The Albuquerque Section of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) has selected Dr. Jose Luis Cruz-Campa as the recipient of the 2014 Outstanding Young Engineer Award for his outstanding con­tributions to the electrical engineering profession. A key aspect of Jose Luis’ research program is the use of microfabrication techniques, more commonly used in micro electro-mechanical systems (MEMs) or integrat­ed circuit technology, to advance the state-of-the-art in photovoltaics (PV). Jose’s broad background in me­chanical engineering, physics, and electrical engineer­ing has allowed him to participate in multidisciplinary projects involving solar energy, devices, material sci­ence, mechanics, and optics.

Jose Luis Cruz-Campa (right) along with fellow Sandia re-searchers Murat OKandan (left) and Greg Nielson (center) hold samples containing arrays of microsystems-enabled photovoltaic (MEPV) cells. (Photo by Randy Montoya)

Jose Luis Cruz-Campa (right) along with fellow Sandia re-searchers Murat OKandan (left) and Greg Nielson (center) hold samples containing arrays of microsystems-enabled photovoltaic (MEPV) cells. (Photo by Randy Montoya)

Jose Luis is the principal investigator for a recently funded DOE SunShot bridge proposal focused on improving the performance of thin-film cadmium-telluride (CdTe) technology. He and his team are using microfabrication techniques to selectively grow CdTe nano- and micro-sized islands using cadmium sulfide/ indium tin oxide patterned with silicon dioxide.

His work in microsystems-enabled PV (MEPV) has received numerous awards, including a 2012 “R&D 100 Award” from R&D Magazine. His direct contributions led to the optimization of ultra-thin and micro-scaled PV and enhanced the efficiency of  these devices from < 1% to almost 15%. These cells use 10–20 times less material, are flexible, and keep the same levels of efficiency as their conventional counterparts.

Throughout Jose Luis’ career, he has exhibited strong leadership and a passion for promoting solar energy and materials science. He has been a presenter of hands-on solar energy and materials science activities in local middle schools, summer science camps, and at career days for K-12 students. In 2013, he worked with teachers from the Albuquerque Public Schools system to promote a MEMs education program. The award was presented to Dr. Cruz Campa at the Annual Joint Sigma-Xi IEEE Banquet on May 19th at the University of New Mexico Continuing Education Building.