Monday, June 16, 2008

Amonix, First Solar, Stanford Ovshinsky and SunPower

Our next inductee into the Hall of Fame is Mr. Vahan Garboushian, Founder, President & CEO of Amonix, Inc. Mr. Garboushian started his career by designing and developing advanced semiconductor chips for the telecommunications industry at TRW Semiconductors. He has a significant track record in the "commercialization" of semiconductor design concepts where he combines entrepreneurial leadership with real-world competitive experience.

He has successfully founded and established companies in both the semiconductor and telecommunication fields and formed Amonix in order to focus his energy on developing and marketing state-of-the-art space & high-concentration photovoltaic cells and systems. From the onset he had the vision to bring low cost solar electricity to the mainstream and today Amonix is the recognized leader in high concentration Photovoltaic for low cost solar electricity generation.

Vahan holds a Masters degree in Electrical Engineering from UCLA and an executive diploma from MIT Sloan School of Management. He is the author of numerous papers and the recipient of multiple patents. It is my great honor to call upon Mr. Vahan Garboushian as our next inductee into the Environmental Hall of Fame.

First Solar

First Solar and it’s founder Dr. David Eaglesham into the Environmental Hall of Fame. We honor them for their leadership in bringing thin-film photovoltaics to commercial reality. They have gathered the attention and respect of the entire world PV community with their aggressive market development for thin-film CdTe module technology.

Their success, indicated by being the leading producer of PV in the U.S. and climbing to join the top 5 worldwide, is built upon sound science, R&D investments and collaborations, engineering, and timing. First Solar was the right thin-film PV manufacturer at the right time—building its capacity at the time when the world was demanding solar electricity.

Stan Ovshinsky

Stan Ovshinsky

STAN OVSHINSKY is the co-founder of Energy Conversion Devices, Inc. (ECD) with his late wife Iris Ovshinsky. He is primary inventor of ECD’s technology including the Ovonic thin-film photovoltaic technology and its continuous web multi-junction roll-to-roll machine, the Ovonic NiMH battery, the Ovonic hydrogen technology as well as Ovonic Universal Memory (OUM), also known as Phase Change Memory (PCM) which is receiving much positive attention from the semiconductor industry.

He began the field of nanostructures for a large number of applications in the early 1950s and has formed an independent new company in order to accelerate his work in energy and information that will lead to basic solutions for pollution, climate change gases and wars over oil.

His current objective is to make photovoltaic and hydrogen storage competitive with fossil fuel. He holds approximately 360 U.S. patents and is the author of over 300 scientific papers ranging from neurophysiology to amorphous semiconductors. He serves on various scientific, educational and civic boards and is the recipient of so many awards that we would be here all night if we listed only ½ of them.

Stan was inducted into the Michigan Chemical Engineering Hall of Fame in 1983 and named Michigan Scientist of the Year by Impression 5 Science Museum in 1987. He was profiled in a one-hour PBS program on NOVA entitled “Japan’s American Genius” also in 1987 and was named the Corporate Detroiter of the Year by Corporate Detroit Magazine in 1993.

In 1999 he was named "Hero for the Planet" by Time magazine and he and his wife, Iris, were named Heroes of Chemistry 2000 by the American Chemical Society for “advances in electrochemical, energy storage and energy generation, including the development of Ovonic nickel metal hydride rechargeable batteries, regenerative fuel cells, solid hydrogen storage system, and amorphous silicon photovoltaics" and for having "made significant and lasting contributions to global human welfare.”

Interviewed in the documentary “Who Killed the Electric Car,” His nickel metal hydride batteries enabled the creation of the electric and hybrid cars.

He is a fellow of the American Physical Society “for his contributions to the understanding, applications and development of amorphous electronic materials and devices” and of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He is a senior member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers; a life member of the Society of Automotive Engineers; member of the Consulting Board of the Journal of Optoelectronics and Advanced Materials; a member of the American Chemical Society; and is now a treasured member of the National Environmental Hall of Fame.


We honor SunPower for their industry leadership in crystalline silicon solar PV technology, pushing the bar on PV performance to regions many experts thought would be unachievable. SunPower has recently announced average cell efficiencies off their new commercial line in the 23.4% regime—the highest for any crystalline Si product anywhere. They lead the industry in this technology indicator.

They have also had the first confirmed Si commercial module exceeding 20% efficiency—regarded as a major benchmark toward high-performance electricity generation. They have accomplished this with an integration of excellent science, cell engineering and innovation, and the implementation of quality controls that are models for the industry.