Last Thursday, the MIT Energy Club held its second "MIT/Boston Area Photovoltaics Community Social" of the year. This bimonthly social series is part of a coherent Energy Club program, which includes the social series and the Club's annual January IAP course on Photovoltaics, designed to build up the nascent PV community at MIT and in the Boston Area.
MIT Photovoltaics Social II turned out ~50 folks and was more internally/student focused than MIT Photovoltaics Social I. However, the MIT enthusiasm for PV is definitely on the rise.
MIT Prof. Tonio Buonassisi kicked off the event with a shot gun overview of his thoughts after having attended the EU Photovoltaics Conference recently. Interestingly, Prof. Buonassisi has just hired his first graduate student, the first critical piece of his up and coming PV research empire.... :)
The Sachs/Buonassisi MIT solar nexus was present in force, with Tonio Buonassisi and his first graduate student present. From the Sachs group long time PV researchers Jim Bredt (of Z Corp fame) and Jim Serdy were present, along with Eerik Hantsoo and the Sachs group's newest PV grad student Anjuli (whose last name I did not catch!). Jon Mapel, MIT PhD student, was present representing the great organic PV work going on in Prof. Marc Baldo's group as well.
Nol Browne, MIT Sloan alum currently with Evergreen Solar, headed the industry contingent, while Eric Emmons, Principal at everyone's favorite energy venture firm, the Massachusetts Green Energy Fund, and David Pelly, MIT alum/EIR at Matrix Partners/co-instructor of MIT's newest energy ventures course entitled "Energy Ventures", represented the investor side with aplomb.
The MIT PV Social also welcomed alum and former Club Secretary Libby Wayman back from her long stint working in Lesotho, Africa to get developing world solar thermal startup Promethean Power off the ground.
Club co-presidents, Daniel Enderton and James Schwartz, were present to field many new ideas for the Energy Club, including the possibility of creating a "Biofuels" sub community similar to the PV one that has already been formed. This is a wide open opportunity for someone who wants to get more involved with the Club!
Representatives from Green Mountain Engineering, and stealthy Harvard tech based PV-related startup SiOnyx were also present.
Looking forward to the next social in November and hope to see everyone there!