Are there any schools for Photovoltaic Technologies in the midwest, especially Ohio?

Question by rdcatman: Are there any schools for Photovoltaic Technologies in the midwest, especially Ohio?
I have a great interest in solar panel technology, and would like to find a school specifically geared twoards that technology. so I am assuming that I could get a degree in this area in a two to four year schooling experience. Are you or do you know anyone who is trained in this area? How do I get educationional information about such schools or institutions?

Best answer:

Answer by Ubi
I know of a professor at The Ohio State University named Steven Ringel that has done some great work with photo-sensitive materials, including solar panels (see article below). There are also other professors in the solid-state area of the ECE Dept. that you may want to investigate. Oh, and OSU has a pretty cool cleanroom for experimenting with microelectronics materials (see 2nd link below).

What I would recommend if you are in high school (or even if you aren’t in high school):
1) Study your physics.
2) Buy some solar panels or play around with some solar panel material (do a mini-project on your own or something).
3) Do a little reading on current solar panel technology, and how they work (the web or an introductory book).
4) Go to OSU and apply to the Electrical/Computer Engineering Dept. once you have the course requirements.
5) Try to get into a class with a professor that does research on photo-sensitive materials.
6) Ask that professor about undergraduate research opportunities on solar panels (OSU is quite open to undergraduates helping out with research, if they are willing). Be sure to show off your knowledge of solar panels (and your interest in solar panels).
7) After 4-5 years at OSU, go out into the job market and shake things up OR go to grad school if you want further education/research.

Good luck.

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