The German Chancellor Fellow Kumar Abhishek Spends Year Researching at Fraunhofer ISE


Since the beginning of November, Kumar Abhishek is working as a guest scientist at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE as a German Chancellor Fellowship from the Alexander von Humboldt-Stiftung. Gerhard Stryi-Hipp, the mentor of the young energy process engineer from India, met Kumar several years ago during a research project in India. “Kumar Abhishek worked both in an Indian company that cooperates with Fraunhofer as well as in the Indian Ministry for Renewable Energy. His fellowship is not only a chance for him personally but also for Fraunhofer ISE. He is a perfect candidate for strengthening the existing contacts and working relationships of the Institute with Indian partners,” explains Gerhard Stryi-Hipp, Group Leader of Group Leader of Smart Energy Cities, Quarter Concepts and Heat Grids at Fraunhofer ISE.

Kumar Abhishek
© Fraunhofer ISE

Bundeskanzler-Stipendiat Kumar Abhishek forscht am Fraunhofer ISE.

For one year, Kumar Abhishek will be focusing on solar thermal applications for process heat generation in the range of 80 to 300 degrees Celcius. The academic guidance of the fellowship project “Mapping of Solar Thermal Technologies in India” will be carried out by the Group of Concentrating Collectors and Optics under the leadership of Anna Heimsath. “In India there are tens of thousands of companies that use process heat within this temperature range. Applications range from laundries, cooling and drying processes and even treating cow urine for healing applications. The potential is enormous,” explains Kumar Abhishek. While at Fraunhofer ISE, Kumar will identify and evaluate technologies that are suitable for India and are sustainable, reliable and affordable. An important goal is to develop standards and test procedures for the quality assurance of solar thermal systems as well as to optimize the system design.

“In my career thus far, I have worked in the private sector, in research and for the government. For this reason, I would like to strengthen the networking between these sectors,” says the twenty-eight year old. Also, there is a large chance for cooperation between Germany and India in this field. “In India, for example, manufacturers of mirrors for solar thermal collectors do not exist. Germany, on the other hand, has lots of experience in this area. Working together, they can do a lot to promote renewable energy.” The young fellow has heard about Fraunhofer ISE since his studies and therefore was eager to apply to Fraunhofer ISE as host institute. “As a student, I worked as a scientific assistant in a solar research and development center, and my professor spoke often about Fraunhofer ISE. Since then, it has been my wish to work one day at ISE.”

During his stay as guest scientist, Kumar attends the COP23 conference in Bonn. Networking with the other 39 German Chancellor fellows presently in Germany is also an important element of the fellowship year.  “This is a big chance for me to meet interesting people from all over the world. Among the fellows, I seem to be the only one who is working in a technical area. The others are focusing on art or the situation of migrants, for example.”

Each year, the Alexander von Humboldt Stiftung makes a visit to Germany possible for over 2000 researchers from all over the world. The German Chancellor Fellowship program targets future leaders from Russia, India, China, Brazil and the USA. They applicants must hold a university degree and have shown a high potential for leadership in their career to date. The program offers a one-year stay at a host institute in Germany where the fellows carry out a project that they develop themselves.

Short Curriculum Vita

1989 born in India

2007 - 2011 IIMT College of Engineering, Greater Noida, India, Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering

2012 - 2014 Pandit Deendayal Petroleum University, Gandhinagar, India, Master of Engineering in Energy Systems and Technology

2011 - 2012: Engineer, Systems Design and Engineering at Rudra Solar Energy, Gandhinagar, India

2012 - 2014: Scientific Assistant, Solar Research and Development Center, Gandhinagar, India

2014 - 2015; Deputy Manager, System Design, at Bergen Solar Power and Energy Ltd., Gurgram, India

2015 - 2017: Technical Officer and Project Associate, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), Delhi, India