Dr. Charlie Gay, Director
Dr. Charlie Gay is the Solar Energy Technologies Office Director for the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). In this position he is leading the SunShot Initiative, a team that is dedicated to research, manufacturing and market solutions to make solar energy cost competitive with other forms of energy by the end of the decade.
Dr. Gay is an internationally recognized pioneer in photovoltaics. After starting his career in 1975 designing solar power system components for communications satellites at Spectrolab, he later joined ARCO Solar, where he established the research and development program and led the commercialization of crystalline silicon and thin film technologies.
In 1990, he became president and chief operating officer of Siemens Solar Industries, and from 1994 to 1997, he served as director of DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory. In 1997, he was named president and chief executive officer of ASE Americas, and from 2001 to 2005 served as founding chairman of the technical advisory board at SunPower Corporation. He joined Applied Materials in 2006 as corporate vice president and general manager of the Solar Business Group. He served as president of Applied Solar and chairman of the Applied Solar Council from 2009-2013. As president, Dr. Gay was responsible for positioning Applied Materials and its solar efforts with important stakeholders in the energy industry, technical community and governments around the world.
He earned a Ph.D. from the University of California, Riverside and was elected a member of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering in 2013. He established the Greenstar Foundation in 1997 to demonstrate an economically sustainable model that delivers solar power and internet access for health, education and microenterprise projects to developing world villages.
Dr. Becca Jones-Albertus, Acting Deputy Director
Dr. Becca Jones-Albertus is the acting deputy director of the Solar Energy Technologies Office within the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.
Dr. Jones-Albertus has spent her career advancing solar cell materials and devices, from research and development to manufacturing. Previously, Dr. Jones-Albertus was the characterization and design manager at Solar Junction, where she led work contributing to the development of the company's breakthrough dilute nitride solar cells, their two-time world record triple junction solar cells, and then the successful transfer of that technology to a high-volume manufacturing toolset. She has 35 technical publications and 8 patents.
Dr. Jones-Albertus graduated magna cum laude from Princeton University with a B.S. in electrical engineering, and also holds a M.S. and Ph.D. in materials science and engineering from the University of California, Berkeley.
Dr. Paul Basore, Chief Engineer
Dr. Paul Basore’s thirty years in photovoltaics have spanned university, government and industrial positions across three continents. Dr. Basore is probably best known as the principal developer of PC1D and other software tools for device characterization and cost modeling that have found widespread use within the photovoltaics community.
Since receiving his PhD in electrical engineering from MIT for a thesis in the field of electromechanical energy storage for PV systems, he has managed the establishment of five PV R&D facilities. The first of these, at Sandia National Labs, fabricated the world’s first 15% multicrystalline-silicon module: a record that was not eclipsed until 15 years later. His next facility was a thin-film start-up in Australia that led to the establishment of a factory in Germany, where Paul served as the founding CTO. After moving to the San Francisco Bay Area in 2007, he established R&D labs for two of the world’s leading PV manufacturers: the Renewable Energy Corporation of Norway and Hanwha Q Cells of Korea. He was subsequently a Center Director at NREL in Golden, Colorado before joining the SunShot team.
Dr. Avi Shultz, Acting Concentrating Solar Power Program Manager
Dr. Avi Shultz is the acting program manager for SunShot's Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) team, which supports research, development, and demonstration of solar thermal components and systems that can enable wide-spread deployment of low-cost CSP with thermal energy storage. Dr. Shultz has been with SunShot since 2013, where he started as a policy fellow and was hired as a federal technology manager, supporting the CSP subprogram on a wide variety of topics, including thermochemical energy storage, CSP systems and cost analysis, and non-electricity applications of solar thermal process heat.
Prior to joining SunShot, Dr. Shultz was a Rubicon Post-Doctoral Fellow at the University of Amsterdam, where his research focused on developing supramolecular approaches to catalysts for artificial photosynthesis. Dr. Shultz holds a B.A. from Columbia University and a Ph.D. in chemistry from Northwestern University, performing his thesis research on the synthesis of catalytically active porous materials.
Dr. Lenny Tinker, Acting Photovoltaics Program Manager
Dr. Lenny Tinker has been at the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO) since September 2011 and started as an AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellow on the Photovoltaics team working on Incubator Round 6. As a Federal employee, he now manages early-stage applied research and development programs at national labs, universities, and companies to develop advanced photovoltaic systems. He uses his background in chemistry to identify research areas and develop programs to achieve the goals of the SunShot Initiative. Dr. Tinker is also the SETO Fellowship coordinator and is the SETO representative on the IEA PVPS Executive Committee.
Prior to his position in the Energy Department, Dr. Tinker was an Alexander von Humboldt Postdoctoral Fellow at the Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität in Münster, Germany, where he designed inorganic complexes to be used in organic light emitting diodes and to promote triplet-triplet upconversion processes. Dr. Tinker obtained a Ph.D. in chemistry from Princeton University and a B.S. from Beloit College. His Ph.D. research focused on visible light-induced water reduction using iridium(III) chromophores and colloidal catalysts to produce a portable fuel using sunlight.
Dr. Elaine Ulrich, Balance of Systems/Soft Costs Program Manager
Dr. Elaine Ulrich is a program manager at the Department of Energy where she leads the SunShot balance of systems/soft costs team. Her team which works to reduce the non-hardware (soft costs) of solar, lower barriers to solar adoption, and foster market growth through support for state and local development and technical assistance programs; information & data assets; finance & business model development; workforce & training programs; and policy & regulatory analysis.
A former American Physical Society/American Association for the Advancement of Science policy fellow, Dr. Ulrich has spent the past few years working on renewable energy. She previously held positions in the office of former U.S. Senator Ken Salazar, U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science and Technology, the Energy Department’s Office of Strategic Planning and Analysis, and in the office of U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords, where she worked to build a comprehensive solar energy portfolio.
Dr. Ulrich holds a B.A. in physics from Wellesley College and a Ph.D. in optical science from the University of Arizona.
Dr. Guohui Yuan, Systems Integration Program Manager
Dr. Guohui Yuan is the program manager for the systems integration (SI) subprogram within the SunShot Initiative. His team supports research, development, and demonstration of technologies and solutions to enable the widespread deployment of solar energy on the nation’s electricity grid.
Dr. Yuan has been supporting the SunShot Initiative as a technical advisor since 2011. Previously, he held several key positions at industry-leading clean technology startups, including CURRENT Group, GridPoint, and WaveCrest Labs. Early in his career, he worked at COMSAT Labs as a systems scientist. He is a recognized thought leader and has many technical publications. He holds nine patents.
Dr. Yuan holds a B.S. degree from Tsinghua University, Beijing, China and a Ph.D. from the University of Maryland, College Park, both in physics.
Dr. James Zahler, Acting Technology to Market Program Manager
Dr. James Zahler is the acting program manager for the technology to market subprogram within the SunShot Initiative. He is on detail from The Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) Technology-to-Market team. His team supports efforts to move groundbreaking and early-stage technologies and business models to the market.
Dr. Zahler previously worked GT Advanced Technologies as the senior director of product technology, where he managed research and application development activities for industrial sapphire materials and growth equipment. Prior to GT Advanced Technologies, Dr. Zahler was a cell technology manager at BP Solar, co-managing its advanced solar cell technology development activities. Dr. Zahler started his career co-founding Aonex Technologies to develop and commercialize his thesis technology. As vice president of technology, he led an effort that resulted in development of a novel substrate technology for III-nitride semiconductor growth and processing that was acquired by a major microelectronics manufacturer.
Dr. Zahler earned both a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering and a M.S. in Applied Physics from the California Institute of Technology. He holds a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Texas A&M University.
- Photovoltaics Team
- Systems Integration Team
- Concentrating Solar Power Team
- Soft Costs Team
- Technology to Market Team
- Operations Team
- Communications Team