Robert Pitz-Paal, director at the Institute of Solar Research of the German Aerospace Center, has been named the 2021 recipient of the Frank Kreith Energy Award from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). The award was established in 2005 by ASME’s Solar Energy and Advanced Energy Systems Divisions to honor Dr. Frank Kreith’s contributions to the field of heat transfer and solar energy. It is awarded to honor an individual for significant contributions to a secure energy future with particular emphasis on innovations in conservation and/or renewable energy.
Pitz-Paal received the award for enabling the commercialization of several key concentration solar technologies through the development of solutions that demonstrated reliability and performance, validation and risk reduction for industry, and for educating a workforce of engineers, many of whom have been instrumental in gaining policymaker support for concentration solar power technologies.
Pitz-Paal is one of the two directors of the DLR Institute of Solar Research, the largest research institution in Germany working in the field of concentrating solar technologies. This position is jointly assigned with a professorship at Aachen University. His main research areas are the technical analysis and optimization of concentrating solar power systems for generating electricity and producing fuels. He has published more than 200 papers, book chapters, and conference contributions. He served as associate editor for the ASME Journal on Solar Energy Engineering and is associate editor of the Journal of Solar Energy. He is the chair of the SolarPACES (Solar Power and Chemical Energy Systems) technology Cooperation Programme of the IEA and member of the board of the German Industry Association for CSP (DeutscheCSP). In 2017, he received the Farrington-Daniels Award of the International Solar Energy Society (ISES).
Pitz-Paal received a diploma degree in physics from the Ludwig-Maximilians-University LMU Munich, Germany, and a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from the Ruhr-University in Bochum, Germany.
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