Inspiring Future NASA Engineers in Solar Cells and Photovoltaic Systems

PI: Todd J. Kaiser, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Montana State University
There has been an increase in the number of inquiries about alternative energy courses at MSU by prospective electrical engineering students. To address the growing interest and the need to train future electrical engineers it is proposed to create two new courses in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department that teaches the principles of photovoltaic systems. One will be a traditional course developed for undergraduate students to understand the physics of solar cells, their fabrication, and system applications such as alternative energy systems and satellite power. The other course will be developed for the Masters of Science in Science Education (MSSE) program. Both courses will have a laboratory component where students will produce solar cells on four-inch silicon wafers in the new Montana Microfabrication Facility (MMF) located on the first floor of the EPS building at Montana State University. This request for funding from the Montana Space Grant Consortium is for the development of the two courses: Photovoltaic Systems, the traditional course and Solar Cell Basics, the MSSE summer course for middle and high school science teachers. The funding will support the development of course materials necessary for the learning modules and the fabrication of the mask sets needed to produce solar cells in the clean rooms of the MMF. Ultimately, student tuition and fees will fully support and sustain the proposed educational enhancement project.


Contact Information

Mail: Todd J. Kaiser
Electrical and Computer Engineering
Montana State University
Bozeman, MT 59717
E-mail: Todd Kaiser
Phone: (406) 994-7276

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Updated February 20, 2009