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Mar 19, 2013 | Atlanta, GA
Ajeet Rohatgi has been named as the John H. Weitnauer, Jr. Chair in the College of Engineering and as a Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar. Dr. Rohatgi also holds the title of Regents’ Professor and has been on the faculty of the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) at Georgia Tech since 1985.
Dr. Rohatgi started his research and educational program in solar cells, literally from scratch, when he arrived at Georgia Tech in the mid-1980s. In 1992, the U.S. Department of Energy (DoE) awarded the nation’s first University Center of Excellence in Photovoltaics Research and Education (UCEP) to Dr. Rohatgi and his team, and the DoE has continuously funded by the Center since that time. The program has generated more than $40 million in external support and attracts many international visitors.
During his career, Dr. Rohatgi and his team have produced many record high efficiency solar cells and more than 400 technical papers. During the 1996 Olympics, the photovoltaics (PV) program showcased one of the world’s largest grid-connected systems on top of the Georgia Tech Aquatic Center. The system still produces 400 megawatt-hours annually, which is equal to the energy consumed by 50 homes.
Dr. Rohatgi is also the co-founder and chief technical officer of Suniva, an Atlanta-based solar cell manufacturing company, spun out of UCEP patents and intellectual property. Suniva is the only U.S.-based manufacturer of high-efficiency monocrystalline silicon solar cells in the Southeast using advanced, low-cost techniques to make solar-generated electricity cost-competitive with fossil fuels. Suniva has been named Georgia’s fastest growing small mid-market company, employing a diverse workforce of approximately 200 people.
Equally dedicated to PV education, Dr. Rohatgi has developed courses and built state-of-the-art labs for characterizing, modeling, and fabricating solar cells. He also established a PV Educational Support Program that provides practical training and education for Georgia Tech researchers and for other university PV programs in the U.S.
An IEEE Fellow, Dr. Rohatgi has won many technical society, government, and industrial awards for his work, including the Environmental Protection Agency Climate Award and the American Solar Energy Society Hoyt Clark Hottel Award. He has also been recognized at Georgia Tech with numerous educational, research, and commercialization honors, including most recently the ECE Distinguished Faculty Achievement Award and the Georgia Tech Outstanding Achievement in Research Innovation Award. Dr. Rohatgi was also named among the “Champions of PV” by Renewable Energy World Magazine in 2010.