Karen Hinzer

Director (2023-Present)

Professor, School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON

Karin Hinzer received BSc, MSc, and PhD degrees in physics from the University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, in 1996, 1998, and 2002, respectively. She is Vice-Dean, Research of the Faculty of Engineering and a Professor at the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science with a cross-appointment in the department of Physics at the University of Ottawa, and the University Research Chair in Photonic Devices for Energy. She has made pioneering contributions to the experimental physics of quantum dots marked by two landmark papers in Science. She gained extensive experience in the design and fabrication of group III-V semiconductor devices while at the National Research Council Canada, Nortel Networks and then Bookham (now Lumentum). Cost reduction strategies and liaison with remote fabrication facilities strongly feature in her industry experience.

Professor Hinzer joined the University of Ottawa in 2007 where she founded the SUNLAB, the premier Canadian modelling and characterization laboratory for next generation optoelectronic devices and photovoltaic systems. Her research involves developing new ways to harness the sun’s energy. From 2007 to 2017, she was the Tier II Canada Research Chair in Photonic Nanostructures and Integrated Devices. In 2010, she was the recipient of the Inaugural Canadian Energy Award with industry partner Morgan Solar for the development of more efficient solar panels. In 2015, she received the Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation Early Researcher Award for her contributions to the fields of photonic devices and photovoltaic systems and in 2016, she was the recipient of the University of Ottawa Young Researcher Award. She is a member of the College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists of the Royal Society of Canada and an IEEE senior member. Professor Hinzer is the principal investigator of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada Collaborative Research and Training Experience Program titled “Training in Optoelectronics for Power: from Science and Engineering to Technology” (NSERC CREATE TOP-SET, 2017-2024), a multi-disciplinary training program involving three universities which has trained over 150 students and postdoctoral fellows so far.

Professor Hinzer is an editor of the IEEE Journal of Photovoltaics. She has published over 210 refereed papers, trained over 170 highly-qualified personnel and her laboratory has spun-off three Canadian companies in the energy sector. Her research interests include new materials, high efficiency light sources and light detectors, solar cells, solar modules, new electrical grid architectures and power converters.

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