The Manufacturing and Competitiveness team—formerly known as “Technology to Market”—works with private companies to investigate and validate groundbreaking, early-stage solar technology and support a skilled workforce. The goal is to strengthen innovative concepts and move them toward readiness for greater private sector investment and scale-up to commercialization. Manufacturing and Competitiveness, in close collaboration with the office’s other teams, also manages several prize programs, which leverage American innovation and competitive spirit to advance new ideas in solar energy.
DR. MARKUS BECK, MANUFACTURING AND COMPETITIVENESS PROGRAM MANAGER
Dr. Markus Beck joined the Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO) in March, 2021, as the program manager for the Manufacturing and Competitiveness team. Markus and the Manufacturing and Competitiveness team assist businesses of all sizes with their U.S.-manufactured technologies and innovation in order to help drive down costs and increase the deployment of solar energy on the nation’s grid.
Markus is an innovator and strategist with over 20 years of senior and executive R&D, project & operations management expertise in the renewable energy industry and has been recognized as one of the top thin-film photovoltaic (PV) technologists in the world. Dr. Beck’s career in PV spans three decades and he helped build the U.S. PV manufacturing industry in his roles as chief technology officer (CTO) at Violet Power, CTO at Siva Power, chief technologist at First Solar, CTO at Solyndra, and senior scientist at Global Solar Energy. He also served as vice president of the PV Development Team at Samsung. In addition to his industry tenure, Dr. Beck held a research sabbatical at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) as well as a research scientist position at the Hahn-Meitner Institute and a postdoctoral fellowship at NREL. He has advised global companies in the renewable energy sector on technology and business related aspects and sees significant synergies between the proliferation of renewable energy, hydrogen and battery storage, intelligent energy network interactions through advanced software integration, transformation of the transportation sector to battery and fuel cell based electric vehicles, and energy efficient construction in creating greater value for society.
Dr. Beck holds a Ph.D. in physical chemistry from the University of Guelph and has been awarded over a dozen scholarships and awards in the field of PV research and manufacturing. He is the primary inventor on 22 patents. As a subject-matter expert of American National Standards U.S. Technical Advisory Groups and the International Electrotechnical Commission Technical Committee 82 Working Group 2, he is actively engaged in global PV-standards activities. Dr. Beck has served on numerous Energy Department PV review boards and chaired the IEEE Santa Clara Valley PV Chapter from 2013–2015. He is a subject-matter expert for the peer-reviewed journals ‘Thin Solid Films’ and ‘Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells,’ and in 2012 was appointed to the editorial board of the latter.
Fania Barwick is a technical project officer for the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO) and is located in Golden, Colorado. Fania is involved in all stages of financial assistance process including drafting of funding opportunity announcements, application review, selection, negotiation, award issuance, monitoring, project management, and close-out. Fania joined the Energy Department’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy in 2009 and worked as a grants management specialist supporting SETO within the Financial Assistance Office until early 2020.
Fania studied at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, where she earned a Master of Urban and Environmental Planning, and a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Science and Environmental Thought and Practice. Fania’s studies focused on green urbanism, food systems planning, and sustainability in urban design.
Andrew Dawson has been a technology development manager with the manufacturing and competitiveness team since 2016. He is focused primarily on photovoltaic manufacturing projects and serves as a technical lead for perovskite solar technologies, leveraging his background in equipment development and systems engineering. He supports techno-economic and strategic analysis programs, including technology manufacturing and integration cost modeling, as well as small business and technology transfer programs, working with multiple offices across EERE.
Prior to joining the Solar Energy Technologies Office, Andrew founded and ran Resilient Systems Engineering, LLC, providing technical consulting for sustainable energy systems development. The group performs technology capability assessments, strategic planning and integrated systems engineering to enable clients to transition from prototype to production operations and to scale up capabilities.
Previously, Andrew managed an engineering group at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. He and his team supported the National Ignition Facility, a nuclear fusion R&D program, through the development and fielding of manufacturing and processing equipment for high-precision large laser optics. Andrew began his career at GE Energy, working for several years on wind energy systems as well as solar technologies and combustion-based power production equipment. He holds an M.S. in mechanical engineering from Georgia Tech and a B.S. in mechanical engineering from Cornell University.
Dr. Kyle Fricker is a technology manager working with the Manufacturing and Competitiveness team. His portfolio includes projects that support entrepreneurs developing new solar products and programs that strengthen innovation ecosystems to accelerate the commercialization of early-stage energy technologies. He also leads programs that seek to test, validate, and scale new approaches to expand affordable solar access to previously underserved populations.
Prior to SETO, Kyle co-founded Divvy Power LLC ("Divvy"), an online platform for crowdsourcing capital and facilitating development of community clean energy projects. Under his leadership, Divvy completed two pilot projects for off-grid solar systems at a school and community garden in the Bronx, NY.
Kyle holds a B.S. in chemical engineering from University of Florida and a Ph.D. in earth and environmental engineering from Columbia University, where he researched a mineral-based chemical process for carbon dioxide capture and storage. During his graduate studies, Kyle also assessed the commercial viability of physical science inventions disclosed by physical science and engineering labs across the university as a Columbia Technology Ventures fellow. In his free time, he enjoys snowboarding, vegetarian cooking, hiking, and cheering for DC United. He is originally from Cocoa Beach, FL.
Company: Alleghany Science & Technology
Dr. Peter Lobaccaro joined SETO in November 2018 as an ORISE Science and Technology Policy Fellow before transferring to a program analyst in 2020. He supports a variety of programs, including leading the development of the American-Made Solar Prize and American-Made Network, the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program, the Technology Commercialization Fund, and SETO’s annual Funding Opportunity Announcements, focusing on SETO’s awards with small-business and later-stage technology development. He is passionate about developing a strong pipeline to transition research developments in the lab to impact the commercial solar industry and developing a support ecosystem for the entrepreneurs walking that path.
Prior to joining SETO, Peter had a post-doctoral fellowship at the Singapore-Berkeley Research Initiative for Sustainable Energy based at the National University of Singapore where he worked on developing novel catalysts for the conversion of CO2 to value added chemicals. He received his Ph.D. in 2016 in chemical engineering from the University of California Berkeley, where he focused his research on solar fuels and thin film III-V solar materials. He received his B.S. in 2011 from the University of Notre Dame in chemical engineering.
Company: Boston Government Services
Robert Meagley joined the Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO) in June 2020 as a technology manager on the Manufacturing and Competitiveness team. His portfolio focuses on commercialization projects that integrate advanced materials and manufacturing processes, and projects that integrate solar into emerging applications to help make solar more accessible and affordable.
Prior to joining SETO, Robert co-founded a micro-RFID start-up, founded an advanced materials start-up, and was a principle in a thin film silicon solar startup, after leading Intel Corp.'s Molecules for Advanced Patterning Program at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) from 2004-2007. Before LBNL, Robert was the manager of Intel Corp.'s Lithography Materials Group, a corporate patent and external programs mentor, and worked with nanotechnology related environment, safety, and health programs. Before graduate school, he worked as a synthetic chemist at DuPont Central Research and Johnson Matthey Biomedical.
Robert's postdoctoral research at Cornell and U.C. Berkeley collaborated with IBM, Almaden, and International Sematech, following his Ph.D. from the University of Delaware and B.S. from the University of Maryland. He was awarded the University of Delaware Presidential Citation for Outstanding Achievement in September 2005, as well as Intel corporate awards for innovation, environmental excellence, quality, cost savings, and engineering. Robert holds 44 U.S. patents, has authored nearly as many technical papers, and lectures and volunteers as a senior research fellow with Foresight Institute. His interests include light-matter interactions, interfacial engineering, self-assembly phenomena, graphic art, and bicycling.
Company: Boston Government Services
Emanuele is a technology development manager (advanced solar energy R&D scientist) at SETO since November 2019. Before, he was a senior science and technology policy fellow in the same office for 3 years. He supports the creation, negotiation, execution, and monitoring of funding opportunities, with a focus on awards to for-profit entities (especially start-ups) creating and commercializing new innovation in the solar space. His portfolio includes hardware and software projects, as well as projects aimed at creating new investment funds and business models generating innovative pathways to bring new capitals to the solar space. Emanuele is also the office’s Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR-STTR) portfolio manager, overseeing the program, ensuring alignment of office goals and award selection, and monitoring awards progress and impact. In addition, Emanuele leads an office effort to use data-driven statistically-rigorous methodologies to measure the impact of government funding as well as external variables in the success of start-ups in the solar space.
Before joining SETO, he was a PostDoc at Stanford University (2013-2016) and Boston University (2011-2013) working on the interaction between light and matter, with a particular interest in light emission from semiconductor nanostructures, and the use of nanostructures and metamaterials to increase solar cells’ performances. He is author or co-author of more than 40 scientific papers, presented his works at more than 20 international scientific conferences, and published a book on his research activity. He is a reviewer for more than 30 scientific journals and a mentor of young students. Emanuele holds a Ph.D. in physics (University of Catania, Italy, 2010). He was awarded a full scholarship for his Master program at the Scuola Superiore di Catania (top 1% of his class). Emanuele is a TEDx licensee and organizer, he was President of his Alma Mater Alumni Association, and facilitator for a class on communication and management at Stanford University. His passion for innovation brought him to volunteer for the Stanford Office of Technology Licensing, where he assessed the business model for new technologies. He was also a communication coach for start-ups in the StartX accelerator.
ORISE Science and Technology Policy Fellow
Dr. David Ung is an ORISE Science and Technology Policy Fellow for the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO). He joined SETO in January 2021 and works on the Manufacturing and Competitiveness team.
Prior to joining SETO, David received his Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Washington in 2020. His research focused on developing electrocatalytic nanomaterials for hydrogen evolution. While pursuing this degree, he had the opportunity to work as a technical advisor for a group of angel investors, which sparked his interest in working with cleantech startups. He was also able to participate in science communication by volunteering at local science centers to teach the broader public about clean energy. He received his B.S. in chemistry in 2014 from the University of California San Diego, where he studied molecular electrocatalysts for carbon dioxide reduction.