What was your original motivation to become a researcher/project manager?
Always having had a keen interest in science, nature and economics, it was no surprise that I would follow the more numerate disciplines at school and this lead to studying Chemical Physics at University. It was a privilege to be interviewed by (later to become Nobel laureate) Sir Harry Kroto (FRS), who was an outstanding science communicator and exuded such positivity and enthusiasm for science that in 20 minutes he made a significant impact on my early technical direction.
What is your main research area today?
Characterisation of new to science materials and their implementation into test systems for our photon multiplication technology takes up a significant proportion of my time. In addition to material characterisation my efforts also include the production and optimisation of composite materials combining all the ingredients required for the whole system to work, as well as keeping an eye out for the practical issues and process options for incorporation into solar modules.
What is the main focus of your team in PILATUS?
The Cambridge Photon Technology team encompasses chemists and physicists preparing and evaluating materials for our photon multiplication technology, and our main role is to develop these materials further with a view to integration and testing in PILATUS pilot PV modules and working with the project partners to achieve these goals.
From all your activities within the project, what are you the most proud of/keen to share with the public?
CPT’s activity in PILATUS ramps up significantly from the project midpoint. Success in the PILATUS project for CPT would be the demonstration of enhanced module efficiency coming from the application of our active materials in the encapsulation technology co-developed with our work-package partners into modules made up from the other project derived cell and module components, and we would be delighted to share successful results.
How do you expect the PILATUS results will impact your organisation and the PV sector in Europe?
A successful demonstration of our technology within PILATUS validates the results we produce in-house and this is very important for future investment in the company and accelerating the development of a first photon multiplication product. Projects such as PILATUS are clearly of strategic importance for the European PV sector in a time of energy uncertainty, and project success provides a pilot line to test the scalability of novel technology options such as those offered by CPT within the project.