Professor Henry Snaith

Professor Snaith awarded Louisville’s renewable energy prize

Photovoltaics and nanoscience
Condensed Matter Physics

Professor Henry Snaith has been awarded the University of Louisville’s 2021 Leigh Ann Conn Prize for Renewable Energy. The biennial award acknowledges, publicises and disseminates outstanding ideas and achievements in research related to the science, engineering, technology, and commercialisation of renewable energy.

The Leigh Ann Conn Prize Committee recognises Professor Snaith’s pioneering efforts and innovative, ground-breaking discoveries concerning the optoelectronic nature of metal halide perovskites and their ability to operate efficiently in multi-junction ‘perovskite-on-silicon’ solar cells as well as driving their commercialisation via Oxford PV Ltd.

‘We applaud Professor Snaith’s focus on developing economical, durable solar technology, one that efficiently utilises energy as a highly visible, popularised idea moving beyond purely academic contexts to address emerging grand challenges in renewable energy,’ comments Andrew Marsh, Program Officer for the Leigh Ann Conn Prize for Renewable Energy at the University of Louisville. ‘Professor Snaith’s research is credited for high originality, creativity, and scientific merit while also possessing the promise of global economic impact on energy consumption and demand reduction. As indicated by peer review, his concepts have centred on transforming the mechanisms of solar cell material functionality while providing a basis of intellectual stimulation for young people by fostering scientific participation and inspiring future generations to undertake STEM initiative-based research.’

A great honour

‘Receiving this award is a great honour since it recognises both our scientific endeavours and efforts towards realising real benefit to society and the environment though our industrial activities with Oxford PV Ltd,’ comments Professor Snaith. ‘A sustainable future is only possible if we transition to close to 100% renewable power generation over the next few decades. Winning this award will help to build the momentum by raising awareness, and encourage others to focus efforts upon tackling this key global challenge.’

‘This is a wonderful achievement and richly deserved,’ confirms Professor Ian Shipsey, Head of the Department of Physics. ‘Henry’s work is indeed ground-breaking; photovoltaic research is vital if we are to address the impact of energy use on the Earth’s climate and Henry’s group is leading the way.’

Professor Laura Herz is Associate Head for Research for the Maths, Physics and Life Sciences division at Oxford and concludes: ‘Professor Snaith’s research is not only at the forefront of science but, as this award recognises, his practical, commercial approach means that it stands to enormously benefit society in very real terms. It is a fantastic example of our research portfolio here at Oxford and I congratulate Professor Snaith on this achievement.’