UNSW photovoltaics PhD student Nicole Kuepper has won the Australia Youth Trust's 2010 Tom Harvey Award for Citizenship for her research into low-cost solar power technology for use in developing countries.

The Tom Harvey Award, named after the inaugural chairman of the Australia Youth Trust, is given to a young Australian in recognition of an outstanding contribution in the field of development work.

Nicole, from the Photovoltaics Centre of Excellence in the Faculty of Engineering, was nominated for the award by NSW Minister for Science and Medical Research Jodi McKay, who has praised her work to develop solar cells which can be manufactured cheaply using common materials and equipment such as pizza ovens, nail polish and inkjet printers.

"Her work to create this revolutionary technology could lead to having cheaper, cleaner and greener energy more easily available for those living in developing countries," Ms McKay said.

Nicole, 24, who is hoping to finish her PhD this year, has also been extensively involved in promoting scientific research and renewable technologies.

Nicole's patented iJet technology won her two Eureka Prizes in 2008 - the People's Choice Award and the British Council Eureka Prize for Young Leaders in Environmental Issues and Climate Change.

Read more about Nicole's work in the Generation Next special edition of Uniken, UNSW's flagship magazine.

Contact: Peter Trute, UNSW Media Office | 02 9385 1933 | p.trute@unsw.edu.au