Mike Walls

Michael Walls is Professor of Photovoltaics for Power Systems in the Centre for Renewable Energy Systems Technology (CREST). He is responsible for photovoltaics device research within CREST and his research focus is in thin film photovoltaics. Mike started his career at Loughborough University in the Physics Department where he specialized in surface and thin films research and set up a surface analysis facility which provided a successful service to UK industry using a variety of techniques including Auger electron spectroscopy, XPS, Dynamic SIMS and Laser Microprobe. The commercial part of this activity later morphed into the highly successful Loughborough Surface Analysis Ltd. In 1984, he moved into industry in Technical Director and then Managing Director roles within VG Instruments plc (now Thermo-Fisher Scientific). His team at VG was the first to develop the gallium Focused Ion Beam (FIB) technology and the world’s first Imaging Time-of-Flight SIMS. VG Instruments won the Queen’s Award for Export Achievement in 1987. He then went on to found a series of high technology companies involved in thin film optical coating, thermal management systems and atom probe instrumentation. In 1996, one of these companies, Applied Vision Ltd, won the Queen’s Award for Technological Achievement for pioneering the use of magnetron sputtering to deposit anti-reflection coatings on ophthalmic lenses. Applied Vision Ltd was later acquired by the BOC Group in 2001. Mike returned to Loughborough in 2009. In 2012 he became the Director of the £5m EPSRC Supergen Solar Hub and was awarded the 2012 Award for Research and Development by “SOLAR”. He is a member of the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) UK PV Strategy Group and Co-Chair of its Innovation Task Force. He is a member of several Solar Energy Industry bodies including SEII and SESSIG. He is a member of the International Advisory Board of the IEEE Photovoltaics Specialist Conference (PVSC).