37th EU PVSEC, 07 - 11 September 2020

EU PVSEC Conference General Chair: Prof. Nicola Pearsall

We are proud to announce that Prof. Nicola Pearsall, Emerita Professor of Renewable Energy in the Faculty of Engineering and Environment of Northumbria University, UK, will be the General Chairwoman for the EU PVSEC 2020.

Prof. Pearsall was the Head of the Newcastle Photovoltaics Applications Group at Northumbria University until her retirement in 2018 and continues to collaborate with the PV research community in a variety of UK and European projects.

In her research career, Prof. Pearsall has addressed a wide range of topics in photovoltaics, the development of space solar cells, in which she received her PhD, thin film compound solar cells, building integrated photovoltaic systems and environmental impact assessment. Her current research relates to PV system performance assessment and correlation with system design and implementation, with the aim of obtaining the highest lifetime output of the system.

“Perhaps more than ever it is important to maintain our collaborative activities. I hope you will be able to join us at EU PVSEC to refresh and develop networks, to learn about the latest developments in photovoltaic technology and to contribute to the debate on how we can use the technology to protect and enhance our energy supply.”- Prof. Nicola Pearsall

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We are delighted to welcome such an experienced person as General Chair and are confident, that together we will ensure to make the EU PVSEC 2020 Online a great success.

Introductory words from Conference General Chair Prof. Nicola Pearsall

Having spent all my research career working in photovoltaics, the European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference (EU PVSEC) has been a fixture in my diary since my days as a young post-doctoral researcher. I studied physics at university and then obtained my PhD working on the development of solar cells based on indium phosphide, a material with excellent radiation resistance and so, at the time, a strong candidate for use is space systems. Several years later, whilst leading a collaborative project developing the cells, our team got the chance to participate in several flight tests on microsatellites – a chance to mix my interests in solar energy and space systems.

Whilst I already had an interest in solar energy when I started my PhD, I didn’t realise that it would be sustained across the whole of my research career. I have worked in lots of areas of PV research, from making the cells to monitoring and analysing PV systems and investigating the environmental impact of making and using PV devices. For example, I was involved in designing, installing and analysing the first building integrated façade system in the UK, on one of our Northumbria University buildings. So, I was always considering new topics and research ideas. I think that the possibility of working across a variety of topics and with a wide range of partners has helped to maintain my fascination with photovoltaics throughout my career.

There are two particular aspects of the EU PVSEC that I look forward to each year. Firstly, the range of topics covered during the week allows me to keep up with the current advances in a variety of areas. Secondly, it is an opportunity to catch up with friends and colleagues and make new contacts for the future. Of course, this year is, by necessity, somewhat different and will make it more difficult to achieve this second aspect. Nonetheless, there will be a lot of opportunities to get in touch with old friends and even make new ones via the networking lounges and chat possibilities provided by the EU PVSEC.

The range of presentations remains and, since there will be an opportunity to catch up with sessions over a period after the conference, it will actually be easier to listen to all the presentations in which I am interested. I encourage everyone to take this opportunity to explore some topics outside their normal research area – it may help you identify future challenges and interests for your research.