The Photovoltaics (PV) team manages PV research and development projects that work to improve efficiency and reliability and lower manufacturing costs of solar panels, with an overall goal of driving down the cost of electricity from solar photovoltaic technologies. The team oversees 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.
Dr. Brion Bob joined SETO in 2015 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.
Tassos is a Technology Manager for the Photovoltaics (PV) team, joining SETO in April 2016. His primary focus is solar power forecasting as a means for cost-effective integration of PV in the electric grid. As part of his responsibilities he oversees projects in the areas of solar resource assessment, PV system modeling, performance, monitoring, and reliability. He is also keenly interested in applications of blockchain technologies in transactive energy and retail electricity markets. Previously, he consulted for the World Bank Group. His solar career began at SunEdison where he worked as the Senior Manager of the Energy Analytics group, which developed algorithms for event detection, power forecasting, and inverter control, and generated analyses on power output variability and system reliability. He later became the Director of the Performance Analytics group, with responsibility for all performance reporting, analysis, and optimization. Prior to SunEdison, he worked for seven years in the semiconductor equipment and photonics industries as an R&D manager and engineer.
Tassos came to the U.S. in 1994 to earn a Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering at Stanford University. He lived in the San Francisco Bay Area until 2003, before moving to Chicago, and finally to Maryland in 2007. He holds a B.S. is in Physics from the Aristotle University in Thessaloniki. He has authored eleven papers on PV system analysis and holds four patents in sensors and process integration.
Dr. Susan Huang is a technical manager working on early stage research programs with the Photovoltaics team. Her interests are in improving the performance, understanding, and sustainability of next generation photovoltaic technologies. She joined the solar office in 2013 from IBM Research Yorktown Heights in New York. There she worked with manufacturing partners to develop and demonstrate novel silicon solar cell structures on production pilot lines. She received her Ph.D. in materials science and engineering from the University of Delaware, where she was part of the DARPA-funded Very High Efficiency Solar Cell program to develop a 50% efficient solar cell. Her research thesis was on III-V growth on silicon for tandem solar cell applications. She graduated from McGill University with a bachelor's of science degree in physics. During her undergraduate studies, she completed two internships at the National Renewable Energy lab on both renewable energy policies and solar cell hardware research.
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.
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 Mikrut has been a technical project officer for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Solar Energy Technologies Office since 2017 and is located in Golden, Colorado. In this role, Jeremey is involved in all stages of financial assistance, including drafting funding opportunities and reviewing applications, selections, negotiations, award issuance, monitoring, execution, and closeouts. Jeremey joined DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy in 2013 and worked as a grants management specialist within the Financial Assistance Office and a management analyst in the Project Management Coordination Office.
Prior to joining DOE, 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.
ORISE Science and Technology Policy Fellow
Dr. Tim Siegler joined SETO as an ORISE Science and Technology Policy Fellow in September of 2021. He supports a variety of programs across SETO, with a focus on projects that aim to accelerate commercialization of next generation thin film modules and perovskite photovoltaics.
Prior to joining SETO, Tim was a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Washington focused on reliability of halide perovskite PV, utilizing machine learning to predict perovskite material and device degradation rates. He holds a B.S. in Chemical Engineering with a Materials concentration from the University of Notre Dame and a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin. His graduate work focused on perovskite photovoltaic devices and the interactions of optoelectronic metal halides with ambient humidity. Through his studies, Tim alternately served as an intern for Equinor’s New Energies Division in Fornebu, Norway, taught nanotechnology to American students studying at UAB in Barcelona and Oberlin University-Sinjuku in Tokyo, and performed quantum dot solar cell research at LMU-Munich. He has co-authored 14 technical publications and given several publicly available presentations to various stakeholders, including energy clubs and children’s museums, on next generation solar technologies.
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.
Company: Boston Government Services
Dr. Allan Ward is a photovoltaic (PV) scientist and technology manager for the Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO), working as a member of the Photovoltaics team since May 2020. He currently supports PV development projects focused on innovations in materials and designs for low cost and high reliability, at both the module and system levels of integration. He is also co-managing perovskite PV cell and manufacturing technology projects, with an emphasis on performance validation and bankability.
Before joining SETO, Allan was a scientific fellow and technology director at First Solar, working in the areas of CdTe cell, module, and system reliability and advanced module materials and designs. He concurrently worked as an Adjunct Professor at Bowling Green State University, teaching courses in renewable energy technology and sustainability. Allan holds a B.S. in Electrical Engineering, an M.S. in Materials Engineering, and a Ph.D. in Materials Engineering Science from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Va Tech). His graduate work focused on thermal management of high power, high voltage electronics and GaAs power amplifier reliability.