The Concentrating Solar-Thermal Power (CSP) team supports the development of novel CSP technologies that help to lower costs, increase efficiency, and provide more reliable performance relative to current CSP technologies. This team supports research and development that advances Generation 3 CSP technologies, which utilize high-temperature components and integrated assembly designs with thermal energy storage that can reach operating temperatures greater than 700 degrees Celsius. The team also works to advance new applications for the technology, from solar desalination to thermal industrial processes.

Dr. Avi Shultz, Concentrating Solar-Thermal Power Program Manager

Dr. Avi Shultz is the program manager for concentrating solar-thermal power (CSP) for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO), 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 SETO since 2013, where he started as a science and technology policy fellow, supporting the CSP program on a wide variety of topics.

Prior to joining SETO, Dr. Shultz was a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Amsterdam, after getting his Bachelors and Doctoral degrees in Chemistry, from Columbia University and Northwestern University, respectively.

Matthew Bauer

Dr. Matthew Bauer is a technology development manager for the Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO) Concentrating Solar-Thermal Power (CSP) team. Since 2015 he has worked with the CSP research and development (R&D) community to identify promising CSP-relevant technologies and solve technical risks impeding such technologies from commercial adoption. While primarily focused on CSP for electricity generation, Matthew also develops frameworks for technology advances in related applications including pumped thermal energy storage, solar thermal process heat, and solar thermochemical processes. Recently, he has headed SETO’s 2019  FIRM Thermal Energy Storage initiative, SETO’s 2018 Advanced Components R&D initiative, as well as the CSP program’s reoccurring seedling research initiative, Small Innovative Projects in Solar (SIPS), and parallel National Laboratory Research.

Analysis of viable system concepts where new technologies can be deployed has been an area of focus for Matthew, including: higher temperature molten salt systems, first of a kind integrated particle CSP systems, and integrating CSP with sCO2 power cycles.  Matthew’s research background is focused on microscale thermal transport phenomena- theory,  measurements, and simulations. Prior to joining SETO, Matthew completed his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Virginia.

Christine Bing

Christine is the Technical Project Officer for the concentrating solar-thermal power and systems integration teams. She has worked in the U.S. Department of Energy since 1993 beginning with the Environmental Management office and moved to the Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy office in 1999.

DAvid Haas

David Haas SETO Portrait

Company: ManTech International

David Haas joined the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO) in April 2022 as a technical advisor on the concentrating solar-thermal power (CSP) team. 

David started his solar energy career working as the Director of Heliostats for Solar Reserve in 2017. He brings a combination of aerospace and energy leadership to the CSP team. His 35 years of experience building highly reliable space vehicles, while also consulting in the energy field for 19 years, helps David advise DOE on today’s solar energy challenges.

Jonathan Melville

Jo Melville headshot

ORISE Science, Technology, & Policy Fellow 

Jonathan “Jo” Melville is an ORISE Science, Technology, & Policy Fellow at SETO on the CSP team, where he leverages his background in high-temperature electrochemistry to support the development and deployment of novel strategies for greening difficult-to-decarbonize industrial processes, such as steel production and silicon refining. Jo received his Ph.D. in inorganic chemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2021, with his dissertation focusing on the application of electrochemical methods such as molten-salt electrolysis for industrial decarbonization. Prior to his graduate studies, Jo completed his B.S. in chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley in 2016.

Andru Prescod

Company: ManTech International

Andru Prescod is a technical advisor in the Solar Technologies Office at the U.S. Department of Energy and Program Director of Energy at ManTech International. He has been working at ManTech since 2013.

Andru was first drawn to solar energy in high school. Later, an interest in quantum physics during his undergraduate years led him to pursue related fields, specifically particle physics and quantum optics in graduate school.

Andru is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate in mathematics and physics from Morehouse College, where he was the top science graduate and also won awards as the top graduate in the mathematics and physics departments. He earned an M.Sc. in physics from Duke University, where he was a David and Lucille Packard Fellow. After graduate school, he started to work at Corning Incorporated, first as a graduate intern and subsequently as a controls engineer. While employed at Corning, he also earned an MBA from Binghamton University, and a master's degree and Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the City University of New York.

Kamala Raghavan

Kamala Raghavan SETO Portrait

Dr. Kamala Raghavan joined the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO) as a technology manager on the concentrating solar-thermal power (CSP) team. Since joining the CSP team in 2021, Kamala has supported various research, development, and demonstration efforts for CSP with a primary focus on materials and manufacturing. She is engaged with the broader CSP community to identify material and manufacturing research needs for the development and commercialization of advanced components for CSP. Kamala is responsible for developing longer-term material and manufacturing strategies to enable ultra-high temperature operation of CSP components.

Prior to joining SETO, Kamala spent 15 years of her R&D career in the conglomerate and semiconductor industries, where she carried out research in metal additive manufacturing, atomistic modeling, thin film CdTe photovoltaics, metrology, and sensing technologies. She has a Ph.D. in physical sciences from the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India.

Rajgopal Vijaykumar

Rajgopal Vijaykumar Portrait

Dr. Rajgopal "Vijay" Vijaykumar joined the Solar Energy Technologies Office team in 2014, and has focused on technology management of receiver, supercritical CO2 power cycle components, thermal energy storage interface components, and improvements to the current CSP projects. Previously, Vijay worked at EPC on gasification plant design, and carbon dioxide capture designs for operating plants in Norway. He also worked on large scale power plant projects including, combined cycle plants, concentrated solar projects, advanced nuclear reactor designs, and plant modifications for existing coal-fired and nuclear plants. His previous ten years were spent at Aspentech, focusing on computer software development for the process industry, including cost estimation, translating chemical process simulation results into process equipment models, process equipment design, and software for transferring data between graphics tools and databases for piping design. Vijay’s career started at a small company working on new nuclear development, focusing on AP-600 and AP-1000 nuclear reactor design and safety analyses, and subsequently branching out into other facets of power systems development including combined cycle simulation, analysis, development and construction. Vijay has a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from the University of California at Los Angeles.