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Physics alum wins environmental research award

By Wake Forest Magazine
Yuan Li (left) receives the 'Green Talents' Award from Minister Schavan
Yuan Li (left) receives the 'Green Talents' Award from Minister Schavan

Alumnus Yuan Li (Ph.D ’12), who worked with Professor David Carroll’s group at the Wake Forest Center for Nanotechnology and Molecular Materials, recently received the Green Talents award in Berlin, Germany.

The award was presented by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research to intensify the global exchange between young researchers in environmental and sustainability research.

Li, who recently earned a doctorate in physics from the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, is leading collaboration between the United States and his native China in a field where technological advances will have a significant impact on the competitiveness of solar technologies and energy consumption patterns around the world. His area of expertise is improving the efficiency of solar cells and breaking new ground in 3-D photovoltaics.

“The German Advisory Council on Global Change predicts that solar power will account for over 60 percent of the total energy output around the world by the end of this century,” says Li. “3-D solar cells have attracted tremendous interest from scientists and industry all around the world and have the potential to dramatically improve efficiency and contribute to this kind of transformation.”