2021 IEEE William Cherry Award to be presented at the 48th IEEE PVSC to
Professor Thorsten Trupke

Thorsten Trupke is a Professor at the School for Photovoltaic and Renewable Energy Engineering at the University of New South Wales where he leads a team of approximately 15 PhD students, Postdoctoral Fellows and staff. He is also Chief Technology Officer and co-founder of Sydney based company BT imaging and a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering.

Thorsten holds a PhD in Physics from the University of Karlsruhe, Germany, which he completed under the supervision and guidance of Professor Peter Würfel. In 2001 he moved with his family (Thorsten is married with four children) from Germany to Australia, to join Prof Martin Green’s new Centre for Third Generation Photovoltaics at UNSW, supported by a Feodor Lynen Fellowship provided by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. He proposed the concepts of combining conventional solar cells with up and/or down-conversion including limiting efficiency calculations and experimental proof of concept studies. In 2004 Thorsten joined forces with Dr Robert Bardos to develop novel luminescence-based characterisation methods and systems, including QSS-Photoluminescence lifetime measurements and Suns-Photoluminescence. His most impactful contribution to date has arguably been the development of photoluminescence imaging for silicon wafers and solar cells, first demonstrated by Thorsten and Robert at UNSW in 2005. This measurement principle, and a large number of associated analysis methods, have since then become standard tools used by researchers and in PV production on a daily basis. The ability to detect a wide range of device and material defects accurately and quickly from PL images has contributed substantially to the rapid improvement and cost reduction of silicon solar cell technology over the last ten years. His team at UNSW continues to drive this technology and the associated fundamental device physics forward, recently with emphasis on downstream applications for outdoor module testing.

Thorsten co-founded BT imaging in 2008, the company provides PL imaging systems to the R&D community and to wafer and solar cell manufacturers. PL tools by BT imaging are found in most R&D labs and in high volume manufacturing worldwide. He enjoys his dual roles in academia and in the industry and the resulting opportunities to work with optimistic colleagues and friends to turn fundamental and innovative research into real world applications and products.

In his private life Thorsten’s favourite pastime is ocean swimming, he spends considerable time in the waters surrounding the beautiful coastline around Sydney.

About the Award

This award is named in honor of William R. Cherry, a founder of the photovoltaic community. In the 1950's, he was instrumental in establishing solar cells as the ideal power source for space satellites and for recognizing, advocating, and nurturing the use of photovoltaic systems for terrestrial applications. The William R. Cherry award was instituted in 1980, shortly after his death. The purpose of the award is to recognize an individual engineer or scientist who devoted a part of their professional life to the advancement of the science and technology of photovoltaic energy conversion. The nominee must have made significant contributions to the science and/or technology of PV energy conversion, with dissemination by substantial publications and presentations. Professional society activities, promotional and/or organizational efforts and achievements are not considerations in the election for the award.

Award Package

The award consists of a plaque, monetary award, recognition at the IEEE PVSC Opening Ceremony and a dedicated Cherry Award Talk during the Opening Ceremony.

Rules & Eligibility

  • Nominee must be a scientist or engineer who has made significant contributions to the science and/or technology of PV energy conversion, with dissemination by substantial publications and presentations.
  • Nominee must have had an extended period of activity in PV, contributions to the PVSC, and the expectation of continued activity.  Single outstanding contributions are not sufficient.
  • Professional and/or organizational efforts and achievements are not considerations for this award.
  • Nominees are not required to be members of IEEE or EDS.
  • Nominees from any country and institution are eligible. 
  • Previous recipients of the Cherry Award are not eligible.
  • Self-nominations will not be accepted.
  • Nominations may be re-submitted in subsequent years.

Nomination Package Requirements (Deadline: January 15th)

  • Complete Electronic Nomination Form with name of nominee, and his/her current affiliation and contact information.
  • Nominator's name, address, phone number and e-mail address.
  • A rationale (less than 150 words) of the nominee's contributions to the advancement of the PV field.
  • A citation (less than 40 words) listing the nominee's specific contributions to make them deserving of the award.
  • A list of the nominee's activities in the field.
  • A current CV for the nominee.
  • Give a personal view of the work and contributions of the candidate. Professional society activities, promotional and/or organizational efforts and achievements are not considerations in the election for the award. Quality is better than quantity: Multiple nominations for the same candidate are accepted as long as each nomination represents the personal view of the nominator and not just a copy of another nomination form.

Questions? Contact the Cherry Committee Awards Chair, Vasilis Fthenakis at [email protected]



Vasilis Fthenakis
Cherry Award Chair
Columbia University

Harry Atwater
Cherry Award Co-Chair
California Institute of Technology

Tim Anderson
University of Massachusetts,

Sheila G. Bailey
NASA Glenn Research Center

Allen M. Barnett
University of New South Wales

Paul Basore
PV Specialist Services LLC

John Benner
Stanford University

Henry W. Brandhorst, Jr.
Auburn University

Timothy Coutts
National Renewable Energy Laboratory

Keith Emery
National Renewable Energy Laboratory

Dennis J. Flood
North Coast Initiatives Ltd.

Americo F. Forestieri
MOE Consulting

Alex Freundlich
University of Houston

Martin A. Green
University of New South Wales

Christiana Honsberg
Arizona State University

Lawrence L. Kazmerski
National Renewable Energy Laboratory

Richard R. King
Arizona State University

Sarah Kurtz
National Renewable Energy Laboratory

John D. Meakin
University of Delaware

Ryne Raffaelle
Rochester Institute of Technology

Eugene Ralph
PV Consulting

Angus Rockett
Colorado School of Mines

Angele Reinders
University of Twente

Ajeet Rohatgi
Georgia Institute of Technology

Steve Ringel
Ohio State University

BJ Stanbery
Helios Corporation

Ronald A. Sinton
Sinton Instruments

Dick Swanson

Pierre Verlinden
Trina Solar

Robert J. Walters
Naval Research Laboratory

David Wilt
U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory

Masafumi Yamaguchi
Toyota Technological Institute

Previous Recipients

Dr. Paul Rappaport 1980

Dr. Joseph L. Loferski 1981

Prof. Martin Wolf 1982

Dr. Henry W. Brandhors
t 1984

Mr. Eugene L. Ralph

Dr. Charles E. Backus

Dr. David E. Carlson 1988

Dr. Martin A. Green 1990

Mr. Peter A. Iles 1991

Dr. Lawrence L. Kazmerski 1993

Prof. Yoshihiro Hamakawa

Dr. Allen M. Barnett

Dr. Adolf Goetzberger

Dr. Richard J. Schwartz 1998

Dr. Christopher R. Wronski 2000

Dr. Richard M. Swanson 2002

Dr. Ajeet Rohatgi 2003

Dr. Timothy J. Coutts 2005

Dr. Antonio Luque 2006

Dr. Masafumi Yamaguchi

Dr. Stuart Wenham 2009

Dr. Richard R. King 2010

Dr. Jerry M. Olson 2011

Dr. Sarah Kurtz 2012

Dr. Keith Emery 2013

Dr. Ronald A. Sinton 2014

Dr. Christiana Honsberg 2015

Dr. Pierre Verlinden 2016

Prof. Eli Yablonovitch 2017

Prof. Vasilis Fthenakis 2018

Dr. Harry Atwater 2019

Prof. James Sites 2020