Simon Zhang RLX_9628c.jpg


Employment experience:

2018 – 2019: Project Assistant (CLP Group, Hong Kong) 

2017 – 2019: Research Assistant (UNSW)


2019 – Now: Doctor of Philosophy in Photovoltaic Engineering (UNSW) 

2014 – 2018: Bachelor of Photovoltaics Engineering (UNSW) 

Research interests:

  • Characterising cell-level field degradation of photovoltaic modules 

  • Developing a Suns-Voc characterisation method for perovskite solar cells 

  • Investigating the illumination- and temperature-dependent behaviour of silicon solar cells using a temperature-dependent Suns-Voc method 

  • Characterising the optics of photovoltaic module components under field temperatures  


Why is your research important? 

My research has two unifying themes: (1) introducing established characterisation techniques to novel fields within photovoltaics; (2) validating photovoltaic technologies for long-term field conditions. The former, under which both of my Suns-Voc projects fall, fills a gap in characterisation method development for different photovoltaic materials. It therefore has high potential to provide novel findings from previously unconsidered perspectives. My field-oriented studies aim to ensure that state-of-the-art technologies developed in the laboratory can translate into solar modules which maintain high performance throughout their long lifetimes. 

What do you like about research?  

The sense of contributing towards a world-saving project; and participating in the advancement of knowledge. It’s difficult to get elsewhere; the feeling of applying creativity to solve a problem and discovering a new piece of knowledge. Doing research has also been a great character building and personal growth opportunity for me. 

What do you like to do when you are not saving the world?  

I run QED, a small knowledge-sharing community that is slightly more hardcore than TED. I’m also a passable amateur Chinese Chess player, and avid reader of detective stories. I am also a member of the Effective Altruism community, which means I’m hoping to save the world off-work too!