News Release: NREL Names Director for National Center for Photovoltaics

July 30, 2009

Dr. Ryne P. Raffaelle has been named director of the National Center for Photovoltaics at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).  Raffaelle most recently has been Academic Director for the Golisano Institute for Sustainability and Director of the NanoPower Research Laboratory at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) in New York.

“Dr. Raffaelle’s experience in scientific research and development in the private and academic sectors brings critical leadership to DOE’s and NREL’s solar program,” said Robert Hawsey, NREL associate director of renewable electricity and end use systems.  “With Dr. Raffaelle on board, we expect to build on our leadership position in solar research and accelerate photovoltaics technology research, development, and deployment to make solar energy a significant part of our energy future.”

Raffaelle has more than 20 years experience leading laboratory research teams.  While directing the two institutions at RIT, he also served as a professor of physics, microsystems engineering and sustainability and was responsible for more than $20 million in research grants in photovoltaics, thin-film processing, and nanomaterials research. He co-founded two photovoltaic and power system start-up companies: Wakonda Technologies, Inc. in 2008 and Alpha V, Inc. in 2002.   

His career included working as a visiting scientist at the NASA-Glenn Research Center; the NASA Lewis Research Center; and at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. He was an associate professor of physics and space sciences at the Florida Institute of Technology from 1992-1999.  

Raffaelle has authored or co-authored over 100 refereed publications and books.  He is co-editor of Progress in Photovoltaics and has served on the organizing committee for the past four IEEE Photovoltaics Specialists Conferences and the last World Conference.  He has a Ph.D. in physics from University of Missouri-Rolla, and bachelor of science and a master of science degrees in physics from Southern Illinois University.  

NREL is the U.S. Department of Energy's primary national laboratory for renewable energy and energy efficiency research and development. NREL is operated for DOE by the Alliance for Sustainable Energy, LLC.