Dr Suhas Mahesh is one of 28 early-career scientists awarded a Schmidt Science Fellowship joining a global lifelong community of 84 fellows working at the intersection of disciplines to advance science for the public benefit. Awardees are chosen from more than 400 nominations of 'most exceptional' PhD students by the world’s leading science and technology institutions.
Former Google chairman and CEO Eric Schmidt, and his wife Wendy Schmidt, fund the award with the intention of investing early in interdisciplinary scientific leaders. The award consists of a $100,000 per year personal stipend, five weeks of convenings in scientific and technological powerhouses, and a personalised mentorship programme under leading scientists.
Next-gen solar cells
Dr Mahesh’s PhD research under Professor Henry Snaith FRS harnessed a breakthrough semiconductor, hybrid perovskite, to develop next generation solar cells that produce 30% more energy with lower operating costs. Dr Mahesh now aims to pivot into machine learning and automated materials discovery to exploit the enormous potential of this new class of materials. By applying machine learning and robotic discovery to billions of possible materials, Dr Mahesh aims to accelerate perovskite discovery and its application to clean energy technology such as photovoltaic cells and battery storage.
'It is a real honour to join the Schmidt Fellows community,' comments Dr Mahesh. 'I am particularly grateful for the freedom it affords me in delving into a discipline different from my doctorate. This is extremely rare and valuable in the context of contemporary research culture which promotes early hyper specialisation.'
Find out more about the Schmidt Science Fellows: https://schmidtsciencefellows.org/