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8 great women in solar (business and science) Options
Posted: Thursday, December 21, 2017 8:52:54 AM

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This article takes a look at 8 women who have played a part in making solar energy a dominant entity in global energy.

Izumi Kaizuka, RTS, Japan
Izumi has dedicated her life to the study of the global photovoltaic industry its technologies, business models and deployment. Izumi majored in Chemistry at Tokyo Metropolitan University. After graduation, she joined Lion Corp. as a researcher working in R&D for specialty chemicals for surface modification of polymers and electro conductive materials.

Renate Egan, UNSW, Australia
Currently an Associate Professor at the University of New South Wales, Australia, Dr. Renate Egan leads UNSW’s activity in one of the last remaining bastions of pure research in the solar industry, the Australian Centre for Advanced Photovoltaics (ACAP).

Dr. Egan has served as managing director of R&D at Suntech Australia as well as CTO and managing director at CSG Solar AG. Her focus is on manufacturing costs, new technology development and the development, management and use of data for better analysis and decision making.

Darlene McCalmont, McCalmont Engineering, U.S.
Of her career, Darlene McCalmont says, “I always say I left the dark side of chemical manufacturing for the bright side of solar even though I feel my operations experience in the chemical industry has played well into why I have been successful in the solar industry. Being part of the solar industry growth has definitely left me feeling good every day about what I do and the contribution to the environment I have made.”

Terry Jester, COO Solaria, USA & Chairman Silicor Materials, Iceland
Terry Jester, a pioneer in PV manufacturing, began her solar career in 1979 at ARCO Solar as a mechanical engineer working on solar module design and reliability. She has spent 38 years working on producing and refining the cost and performance of solar cells and modules. Her early work focused on creating a product that could be warranted for 25 years, which was accomplished in the late 1980s.

Sheila Bailey, NASA, U.S.
She has been a senior physicist working in photovoltaics at NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC) for 33 years, has authored and co-authored over 170 journal and conference articles and 16 book chapters, and holds two patents. Recent projects include nanomaterials and nanostructures for space photovoltaics, quantum wire III-V solar cells and quantum dot alpha-voltaics. She is on the Editorial Board of “Progress in Photovoltaics.”

Sarah Kurtz, University of California Merced, U.S.
Dr. Sarah Kurtz joined NREL in 1985 as a post-doc and now teaches at the University of California Merced. She has the honor of being the first woman to win the PV industry’s prestigious Cherry Award.

Sarah has worked tirelessly for 20 years. Dr. Kurtz’s body of work has helped the acceleration of growing high-quality cells and measuring multi-junction cells. More recently, she has looked at reliability issues of integrating multi-junction cells and solar PV in general into larger systems.

Christiana Honsberg, Arizona State University, U.S.
Among other things, including her mentoring of young PV professionals over the years, she was honored for her work advancing the understanding of intermediate band, interband and quantum well approaches to PV manufacturing. Dr. Honsberg is a co-inventor of the Very High Efficiency Solar Cell (VHESC) that combines optical/solar cell architectures to produce a sum-of-the-efficiencies result of 42.8 percent.

Nicola Pearsall, Northumbria University, U.K.
Professor Nicola Pearsall is a lecturer and researcher and the director of the Northumbria Photovoltaics Applications Centre and leader of its Energy Systems research group. Professor Pearsall earned a degree from the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology with an honors degree in Physics and earned her PhD for research into indium phosphide solar cells for space applications from the Cranfield Institute of Technology.
Posted: Thursday, December 21, 2017 1:35:00 PM
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Thanks Proggy for bringing that to the Forum.

One of my Twitter accounts is mainly composed of female academics and weekly they are digging up more and more women whom history has sidelined.

When any woman over 35 was growing up we all did so without female role models. Anyone over 50 had also to battle against the entrenched belief of most of our elders, that women just don't have the kinds of brains to excel in business, academic, scientific, artistic, political, or military fields.

It was Grace Darling & Florence Nightingale for us, or nothing!

It's making such a difference to modern young women knowing that's all tripe; and being able to point to females both in the world and in their lives, who have inspired them in every one of these disciplines.
Posted: Thursday, January 11, 2018 10:49:41 AM

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One major exception to all this is the first person ever to receive two Nobel Prizes; one of the two people who have ever received two Nobel Prizes in different fields of science; and, of course, the first woman to receive even one; the first woman to take a professor's chair in Paris.

Marie Curie was determined.

Though she and her husband often worked together and when they were invited to speak in London, she was not allowed on the podium, she (and her husband too) worked hard to keep HER name in the forefront.

In the Biography written by Robert Reid, he says:
The idea was her own; no one helped her formulate it, and although she took it to her husband for his opinion she clearly established her ownership of it. She later recorded the fact twice in her biography of her husband to ensure there was no chance whatever of any ambiguity. It is likely that already at this early stage of her career Marie realized that... many scientists would find it difficult to believe that a woman could be capable of the original work in which she was involved.

She did have to work at being accepted - she never did become a member of the Academie - when her name was on the list of candidates a man (I've forgotten his name even!), whose only claim was that he was one of Marconi's assistants, was elected - beating her by a very few votes.

Everyone has heard of Marie Curie - few would be able to say that her husband was called Pierre (though one might guess it!)
Posted: Thursday, January 11, 2018 11:41:29 AM
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Drago - even back in the day we were told about Marie Curie, but didn't learn how she had been sidelined until in Secondary school. And then, godelpus, we thought that was just a one-off. Her treatment had been public knowledge - we thought that was enough: surely it would never happen again now everyone knew about it.

Since then I've come to understand how gormless we were to think Man's inhumanity to women only needed to be made public and it would stop! Women in every field have been treated every bit as badly as Curie - many of them even worse. I bet no-one knows, offhand, which female scientists were involved in The Manhattan Project; nor which one had to stand back while her two (male) *assistants* accepted her Award?
Posted: Thursday, January 11, 2018 1:10:20 PM

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Romany, there was an article in the paper this morning that if I point it out, it generalizes from prizes by women to the treatment of women in politics, in particular premiers in Canada. We have managed to elect 8 provincial women premiers, but they all became unpopular and were treated differently from males if hardships came up. Not one was reelected even if they were doing a good job. Ontario is doing the same to Premier Wynne right now.

I didn't like her selling part of Hydro One until I saw she bought stakes in power plants in the US but she has done other good things to help young people and the vulnerable. Her opponent has no platform but worse still, I would never vote for anyone, male or female, who cannot admit a mistake and apologize. (See how that works out with Donald Trump for instance.) I mentioned before how her opponent said the Premier was on trial and refused to apologize when it was pointed out she was only a witness. She is suing him unless he apologizes. She is also a gay woman so has had abuse for that.

I wonder if I will live to see any real changes in my life time re treatment of women and minorities in all walks of life. I doubted it, but Proggy's OP gives us hope.

Edited - I googled to see what the renewable energy sector is like in Canada for women.
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