expertise. He is lecturer at the University of Freiburg in the Master Courses Renewable Energy Management and Sustainable System Engineering. His hobby is to run a small consulting company called solstice-consulting. He will be presenting on ‘EN ISO 9806:2017 – A Focus on Solar Air Heating Collectors’.

Jiang Tang is a full professor at Wuhan National Laboratory for Optoelectronics, Huazhong University of Science and Technology (HUST). He received his bachelor’s degree from University of Science and Technology of China, and his Ph.D degree from University of Toronto, under the supervision of Prof. Edward Sargent. He then spent one year and half at IBM T. J. Watson research center as a postdoctoral researcher. In 2012 he joined in HUST and has focused on antimony selenide thin film solar cells and lead-free perovskite optoelectronic devices. He has published 80+ papers including Nature Photonics and Nature Materials, with >4000 citations. He is the winner of “National 1000 Young Talents” and “National Natural Science Funds for Outstanding Young Scholar” of China.

Ulrike Jahn graduated in physics and leads various research & development projects in the business area of solar energy of the TÜV Rheinland Group in Cologne, Germany. Her work focuses on characterizing PV module technologies on one hand and on PV system performance analysis on the other hand. She is project manager of an international expert group, Task 13 of the PVPS programme of the International Energy Agency (IEA), dealing with technical and financial issues of PV performance and quality. She coordinates a network of 60 experts in 20 countries in their joint efforts to assess and improve the operation and reliability of PV systems over their lifetime. Since 2015 Ulrike collaborates in a research project on Solar Bankability with the aim to evaluate how technical risks will affect the electricity production of PV installations and the expected return on investments.

Dr Maria Wall is associate professor at the Division of Energy and Building Design, Lund University, Sweden. She has a MSc in Architecture and a PhD in Engineering. Her research includes different issues related to energy-efficient buildings as well as solar energy strategies. She is leader of the IEA SHC Task 51 on Solar Energy in Urban Planning and was former leader of SHC Task 41 on Solar Energy and Architecture. She was the main initiator and developer, and is also the Director of the 2-year Master’s Programme in Energy-efficient and Environmental Building Design at Lund University.

Keith Lovegrove is a leading expert in concentrating solar power (CSP) and has more than 20 years’ experience in leading solar thermal research, including 15 years teaching at the ANU as leader of the Solar Thermal Group. A major achievement was leading the design and construction of the largest concentrating solar dish in the world (500m2) in 2010. Keith has won a number of prestigious research awards, was a Member of the Australian Prime Minister’s Science, Engineering and Innovation Council working group on Energy Water Carbon intersections, has advised the Australian Office of Chief Scientist on Solar Thermal Power and edited the 2012 book, Concentrating Solar Power Technology – Principles, Developments and Applications. Keith has spoken extensively around the world at conferences and in the media on Concentrating Solar and related topics. He has held board positions in the ANZ Solar Energy Society, and been a key contributor to the International Energy Agency SolarPACES program.

Dr Roger Dargaville is the Senior Lecturer in Renewable Energy at Monash University. He is an expert in energy systems and climate change. Roger specialises in large-scale energy system transition optimisation, and novel energy storage technologies such as seawater pumped hydro and liquid air energy storage. He has conducted research in global carbon cycle science, simulating the emissions of carbon dioxide from fossil fuel and exchanges between the atmosphere, land and oceans as well as stratospheric ozone depletion. Roger leads a research group of PhD and Masters students working on a diverse range of energy related topics including disruptive business models, EROI, transmission systems, bioenergy, wave energy and high penetration rooftop photovoltaics systems. He teaches undergraduate subjects on renewable energy technologies at Monash University and previously taught Masters level subjects at Melbourne University. Roger completed his undergraduate and PhD at the University of Melbourne. He has worked at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, the National Center for Atmospheric Research (USA) and at the Centre nationale de la recherche scientifique (CNRS, France), the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission at UNESCO, the International Energy Agency, and most recently was the Deputy Director at the Melbourne Energy Institute at the University of Melbourne.

Associate professor Atul Raturi has worked at universities in India, Kenya, PNG and now at the University of the South Pacific, teaching and researching Renewable Energy Technologies. His research interests span from materials/devices for solar energy applications to solar PV integration into island grids. He has supervised many postgraduate theses and has been engaged in designing RE postgraduate programmes. He has been a consultant to SEFP (WB), IUCN, ADB and UNEP among others. He is a technical committee member of the Fiji Carbon Trading Board and Rotary Pacific Water for Life Foundation, Pacific Energy Advisory Group member and a contributor to Fiji’s National Communications to UNFCCC. He is also a member of the Science Planning group on Sustainable Energy of ICSU –ROAP and a regular contributor to REN21 Global Status Reports. Dr. Raturi is a member of International Solar Energy Society and a senior member of IEEE.

Wim van Helden (PhD, MEng) studied Technical Physics at the Technical University of Eindhoven, The Netherlands, where he also did his PhD work in Energy Technology. After post-doc work in Eindhoven on Renewable Energy, he moved to the Energy Research Centre of The Netherlands in Petten, where he was responsible for the group Thermal System in the Built Environment from 1998 to 2009. He then started his own consultancy work in Renewable Heat, and was project coordinator of national and international R&D projects on thermal energy storage. From 2009, he is also leading the Task on compact thermal energy storage from the International Energy Agency IEA, Solar Heating and Cooling programme. Since 2014 he is working with AEE INTEC in Gleisdorf, Austria, where he is leading the group on Thermal Energy Storage, working on national and international research and demonstration projects. The group is leading in the development of compact seasonal solar thermal storage systems based on solid sorption. Wim van Helden is also board member of the European Technology and Innovation Platform on Renewable Heating and Cooling (RHC-ETIP) and member of the scientific committee of the International Renewable Energy Storage conference.

Prof. Garry Rumbles is a Laboratory Fellow in the Chemistry and Nanoscience Center at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden, Colorado and holds affiliated faculty positions in the Departments of Chemistry at University of Colorado Boulder, Colorado State University and Imperial College London. He is also the Associate Director for research of the Renewable and Sustainable Energy Institute (RASEI), a joint institute between CU-Boulder and NREL. Prior to joining NREL in 2000, he was a member of physical chemistry faculty at Imperial College. His current research interests are in solar energy with a focus on the basic science of solar photoconversion processes and photoinduced electron transfer processes in polymer-based nanostructured interfaces. His primary research expertise lies in photochemistry and laser spectroscopy with a special interest in the photophysics of conjugated polymers. He has published over 200 articles, and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (UK).