Lecturer wins Sir George Julius medal for solar research

Charles Darwin University (CDU) lecturer Dr Hooman Mehdizadeh-Rad in the lab
Charles Darwin University (CDU) lecturer Dr Hooman Mehdizadeh-Rad

A Charles Darwin University (CDU) Engineering Lecturer has received two noteworthy accolades this week, after being awarded the Young Mechanical Engineer of the Year 2022 and the Sir George Julius Medal by Engineers Australia.

CDU Mechanical Engineering Lecturer and Course Coordinator of Master of Engineering Dr Hooman Mehdizadeh-Rad from the College of Engineering, IT and Environment was awarded the Sir George Julius Medal for publishing “Heat mitigation in perovskite solar cells: The role of grain boundaries”.

Dr Mehdizadeh-Rad was the lead author on the paper which was published in Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells last year, collaborating with CDU’s Emeritus Professor of Physics Professor Jai Singh as a corresponding author.

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“We developed a novel, comprehensive and rigorous mathematical model and the relevant computer code to simulate the operating temperature of perovskite solar cells and the factors that influence their operating temperature,” Dr Mehdizadeh-Rad said.

Dr Mehdizadeh-Rad is also chartered in Mechanical Engineering and Project Management areas, with a research focus on efficient and effective ways to cool a tropical city with sustainable engineering.

“My main research goal is to investigate ways of making Darwin and other areas of the Northern Territory a cooler and greener place to live, particularly through solar energy advancements, zero energy buildings and heat mitigation,” he said.

“I want to thank CDU for the opportunity to teach, supervise and continue my research at such a supportive and innovative university.”

“It’s an honour to receive these excellent awards for my research in mechanical engineering.”

CDU’s Emeritus Professor of Physics Professor Jai Singh, who supervised Dr Mehdizadeh-Rad’s PhD in 2020, said the award highlighted dedication to advancing mechanical engineering research at CDU and in the field overall.

“I am delighted the Mechanical College Board of Engineers Australia have considered our research at Charles Darwin University worthy of such a prestigious award of recognition,” Professor Singh said.

Pro-Vice-Chancellor Research and Innovation Professor Steve Rogers congratulated Dr Mehdizadeh-Rad on his achievements that highlight the importance of the engineering profession to the Territory.

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“This is an extremely prestigious award, and we wish to congratulate Hooman on his commitment to his profession,” Professor Rogers said.

“Engineers are driving a range of improvements in the way Territorians live, work, commute and socialise and its fantastic to see more of our students choosing to study in fields such as engineering that have a growing job demand.”

The Young Mechanical Engineer of the Year Award acknowledges the achievement and contribution of a young mechanical engineer, technologist or associate in the field of mechanical engineering, including their commitment to professional development and attaining Chartered Status.

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