Former Principal Scientist, NREL
Rommel Noufi was Principal Scientist and Group manager at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) where he led a large group of scientists, engineers, and technicians by providing strategic technical vision and direction to the evolving needs of the Department of Energy and the photovoltaic industry. Under Noufi’s guidance, the fundamental understanding of the material characteristics and electronic properties was developed which served as the seed and catalyst for an emerging multi-billion dollar thin-film photovoltaic industry. During Noufi’s tenure, NREL became the repeated leader in achieving thin film efficiency records up to the current 20.7% for CIGS.
In addition to leading development at NREL, Noufi developed a deep level of public-private respect which lead to numerous collaborative projects.
Noufi has published over 200 research papers in the fields of photovoltaic devices, materials research, applied physics, thin-film photoelectrochemistry/electrochemistry, fabrication of photovoltaic materials and devices, high temperature superconducting films, conducting polymers, and has 10 issued NREL Patents, of which 6 are licensed to the thin film industry. Noufi received his Ph.D. from the University of Texas (1978) in Analytical/Physical Chemistry. Noufi has numerous awards including NREL's 2010 Distinguished Innovator Award and, in 1993, was recognized for outstanding leadership and initiative in science and technology management, and furthering NREL as the nation’s foremost renewable energy laboratory.