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News and Awards
Scientists develop heat-resistant materials that could vastly improve solar cell efficiency
Scientists have created a heat-resistant thermal emitter, an element used in specialized solar cells, that could significantly improve the efficiency of the cells. The novel component is designed to convert heat from the sun into infrared light, which can than be absorbed by solar cells to make electricity – a technology known as thermophotovoltaics.
Unlike earlier prototypes that fell apart before temperatures reached 2,200 degrees Fahrenheit (1,200 degrees Celsius), the new thermal emitter remains stable at temperatures as high as 2,500 F (1,400 C).
"This is a record performance in terms of thermal stability and a major advance for the field of thermophotovoltaics," said Shanhui Fan, a professor of electrical engineering at Stanford University. Fan and his colleagues at the University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign (Illinois) and North Carolina State University collaborated on the project. Their results are published in the Oct. 16 edition of the journal Nature Communications.
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Hans Fischer Senior Fellowship
Electrical Engineering Professor Jelena Vuckovic has been awarded a Hans Fischer Senior Fellowship from the Institute for Advanced Study at the Technical University in Munich, Germany.
Up to four fellows (from any science/engineering field) are named per year, and they are given freedom and funding to pursue research activities in collaboration with TUM on high risk/high reward projects, without burden of writing proposals. The fellowship is named after Hans Fischer, a TUM faculty who was awarded a Nobel Prize in chemistry for his work on hemoglobin.
2013 Okawa Foundation Research Grant
Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering and Statistics Andrea Montanari and Associate Professor of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering Philip Levis have each won the 2013 Okawa Foundation Research Grant.
The Okawa Foundation's mission is to promote the field of ICT and seek its development through such means as awards and research grants, and to further international and cultural exchanges in this area.
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2013 SIGCOMM Rising Star Award
Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Sachin Katti recently won the 2013 SIGCOMM Rising Star Award.
This award recognizes a young researcher, an individual no older than 35, who has made outstanding research contributions to the field of communication networks during this early part of his or her career.
According to SIGCOMM, "The award is in recognition of outstanding research contributions, early in his career, in wireless communications and networking. His approach to cross-layer wireless design brings together computer networking, signal processing and information theory to solve long-standing problems in wireless networks. Highlights of his research contributions include a practical approach to achieve full-duplex radios (Mobicom'10, MOBICOM'11, SIGCOMM'13) and rateless network design for practical adapation of sender transmission rate (SIGCOMM'11, MOBICOM'12). To quote from his nomination 'Sachin Katti’s research has transformed the way we think about wireless communications.'"
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