Photovoltaic Specialists Conference
William R. Cherry Award

This 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 l980, 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.   


This award is presented at each IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference. The recipient is selected by the William R. Cherry Committee, which is composed of past PVSC conference chairpersons and past recipients of the award. Those nominated for the award do not participate in the process.

To be eligible for the award, the nominee must currently be active in the science and technology of PV conversion. He/she must have been active in the field for an extended period with the expectation of continued activity. Short-term activities in the field, and/or single outstanding contributions are not sufficient to make a person eligible for the award.

This year the award will be presented to: 

Dr. Jerry M. Olson

Dr. Jerry Olson is currently a Principal Scientist in the III-V Materials and Devices Group of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). He has contributed to the invention of several GaInP/GaAs single and multijunction photovoltaic devices. These devices are now being produced by numerous companies for space power and terrestrial photovoltaic systems. He has also invented several novel processes for purifying silicon.

Jerry Olson received his PhD in physics from the University of Utah in 1977 and spent a year as a post doc at the Materials Research Center, Northwestern University. He then moved to the Solar Energy Research Institute (now NREL) in Golden, Colorado in 1978. From 1978 to 1983 he was the leader of the Silicon Materials Group where he invented several efficient, low-cost processes for purifying metallurgical-grade Si, one of which has recently been implemented on a large scale by a silicon solar cell company. In 1983 he became the leader of the III-V Materials and Devices Group and in 1984 invented the GaInP/GaAs tandem solar cell. The further development and refinement of this solar cell was the main project for the NREL III-V team for the next 20 years.  During that time, the team patented several other single and multijunction solar cells, transferred the technology to industry, set several world record efficiencies and garnered numerous awards, including two R&D 100 Awards in 1990 and 2001, a Federal Laboratory Consortium Award for Technology Transfer in 1997, the IEEE Electrotechnology Transfer Award in 1998 and the Dan David Prize in 2007. Devices based on the original GaInP/GaAs solar cell are now being produced by companies around the world for space power and concentrator photovoltaic systems.

Nominations are due to the Cherry Award Chair by January 10 of each year.  A nomination will remain active for 3 award cycles, after which a new nomination may be submitted.

To make a nomination, please submit a completed electronic nomination form and accompanying materials at: (  The information required on the electronic form is listed below:

1.     The name of your nominee, and his/her current affiliation and contact information.
2.     A rationale (less than 150 words) of the nominee's contributions to the advancement of the PV field. 
3.     A citation (less that 40 words) listing the nominee's specific contributions to make them deserving of the award.
4.     A list of the nominee's activities in the field.
5.     A current CV for the nominee.
6.     Nominator's name, address, phone number and e-mail address.

The deadline for Cherry Award nominations to be considered for the 37th IEEE PVSC is January 10, 2011.


Tim Anderson, Chair
University of Florida

Masafumi Yamaguchi, Award Chair
Toyota Technical Institute

Charles Backus
ASU Research Park

Sheila G. Bailey
NASA Glenn Research Center

Allen M. Barnett
University of Delaware

Paul Basore
Renewable Energy Corp. ASA

John Benner
National Renewable Energy Laboratory

Henry W. Brandhorst, Jr.
Auburn University

David E. Carlson
BP Solar

Timothy Coutts
National Renewable Energy Laboratory

Dennis J. Flood
North Coast Initiatives Ltd.

Americo F. Forestieri
MOE Consulting

Martin A. Green
University of New South Wales

Lawrence L. Kazmerski
National Renewable Energy Laboratory

Richard King
Spectrolab, Inc.

Antonio Luque
Instituto De Energia Solar – UPM

John D. Meakin
University of Delaware

Eugene Ralph
PV consulting

Ajeet Rohatgi
Georgia Institute of Technology

Richard J. Schwartz
Purdue University

Richard M. Swanson
SunPower Corporation

Robert J. Walters
Naval Research Laboratory

Stuart Wenham
University of South Wales

Christopher R. Wronski
Pennsylvania State University


Dr. Paul Rappaport 1980

Dr. Joseph L. Loferski 1981

Prof. Martin Wolf 1982

Dr. Henry W. Brandhors
t 1984

Mr. Eugene L. Ralph

Dr. Charles E. Backus

Dr. David E. Carlson 1988
Dr. Martin A. Green 1990

Mr. Peter A. Iles

Dr. Lawrence L. Kazmerski

Prof. Yoshihiro Hamakawa

Dr. Allen M. Barnett

Dr. Adolf Goetzberger

Dr. Richard J. Schwartz 1998
Dr. Christopher R. Wronski 2000

Dr. Richard M. Swanson

Dr. Ajeet Rohatgi

Dr. Timothy J. Coutts

Dr. Antonio Luque

Dr. Masafumi Yamaguchi

Dr. Stuart Wenham 2009

Dr. Richard King 2010