The Bill Baron Award

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The Bill N. Baron Fellowship is awarded to two students each year in recognition of their contributions to Photovoltaic R&D at the University of Delaware. Recipients must maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or above, and execute an exceptional piece of supervised research in engineering, science, or energy policy in the renewable energy field with a strong preference for research emphasizing photovoltaics.

The Fellowship is awarded in memory of Bill N. Baron (1943-1992), who served UD and the PV community from 1975 to 1992 as a scientist, manager, and deputy director at the IEC. Throughout his professional life Bill was especially interested in students, devoting many hours to teaching both graduates and undergraduates how to carry out creative and effective research in photovoltaics.

Bill's family, colleagues, and friends established the Fellowship to ensure that students would continue to benefit from Bill's concern for their education.

Bill N. Baron Fellowship award winners:

Erik Koepf (2012), a graduate student in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, came to the University of Delaware with a Bachelor's degree in Physics from Occidental College in Los Angeles, California. Erik traveled to Zurich this year to the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology as a visiting researcher. His thesis project focuses on clean and renewable solar-thermal production of fuels via a two-step thermochemical water-splitting cycle, demonstration, experimentation, and concept patent on the 10kW scale. Research areas include solar-thermal reactor design, finite element modeling, prototype construction, laboratory scale demonstration, powder handling and characterization, laser-plane vortex flow visualization, and experimental system design. An April 3, 2012 article in UDaily titled "Bottling Sunlight" recognized Erik's advanced research.

Kenneth Schmieder (2012), a graduate student in the Department of Electrical Engineering, came to the University of Delaware with a Master's degree from Villanova University. His dissertation focuses on the application of predictive first-principles modeling of previously unexplored solar material systems and verification against experimental growth and device fabrication results. Ken has developed full III-V multijunction device fabrication recipes to predict and advance the ability to make better devices. In addition, he has applied advanced characterization techniques to novel two terminal and three terminal devices. Ken is a key investigator on an awarded international grant proposal.