Solar cell scientist Thorsten Trupke has won the 2010 UNSW Inventor of the Year Award for a world-first technology that is improving the competitiveness of the solar industry. He is the co-inventor of solar cell and wafer inspection systems that measure their quality in less than a second.

Solar cell inspection tools, known as photoluminescence (PL) imaging, can be compared to an X-ray machine for the solar industry - providing high-resolution images that can spot hidden faults and defects affecting the performance of solar cells and silicon wafers.

Three years ago Thorsten and his UNSW colleague, Robert Bardos, established BT Imaging (BTI) as a UNSW spin-off to commercialise PL imaging technologies. Today the patented technology has triggered sales to leading cell and wafer manufacturers around the world.

Winners in the other prize categories were Obada Kayali (Environment), Levon Khachigian (Medicine), Christoph Arns (ICT), Thorsten Trupke (Science and Engineering) and Henner Kampwerth (Student Inventor of the Year).

Presented annually by NewSouth Innovations, the prizes carry a total cash purse of $28,000.

Find out more about the winners at NewSouth Innovations. Watch videos of the finalists and winners here.

Media contact: Dan Gaffney, NewSouth Innovations | +61 411 156 015