IMR leadership honored at first Middle East and North Africa Solar Conference

mhuson General, IMR Staff, Materials and Manufacturing for Sustainability

The Institute for Materials and Manufacturing Research (IMR) is helping push The Ohio State University to the forefront of energy innovation through advancements in photovoltaics and battery cell technologies, addressing pressing challenges in sustainable energy solutions.


Recently, IMR executive director Steven Ringel was honored as a keynote speaker at the inaugural Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Solar Conference in Dubai for research related to photovoltaic devices. The event recognized researchers from around the world who focus on advancing photovoltaic systems and devices to enhance performance, improve efficiency and ensure reliability across diverse climatic conditions.


Ringel’s keynote address focused on his group’s leading efforts in creating high efficiency, high-reliability tandem solar cells based on wafer-scale integration of compound semiconductor and silicon technologies, as a pathway to scale high performance photovoltaics at reduced cost. At Ohio State, Ringel leads Ohio State’s Electronic Materials and Devices Lab, where he also focuses on advancing next generation wide and ultrawide bandgap semiconductors for high voltage power electronics. Ringel is also Associate Vice President for Research at Ohio State and a Distinguished University Professor.


The solar conference at the Dubai World Trade Centre convened experts and researchers from 120 universities and research centers across 38 countries in the region. With more than 200 research papers, the conference aimed to foster discussions and collaborations on different aspects of solar energy. It was organized by the Dubai Electricity & Water Authority in collaboration with the IEEE Electron Devices Society.


Back in Ohio, recognizing that next generation energy systems require advances in energy storage in addition to energy generation, IMR is also working to accelerate the domestic development of battery cell materials and manufacturing technologies.


Late last year, Ohio State announced the creation of a new battery cell research and development center, managed by IMR. The center has $22 million in commitments and is slated to open in April 2025. There, researchers will push forward battery cell technologies while providing an experiential learning setting for advanced battery technology workforce development.


Just down the road, the Energy Innovation Lab at Nanotech West Lab translates electrochemical energy storage and conversion research into market solutions through strategic partnerships. Spanning materials to systems and advanced manufacturing, the lab addresses current issues and innovates materials and systems for future energy technologies through multidisciplinary collaboration.


Story by Mike Huson, IMR communications coordinator


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