2023 IEEE William Cherry Award will be presented at the 50th IEEE PVSC to Jenny Nelson

Jenny Nelson is a Royal Society Research Professor based in the Physics department at Imperial College London, where she researches novel materials for solar energy conversion. She holds degrees in physics from Cambridge and Bristol Universities. She started research into photovoltaic materials in 1989 when she joined Imperial as a post-doc to study III-V semiconductor heterostructures for use in solar cells. She moved on to investigate the electronic and optical properties of dye-sensitised solar cells when an EPSRC Advanced Fellow, and later to explore organic semiconductors and solar cells. Her consistent goal has been to understand how the different material systems and device architectures achieve photovoltaic action, and how performance can be optimised. Her current research is focussed on understanding structure-property relationships in molecular and hybrid semiconductor materials and how these relationships influence the mechanisms of solar energy conversion. This work combines basic experimental (electrical, spectroscopic and structural) measurements with simulation of materials and devices. She also works with the Grantham Institute for Climate Change at Imperial to evaluate the carbon emissions mitigation potential of renewable energy technologies. She is an ISI Highly Cited Researcher and has published over 300 articles, several book chapters and a book on the physics of solar cells. She has received several awards including the 2009 Joule Medal and 2016 Faraday Medal from the Institute of Physics and the 2012 Royal Society Armourers and Braziers Company prize. She was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2014 and an Honorary Fellow of the Institute of Physics in 2021.

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

  • 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, Thorsten Trupke



Harry Atwater
Cherry Award Chair
California Institute of Technology

Tim Anderson
University of Massachusetts,

Charles Backus
Arizona State University

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

Vasilis Fthenakis
Columbia University

Alex Freundlich
University of Houston

Martin A. Green
University of New South Wales

Christiana Honsberg
Arizona State University

Seth Hubbard
Rochester Institute of Technology

Lawrence L. Kazmerski
National Renewable Energy Laboratory

Richard R. King
Arizona State University

Sarah Kurtz
National Renewable Energy Laboratory

Antonio Luque
Universidad Politécnica de Madrid

Sylvain Marsillac
Old Dominion University

John D. Meakin
University of Delaware

Ryne Raffaelle
Rochester Institute of Technology

Eugene Ralph
PV Consulting

Angele Reinders
University of Twente

Steve Ringel
Ohio State University

Angus Rockett
Colorado School of Mines

Ajeet Rohatgi
Georgia Institute of Technology

Richard Schwartz
Purdue University

Ronald A. Sinton
Sinton Instruments

James Sites
Colorado State University

BJ Stanbery
Helios Corporation

Dick Swanson

Thorsten Trupke
University of New South Wales

Pierre Verlinden
Trina Solar

Robert J. Walters
Naval Research Laboratory

David Wilt
U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory

Eli Yablonovich
TUniversity of California Berkeley

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

Prof. Thorsten Trupke 2021

Prof. Stephen R. Forrest 2022