BT Imaging Founder Professor Thorsten Trupke to receive prestigious international photovoltaic industry award

Uniseed congratulates Professor Thorsten Trupke, Founder of Uniseed investee BT Imaging, who will be honored by the international scientific and engineering community by being awarded the Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), Electron Devices Society (EDS), William R Cherry Award for 2021, a most prestigious international award that recognises an individual engineer or scientist who has devoted their professional life to the advancement of the science and technology of photovoltaic energy conversion.

This follows Dr Trupke receiving the 2019 Clunies Ross Innovation Award alongside BT Imaging Co-Founder Dr. Robert Bardos, and confirms Professor Trupke’s rightful place among a very select group of international scientists and engineers.

BT Imaging is a  spin-out from UNSW Sydney and Uniseed first invested in the company in 2007.  BT Imaging has gone on to be a leading supplier tools that measure the quality and performance of photovoltaic cells, with over 150 tools and modules sold worldwide and cumulative sales exceeding $50 million. BT Imaging has received numerous industry awards, including Best Photovoltaic Inspection Equipment Specialists and Innovator awards.

About the William R Cherry Award
The award is named in honor of William R. Cherry, a founder of the photovoltaic community. In the 1950’s, he was instrumental in establishing solar cells as the ideal power source for space satellites and for recognizing, advocating, and nurturing the use of photovoltaic systems for terrestrial applications. The William R. Cherry award was instituted in 1980, shortly after his death. The purpose of the award is to recognize an individual engineer or scientist who devoted a part of their professional life to the advancement of the science and technology of photovoltaic energy conversion. The nominee must have made significant contributions to the science and/or technology of PV energy conversion, with dissemination by substantial publications and presentations. Professional society activities, promotional and/or organizational efforts and achievements are not considerations in the election for the award. The award consists of a plaque, monetary award, recognition at the IEEE PVSC Opening Ceremony and a dedicated Cherry Award Talk during the Opening Ceremony.

About BT Imaging
BT Imaging’s inspection systems use proprietary photoluminescence imaging technology. With applications across the PV manufacturing supply chain, BT Imaging’s tools enable yield and cell efficiency gains for PV manufacturing lines. The company’s products enable PV manufacturers throughout the supply chain to maximize their profits and reduce manufacturing costs via contactless assessment of material and process quality. Resulting data and knowledge can be used to effectively predict cell performance, identify process faults, and enable process control and yield maximisation.

Existing production-line inspection techniques for wafers are performed only late in the manufacturing process when current-voltage characteristics of each complete cell can be measured using contacting instruments. Costs can be  be significantly reduced and product quality enhanced if inspections are able to be caried out earlier,  throughout the production process.  BT Imaging’s systems provide the solution.

The company offers standalone tools for the laboratory and fast automated tools for production lines, with applications across ingot/block manufacturing inspection as well as wafer and cell grading.

About UniSeed
Formed in 2000, Uniseed is Australia’s longest running university commercialisation fund. Uniseed has supported a number of highly successful companies arising from partner research organisations, such as the University of Melbourne’s Fibrotech (sold to Shire in 2014) and Hatchtech (sold to Dr Reddy’s Laboratories in 2015); the University of Queensland’s Spinifex (sold to Novartis in 2015); and the University of NSW’s Smart Sparrow (sold to Pearson in 2019) and Exonate (major research collaboration with J&J announced in 2020).  Uniseed is a mutual fund, owned by research organisations, for research organisations. The fund facilitates the commercialisation of its research partners’ most promising intellectual property and secures targeted investment in resulting products and technologies.