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Top 100 : 2011
ENGINEERS AUSTRALIA | JUNE 2011 63 Innovation Stuart Wenham, 53 Director, ARC Photovoltaics Centre of Excellence, Scientia Professor, University of NSW Electrical engineer, University of NSW Professor Stuart Wenham is one of Australia s pioneers in the field of solar cell technology. In total, he has invented or co-invented eight suites of solar cell technologies which have subsequently been licenced for manufacture and distribution across the globe. Two of the most notable of these designs are the Buried Contact Solar Cell, which was listed as one of Australia s top 100 inventions of the 20th century; and the Pluto solar cell technology, which won the 2010 UK Energy Institute Technology Award for being the most commercially successful new photovoltaic technology. Based on present manufacturing capacity, about $1billion worth of Pluto solar cell products are being produced per annum. Wenham has received a number of other awards in recognition of his work, including the New York Stock Exchange-sponsored World Technology Award for Energy in 2006, and the William R Cherry Award in 2009. Gernot Heiser, 53 Director, Consulting Scientist and Founder, Open Kernel Labs (OK Labs), Sydney Computer engineer, ETH Zurich, Switzerland Gernot Heiser is a Scientia Professor and the John Lions Chair for operating systems at the School of Computer Science and En- gineering at the University of NSW. He also serves as the leader of the Software Systems Research Group at NICTA, with which he has been involved since its establishment in 2002. A computer science specialist, Heiser s research is tailored towards microkernels and microkernel-based systems in addition to virtual machines. His software startup company, OK Labs, develops microkernel- based hypervisors and operating systems for embedded systems. It was co-founded by Heiser in 2006, and while it is headquartered in Chicago, the R&D is conducted under Heiser s guidance in Sydney. In his role as director of OK Labs, he codeveloped the OKL4 microkernel, which to date has been shipped in more than 1.2 billion phones across the globe. He served as the company s chief technology officer. Aibing Yu, 48 Scientia Professor, ARC Federation Fellow, University of NSW, Sydney Material/chemical engineer, University of Wollongong Professor Aibing Yu is recognised as a leading expert in particle/powder technology and process engineering. He leads the Simula- tion and Modelling of Particulate Systems (SIMPAS) research facility at the University of NSW, whose research has yielded consider- able advancements for engineering practice in the mineral, metallurgical, material and chemical industries. Through the ARC and other competitive schemes, he has attracted more than $15 million in external research funds to UNSW in the past decade. Yu has authored over 550 publications, delivered numerous plenary and keynote addresses at various international confer- ences, and organised numerous conferences including the upcoming 3rd International Engineering Foundation Conference on Particulate Processes in the Pharmaceuti- cal Industry, which is to be hosted on the Gold Coast. TOP 100 COVER STORY L-r : Professors Stuart Wenham, Gernot Heiser and Aibing Yu see things from the students perspective at a lecture hall in the University of NSW .