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Dr Bjorn Sturmberg stands on a rooftop covered in solar panels

Dr Bjorn Sturmberg

Bachelor of Science (Advanced Maths) (Honours) 2011, PhD 2016
Bjorn's PhD research investigated light trapping nanostructures and metamaterials to improve the efficiency of solar cells. He was the recipient of an Australian Solar Institute PhD scholarship and in 2012 he won the Helen Beh Citizenship.

During Bjorn's PhD he was the lead developer of a novel software package for theoretical physics simulation, which he released open source in 2014. In 2016 he co-initiated and managed the first installation of a Solar + Storage system in an Australian apartment block, a project that won an Environmental Performance - Innovation Grant from the City of Sydney.

In his own words

“My PhD thesis was entitled The optical physics of dielectric nanostructures: enabling improved photovoltaic designs.

"The aim of my research was to improve the efficiency of solar cells by introducing nanostructures. Essentially I worked at the tiniest scale to pattern the surface of solar cells so they matched the wavelength of sunlight. We focused on understanding the fundamental effects at play, and found that we could intelligently design structures that significantly outperformed existing designs as well as randomly composed structures.

"In order to carry out my studies my supervisors and I developed a new mathematical approach and wrote a software program that implements our methods. We made this program available for free, and it is now used by other researchers around the world.”