Photovoltaic engineering (solar PV) is the process of converting sunlight directly into electricity using solar cells. This revolutionary technology was invented at UNSW and now powers the majority of solar panels across the world, bringing power to millions of people. The industry today encompasses everything from studying how materials behave at the atomic level, to the modelling and construction of utility-scale power generation facilities.
PV engineers have a wide variety of career paths ahead of them: from developing and refining cell production methods to installing and maintaining systems to further integrating photovoltaics into everyday life. Photovoltaics can be integrated through policy, research and development and the implementation of new technologies.
Career Opportunities in Solar PV
Australia is the largest consumer of rooftop solar per capita in the world. The solar industry today is growing at a rate of 30% year on year, and there has never been a more exciting or dynamic time to secure a degree in solar and renewable engineering, which will equip you with the skills you need to pursue a great variety of career options, including positions with:
- Solar cell manufactures
- Inverter designers and manufacturers
- Installation companies
- Project financing and investment
- Government policymakers
Our graduates are equipped to work anywhere from large engineering companies to startups. Photovoltaic engineers acquire many of the skills of an electrical engineer but with a focus in energy and power—its generation, storage and efficient use.
Opportunities range from premier solar cell manufacturers like First Solar, JA Solar or Suntech to engineering companies like Schneider Electric and Tesla. You can also find yourself working for property developers like Lend Lease and award-winning design organisations like Cundall Australia or even in the energy market itself. Many of our graduates have found places with Ausgrid, Energy Australia and Infigen Energy, to name a few.