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Fed: UNSW prof gets Inventor gong for work with solar cells

24 Apr 2009 12:01 AM
EDS: Embargoed until 0001 (AEST) Friday, April 24, 2009

SYDNEY, April 24 AAP - The Australian inventor of solar cell technologies sold to multinationals BP and Samsung has been named 2009 Inventor of the Year at a Sydney ceremony.

Professor Stuart Wenham from the University of NSW, recognised as a world leader in solar cell development, was awarded the inaugural gong at the presentation at UNSW's John Niland Scientia Building on Thursday.

"In a career spanning more than a quarter century he has invented or co-invented eight suites of solar cell technologies that have been licensed to solar cell makers around the world," UNSW's technology commercialisation company, New South Innovations, said in a statement.

"Companies that have licensed UNSW solar technology include world-leading solar makers such as Suntech-Power, BP Solar, and Samsung.

"These companies have annual production volumes valued at hundreds of millions of dollars in an industry that is now the world's fastest-growing energy sector."

The Inventor of the Year awards are sponsored by New South Innovations, and carry a prize pool of $20,000.

Apart from winning the Inventor of the Year, Prof Wenham also took out the Environment Inventor award.