Member, Physics Advisory Board
Dr. Richard Swanson brings years of academic and applied experience as an electrical engineer to the UC Davis Physics Advisory Board. As a member of the electrical engineering faculty at Stanford University for nearly 20 years, Dr. Swanson performed groundbreaking research on the semiconductor properties of silicon, which have helped pave the way for steady improvement in silicon solar cell performance. In 1991, Dr. Swanson resigned from Stanford and devoted his full attention to SunPower Corporation, which produces the highest performance photovoltaic panels available, and has become the world’s third largest by market capitalization manufacturer and installer of photovoltaic systems.
Dr. Swanson has received widespread recognition for his work, including these recent awards: the 2009 Economist Magazine Energy Innovator Award, the 2010 Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Jin-ichi Nishizawa Medal for the conception and commercialization of high-efficiency point-contact solar cell technology, and the 2011 Karl Boer Solar Energy Medal of Merit Award. Dr. Swanson is currently retired from SunPower and serves as chairman of the Bay Area Photovoltaic Consortium Executive Board. Dr. Swanson received his B.S.E.E. and M.S.E.E. from The Ohio State University and his doctorate from Stanford University.