The Photovoltaics (PV) team works to improve efficiency and reliability and lower manufacturing costs of PV panels, with an overall goal of driving down the cost of electricity from solar photovoltaic technologies. The team funds innovative concepts and experimental designs across a range of materials that have the potential to make solar energy among the least expensive forms of electricity.
Dr. Lenny Tinker, Photovoltaics Program Manager
Dr. Lenny Tinker is the program manager for the Photovoltaics team. He 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. 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.
Senior ORISE Science and Technology Policy Fellow
Dr. Andenet Alemu is a Senior ORISE Science and Technology Policy Fellow and a member of the Photovoltaics team since July 2019. He has more than 20 years of photovoltaics technology background. His expertise spans from cutting-edge research and development of advanced nanostructured space solar cells at the NASA center of the University of Houston, to a senior device development engineer position focusing on improving the efficiency, reliability, and fundamental understanding of Cadmium Telluride (CdTe)-based solar cells at First Solar Inc. Andenet has also served the solar industry as a consultant and is an inventor of multiple solar cell patents. In addition, he has published over 80 publications in renowned specialized journals and conferences.
Dr. Alemu obtained his Ph.D. in semiconductor physics in 1999 from the Université de Montpellier in France. His Ph.D. focused on the optical properties of Gallium Nitride (GaN), a topic that earned the Nobel Prize. During his Ph.D. studies, Andenet collaborated and co-authored several scientific papers on the topic with Dr. Shuji Nakamura, the 2014 Nobel Prize winner in physics.
Dr. Brion Bob joined SETO in January 2015 as a fellow and now works as a technology manager within the Photovoltaics program. He currently supports program development toward advancing the cost-effectiveness of PV modules and systems as an increasingly significant part of the national energy portfolio. His professional interests include the creation of a national research base that accelerates manufacturing competitiveness while training the next generation of industrial researchers. Brion holds a B.A. in physics from Harvard University and a Ph.D. in materials science and engineering from the University of California, Los Angeles, where his graduate studies were focused on the areas of thin film solar cell fabrication and device physics, with additional work dedicated to investigating new contacts and junction architectures.
Dr. Susan Huang is a technical advisor working on early stage research programs with the Photovoltaics team focusing on improving hardware performance and next generation technologies from materials to modules. She has been advising SETO since 2013. Prior, she worked at IBM Research in Yorktown on developing novel silicon solar cell structures. She received her Ph.D. in materials science and engineering from University of Delaware and her bachelor's degree in physics from McGill University.
Company: Allegheny Science and Technology
Dr. Inna Kozinsky is a science and technology advisor on the Photovoltaics team since October 2014. She is responsible for managing the PV program at the national labs as well as non-lab projects in thin-film photovoltaics, metrology, and modeling and characterization techniques. She is also responsible for the DOE PV Fleet Performance Data Initiative, which launched in 2019.
Before joining SETO, Inna was a senior research engineer at Robert Bosch Research and Technology Center in Palo Alto, CA, where she worked on thin-film silicon and CIGS PV research and development, optical and ab initio modeling of PV materials and devices, vibrational power harvesting, and MEMS sensors. She received her Ph.D. in physics from Caltech in 2007, where her thesis work focused on nonlinear dynamics in nano-electro-mechanical systems. Inna received a B.A. in physics and math and an M.A. in physics from Harvard University in 2000.
ORISE Science and Technology Policy Fellow
Dr. Peter Lobaccaro joined SETO in November 2018 as an ORISE Science and Technology Policy Fellow. He supports a variety of programs, including the American-Made Solar Prize, Small Business Innovation Research, 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 on the commercial solar industry.
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.
Dr. Marie Mapes is a photovoltaic technology manager. Her current responsibilities focus on creating photovoltaic research and development programs that will advance the use of photovoltaic energy, and leading evaluation and assessment activities to improve the effectiveness of these programs. She entered the Energy Department in 2006 as a Presidential Management Fellow. Since that time, she has been involved in the stewardship of the majority of DOE’s photovoltaic-related programs (e.g. National Laboratory Annual Operating Plan research, PV Manufacturing Initiative, University Product and Process Projects, ARRA Lab Call Projects, the SBIR Xlerator Projects, Next Gen PV 1 Program, Next Gen PV 2 Program, Foundational Program to Advance Cell Efficiency, Supply Chain and Crosscutting Technologies Program, Minority University Research Associates/Diversity in Science and Technology Advances National Clean Energy in Solar, Bridging Research Interactions through collaborative Development Grants in Energy, Solar Energy Fellows Program at DOE HQ, EERE Postdoctoral Research Awards Program, Physics Of Reliability: Evaluating Design Insights For Component Technologies In Solar 2, Solar Energy Evolution and Diffusion Studies, Photovoltaic R&D 2: Modules and Systems). She has also collaborated to bring DOE perspectives across private industry through her work at NGEN Partners, a venture capital firm, and across federal agencies through work at the National Science Foundation. Before coming to DOE, Marie earned a Ph.D. in physical chemistry from the University of Wisconsin—Madison and a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Grinnell College.
Jeremey is a technical project officer for the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office and is located in Golden, Colorado. In this role, Jeremey is involved in all stages of financial assistance from drafting of funding opportunities, application reviews, selections, negotiations, award issuance, monitoring, execution, and close outs. Jeremey joined the Energy Department’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy in 2013 and worked as a grants management specialist within the Financial Assistance Office and as a management analyst in the Project Management Coordination Office. In his current position, he manages and monitors a portfolio of 49 cooperative agreements with total project costs valued at $78 million.
Prior to joining the Energy Department, Jeremey worked in the public and private sectors as a program analyst, regional planner, and environmental specialist. He also served as a Corporal in the United States Marine Corps.
Jeremey earned a Master of Resources Law Studies degree from the University of Denver’s Sturm College of Law, with a specialization in Land Use Law and Policy. He also received a B.A. in Environmental and Growth Management Studies from Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida.
Company: ManTech International
Nancy Truong is the financial program analyst supporting the Photovoltaics team. Her job consists of budget planning, financial compliance review, and other various financial project management for the Photovoltaics portfolio. Nancy has 10+ years in accounting experience in the information technology, telecommunication, and hospitality industry.