Press Release #14
SolarWorld Junior Einstein Award 2015 presented to Michael Rauer from Fraunhofer ISE – Prize for outstanding young researchers awarded for the tenth time
This year's SolarWorld Junior Einstein Award has been presented to Michael Rauer, who conducted the research for his PhD at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE under the external supervision of the University of Konstanz. The 31-year-old impressed the jury with his thesis on aluminum pastes for silicon solar cells, entitled "Alloying from Screen-printed Aluminum Pastes for Silicon Solar Cell Applications". The award ceremony was held on June 10 at Intersolar Europe, the world's leading exhibition for the solar industry.
"Michael Rauer's excellent research paper has made a significant contribution to our understanding of the formation and effects of aluminum back surface fields. This holds the key to boosting the performance of PERC solar cells and cells with aluminum back surface fields, both of which are currently dominating the market worldwide," explained Dr. Holger Neuhaus, chairman of the jury for the SolarWorld Einstein Award. Michael Rauer first started working at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE in the High-Efficiency Silicon Solar Cells department while studying for his physics degree at the Albert Ludwig University of Freiburg. Since December 2014, the former scholarship holder of the Reiner Lemoine Stiftung has been employed as a research fellow at Fraunhofer ISE in the Solar Cells – Development and Characterization division.
"I am delighted to have received the SolarWorld Junior Einstein Award," commented the jubilant prize winner. "I not only see the award as recognition of my work, but as acknowledgement of the fact that in-depth research even enables new, beneficial knowledge to be gained about highly developed technologies such as metallization."
This year marks the tenth anniversary of the SolarWorld Junior Einstein Award for outstanding young researchers. With more than 30 applicants from Germany, Poland, the Netherlands, Russia, Italy, Finland, Nepal, Australia, France and Great Britain submitting their scientific theses, the competition had a more international flavor than ever before. The range of topics extended from organic solar cells and solar cell coating to assessing the commercial risk of large-scale solar parks. Many of the research papers also focused on the causes of output losses in solar cells.
After two selection rounds, the four finalists from Germany, Poland and Australia were invited to present themselves and their theses to the jury at SolarWorld Innovations GmbH in Freiberg on May 22. Here, they were given the opportunity to tour SolarWorld's research center and score extra points during individual conversations with the jury.
Following in the footsteps of Oliver Schultz in 2008, Paul Gundel in 2011 and Pierre Saint-Cast in 2013, Michael Rauer is the fourth young researcher from Fraunhofer ISE to have received the SolarWorld Junior Einstein Award.