UNSW Sydney’s Martin Green elected to US National Academy of Engineering

Scientia Professor Martin Green has been elected to the United States National Academy of Engineering for his work in solar energy development.
Louise Templeton | UNSW Newsroom

UNSW Sydney’s Scientia Professor Martin Green has been inducted into the United States National Academy of Engineering (NAE) for technical contributions that have enabled the widespread use of silicon photovoltaics.

Prof. Green is among 106 new members and one of 18 international researchers nominated and chosen by their peers to join the Academy, which is among the highest professional distinctions accorded to engineers.

NAE membership honours those who have made outstanding contributions to "engineering research, practice, or education, including, where appropriate, significant contributions to the engineering literature" and to "the pioneering of new and developing fields of technology, making major advancements in traditional fields of engineering, or developing/implementing innovative approaches to engineering education". 

The Academy recognised Prof. Green “for technical contributions enabling the proliferation of silicon photovoltaics”.

Arguably the world’s foremost solar pioneer, Prof. Green specialises in photovoltaics at UNSW’s School of Photovoltaic and Renewable Energy Engineering (SPREE).  He led the teams at UNSW that developed PERC technology, improving the quality of both the top and the rear surface of standard silicon solar cells. This helped increase the conversion efficiency of standard solar cells by over 50 per cent in relative terms from 16.5 per cent in the early 1980s to 25 per cent in the early 2000s.  These innovations and advances in solar technology are considered instrumental in the global transition to renewable energy, with solar now the lowest cost option for bulk electricity supply.

Read more: Australian solar pioneers win world's top engineering prize

Prof. Green said he is honoured to be elected as an international member of the NAE. “I’m delighted to be joining the NAE and thank the Academy members for their vote of confidence. I am exceptionally proud of the work my students, colleagues and I have accomplished throughout my 49 years at UNSW, and I’m thankful to everyone who has helped make solar energy our greatest weapon to fight climate change.”

Head of SPREE Alistair Sproul said: “I’m delighted for Prof. Green on this well-deserved recognition. I feel privileged to have witnessed first-hand his brilliant ability to work with broad-ranging and multi-disciplinary teams to create technologies that are contributing substantially to solving our energy crisis.”

The “Class of 2023” was inducted at the NAE’s annual meeting in Washington D.C. on Sunday. The full list of the newly elected members is available on the NAE website.