Australian Solar Hall of Fame
Our Hall of Fame, an initiative of the Australian Solar Council, have been there from the solar industry's inception. Their passion, guidance and support has helped our industry to grow and mature into one of the most advanced in the world.
Here we honour Australia’s leading solar practitioners:
- Emeritus Professor John Ballinger AM FRAIA
- Prof. Andrew Blakers
- Ric Brazzale
- Professor Bill Charters
- Brian England
- Professor Martin Green AM FAA FTSE
- Emeritus Professor Stephen Kaneff
- Dr. David Mills
- Professor Graham Morrison
- Associate Professor Monica Oliphant
- Fiona O’Hehir
- Wal Read
- Dr. Zhengrong Shi
- Honorary Associate Professor Steve Szokolay AM
- Dr. Muriel Watt
- Professor Stuart Wenham
Professor John Ballinger was a Professor of Architecture at UNSW where he was the founder of the National Solar Architecture Research Unit.
John Ballinger was a pioneer of energy ratings, appointed Project Manager for the Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme in the 1990s and chair of the Technical Advisory Committee to the Five Star Design Rating Scheme in the 1980s. He has over 50 solar efficient buildings and 150 publications to his name.
His research projects included the first experimental solar house in Australia and the first Solar Village in Australia, both in NSW. He also incorporated the Australian and New Zealand Solar Energy Society (ANZSES).
Professor Andrew Blakers
Andrew Blakers is Professor of Engineering at the Australian National University. He has held four personal Fellowships (a Humboldt Fellowship, the Queen Elizabeth II and Senior Research Fellowships of the Australian Research Council, and a Radio Research Board Fellowship). He is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering, the Australian Institute of Physics and the Australian Institute of Energy, and is a Life Member of the International Solar Energy Society and the Australian Conservation Foundation.
He is a Public Policy Fellow at ANU in recognition of his extensive outreach activities. He has published more than 400 papers and patents, has won numerous national and international awards, and contributes to numerous review and granting panels. Leadership roles have included Foundation Director of the Centre for Sustainable Energy Systems at ANU, Node Director of the ARENA Australian Centre for Advanced Photovoltaics, Director of the ARC Centre for Solar Energy Systems, and Node Director of the Australian CRC for Renewable Energy.
He was lead inventor of PERC silicon solar cell technology (current sales about $9 billion per year) and co-inventor of Sliver solar cell technology, the subject of a $240 million commercialisation effort by Transform solar (including $11 million royalties paid to ANU). He has extensive project management experience, and has procured more than $100 million in externally-sourced research-related funding. In recent years he has contributed to analysis of 100% renewable energy futures, including pumped hydro energy storage.
Ric Brazzale is the Managing Director of Green Energy Trading and has more than 30 years experience in the energy sector.
Prior to establishing Green Energy Trading in 2007, Ric was the Executive Director of the Business Council for Sustainable Energy (BCSE), now the Clean Energy Council, and a leading advocate for renewable energy and energy efficiency markets in Australia.
During this time, Ric was actively involved in the development and implementation of a broad range of solar energy and energy efficiency policies and programs, including participating on the Government’s initial REC Advisory Committee.
Before joining the BCSE, Ric worked in a number of business development and finance roles with large publicly listed companies, including Fletcher Challenge Energy, John Holland and Woodside Petroleum.
Professor Charters has had over 45 years experience as a mechanical engineer and over 35 years in academic research and development in the field of solar thermal systems and energy conservation and efficiency through the Department of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering at the University of Melbourne.
He has acted as a senior energy consultant to state, federal, United Nations, and other energy agencies worldwide for almost thirty years and was Foundation Chairman of the Victorian Solar Energy Council from 1980 to 1988. Prof Charters was Chief Technical Advisor to the UN Development Program on the formation of the regional solar test facility in India from 1989 to 1993.
He is a recipient of the CSIRO Research Medal in 1988 for solar heat pump research, the Achievement Through Action Award in 1991 and the Farrington Daniels Award in 1993 from the International Solar Energy Society and was a gold medal award winner from World Renewable Energy Congress in 1998.
Brian has been designing, selling and installing solar since 1976 when the industry was in it’s infancy.
Co-founder of ATRAA in 1979 and involved in industry representation through it’s various incarnations of SEIAA (Solar Energy Industry Association of Australia), BCSE (Australian Business Council for Sustainable Energy) and CEC (Clean Energy Council). Currently National Chairman of SEIA (Solar Energy Industries Association).
Since 1976 he has been installing off-grid systems, back then dealing with issues of battery installation, storage safety and performance, design criteria for battery life and logistics, followed by grid systems and now grid with energy storage. In addition, with a degree in Business Management, Brian has been delivering training in business management, marketing and financials for many years to promote business success.
Professor Green is Scientia Professor at the University of NSW and Executive Research Director of the ARC Photovoltaic Centre of Excellence. His group is well known internationally for its work on developing the world’s highest efficiency silicon solar cells and for getting these improvements into production.
Professor Green has been made a Member of the Order of Australia for this work. Former students hold key positions in the photovoltaic manufacturing industry worldwide. He is the author of six books on solar cells and numerous papers in the area of semiconductors, microelectronics, optoelectronics and solar cells.
His other awards include the 1999 Australia Prize, the 2002 Right Livelihood Award (also known as the Alternative Nobel Prize), the 2004 World Technology Award for Energy, the 2007 SolarWorld Einstein Award, the 2009 ENI Award for Renewable and Non-Conventional Energy and the 2010 Eureka Prize.
Emeritus Professor Kaneff founded the Energy Conversion Group, within the ANU Department of Engineering Physics, which had the objective of ascertaining the feasibility of the mass utilisation of solar energy.
Emeritus Professor Kaneff led the first major flagship project undertaken in solar energy in Australia, the White Cliffs facility. The White Cliffs project led directly to the 400 m2 ANU “Big Dish” in the 1990s, and another in Israel, as well as several other major projects. When it was commissioned in the 1990s the Big Dish was the world’s largest solar dish collector.
David Mills has worked in non-imaging optics, solar thermal energy, and solar concentrating systems since 1976. He joined the Department of Applied Physics at the University of Sydney in 1980 and ran the research project with colleague Dr Zhang Q-C, developing the double cermet sputtered selective absorber coating now used widely on evacuated tubes throughout China for the production of solar hot water. This technology may be the largest scale solar technology currently in use globally.
Dr Mills also developed the compact linear fresnel reflector solar thermal electricity concept in the early 1990’s at the University of Sydney, co-founded Solar Heat and Power in 2002, and co-founded Ausra Inc. in California in 2006.
Dr Mills was president of the International Solar Energy Society from 1997-99 and served as inaugural Chair of the International Solar Cities Initiative.
Professor Morrison is Emeritus Professor at the School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering at the University of New South Wales. He has been involved in solar thermal energy research and education for more than 35 years.
He was Director of the Solar Thermal Energy Group at UNSW until 2005. He was a co-founder of Solar Heat & Power Pty Ltd (later Ausra now AREVA Solar) and developed the steam generation compact linear Fresnel concentrator used at Liddell power station and for the Solar Dawn Solar Flagships solar power station.
He has contributed to the development of Australian and international standards for solar thermal products and has worked extensively through the United Nations Development Programme on the development of solar thermal energy test centres in India and China.
Monica Oliphant is a physicist who was involved in solar thermal research at Flinders University and served for 18 years as Principal Energy Research Scientist at ETSA, in South Australia.
She has participated on a number of Federal and State Government committees, including the 2003 MRET Review and Board Member of the South Australian Premier’s Round Table in Sustainability, Renewables SA and the CSIRO Energy Transformed Flagship.
She is an Adjunct A/Professor at the University of SA, Flinders University and Charles Darwin University, a senior advisor for the International Energy Conservation, Environmental Protection Association, Beijing and the UNIDO International Solar Energy Centre for Technology Promotion and Transfer.
She was President of the International Solar Energy Society from 2008-09.
Fiona O’Hehir is CEO of Greenbank Environmental. She has a technical background in power electronics and power conversion technologies and has been in the renewable energy industry for 20 years.
In 2003 Fiona started her own business aiming to educate the solar industry about the RET and the need to create their solar credits for the remote area power and grid connected installations. Twelve years on, Greenbank Environmental is one of the largest independent trader of RECs and other environmental credits in Australia.
Fiona has spent six years as an elected industry representative on the board of the CEC, two years on the board of Renewables SA and is also the Vice President of the REC Agents Association (RAA).
Wal Read was one of the pioneers of solar thermal engineering in Australia. The work by Wal Read and his colleague Roger Morse at the CSIRO in the 1950s made Australian solar hot water systems about 20% more efficient than other systems than currently in use.
Wal Read was an early honorary secretary of the Australian New Zealand Solar Energy Society and managed the Australian section of the International Solar Energy Society for many years, as well as the ISES headquarters in Melbourne until its move to Germany in 1994.
Zhengrong Shi was born in Wuxi, Jiangsu province, China and obtained his PhD at the School of Photovoltaic and Renewable Energy Engineering at UNSW.
He acquired Australian citizenship and returned to China in 2001 to set up his solar power company – Suntech Power, now the world’s largest manufacturer of solar panels.
Dr Shi was elected Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering in 2009.
In his early career, Dr Szokolay practised as an architect in Sydney and London. He taught in Liverpool, Nairobi, London and since 1974 at the University of Queensland.
He has been a consultant for several UN organisations, President of the ANZ Architectural Science Association, a director of the International Solar Energy Society, Chairman of the Australian New Zealand Solar Energy Society on two occasions, President of Passive and Low Energy Architecture International. He was also the founder of “Solar Energy Progress” an annual publication, which became “Solar Progress” in 1980.
Dr Szokolay has published over a dozen books and well over 150 research papers, mostly on solar energy and energy conservation in buildings, climatic design and sustainable architecture.
Dr Szokolay received the ANZSES ‘special award’ (2001), the Order of Australia (AM), for his solar work and the Centenary Award (2002) for his educational achievement.
Dr Muriel Watt is the Head of Energy Policy & Photovoltaics at IT Power Australia a leading international energy consultancy.
Prior to this, she was a Senior Lecturer, School of Photovoltaics and Renewable Energy Engineering, UNSW, a role she retains on a part-time basis. She has worked in government energy agencies, private companies and the University on energy-related matters since 1980, with a strong focus on renewable energy research, development, technologies, deployment and policies.
She is the Australian representative and member of the management board of the Executive Committee of the International Energy Agency Photovoltaics Power Systems Programme, Chair of the Australian PV Association and a member of the Enterprise Connect Clean Technology Advisory Committee. Past appointments include Chair of ANZSES and Chair of the Policy Group for the Australian CRC for Renewable Energy.
Scientia Professor Stuart Wenham was a pioneering researcher and inventor of solar technologies.
Director of the ARC Photovoltaic Centre of Excellence at UNSW’s Engineering Faculty his influence as an Australian engineer on the global transition to renewables was considerable.
In a career spanning more than a quarter-century, Professor Wenham invented or co-invented eight suites of solar cell technologies that have been licensed to solar cell makers around the world. The companies that have signed manufacturing, research and licensing agreements based on these technologies span the world and include world-leading solar makers like Suntech-Power, BP Solar, and Samsung, which have annual production volumes valued at hundreds of millions of dollars.
In 2007 Professor Wenham received the World Technology Award for Energy in recognition of these technologies and their growing impact on the performance and vitality of solar cell industry. In 2009 he received the IEEE’s William Cherry Award, for his outstanding contributions to the advancement of photovoltaic science and technology.
Wenham passed away peacefully on Saturday 23 December 2017.