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Wednesday, 24 July 2019

The SPIE conference WiRE will gather female researchers on renewable energy

Prof. Mónica Lira-Cantu (ICN2) and Prof. Zakya Kafafi (Lehigh University) are the Co-Chairs of the Women in Renewable Energy conference endorsed by SPIE. The event will have sessions devoted to the technical aspects of renewable energy together with a roundtable and a presentation focused on gender equality.

Next 12 August, SPIE (the international society for optics and photonics) will introduce a new conference, Women in Renewable Energy (WiRE), as part of the 2019 Optics + Photonics meeting. The event is co-sponsored by the SPIE Journal of Photonics for Energy and the SPIE Women in Optics.

The idea came from Prof. Mónica Lira-Cantu, leader of the ICN2 Nanostructured Materials for Photovoltaic Energy Group, and Prof. Zakya Kafafi, an adjunct professor at Lehigh University and the Founding Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Photonics for Energy. She was an invited keynote speaker at a conference on the stability of photovoltaics organized by Lira-Cantu last year in Barcelona. Kafafi was impressed by the level of attendance and active participation by women. “Mónica and I had the idea of organizing a conference at SPIE where we specifically invite women researchers in this broad area of energy renewables to come together and present their findings: it’s a wonderful way to show both the impact of women researchers, to showcase key trends in renewable energy research developed and led by women from around the world.” (Quote from a recent interview).

Hence, both Prof. Lira-Cantu and Prof. Kafafi are Co-Chairs of the WiRE conference, which includes four technical sessions: Progress in Halide Perovskite Solar Cells, Solar Energy Utilization and Light Management, Harvesting Energy from Photovoltaics and Triboelectrics, and Energy Conversion and Storage. See the full Programme.

This academic part is complemented with a roundtable discussion entitled “The Role of Women Scientists in Renewable Energy”. The purpose of this act is to have leading women in renewable energy share their experiences, challenges and obstacles in their careers. The journey will end with a presentation on equity, diversity and inclusion by Dr Jess Wade, from Imperial College London, and a Poster Session.