Rohatgi Honored with IIT Kanpur Distinguished Alumnus Award

Atlanta, GA
Ajeet Rohatgi

Ajeet Rohatgi

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Ajeet Rohatgi has been named as a recipient of the 2019 Distinguished Alumnus Award from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kanpur, located in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. This award is the highest given by IIT Kanpur to its alumni in recognition of their achievements. Rohatgi graduated from the Institute with his bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering in 1971.

Rohatgi is a Regents’ Professor in the Georgia Tech School of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE), and he holds the John H. Weitnauer, Jr. Chair in the College of Engineering and is a Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar. Rohatgi was chosen for this award for his academic and entrepreneurial excellence and for his exemplary contributions in the field of renewable energy and photovoltaic (PV) technology. 

With a career spanning 34 years at Georgia Tech, Rohatgi has built a top-notch photovoltaics (PV) program where none previously existed with the establishment of the University Center of Excellence for Photovoltaics Research and Education in 1992. He and his team have produced several world-record, high-efficiency solar cells. 

In 1996, Rohatgi’s research group designed and built the world’s largest (at the time) rooftop PV system for the Olympic Natatorium on the Georgia Tech campus. The system is still in operation today for the campus swimming and diving center. He also founded Suniva, Inc., a company known for its research, development, and manufacturing of high-efficiency crystalline solar cells. 

Rohatgi has been internationally recognized for his excellence in research, education, commercialization efforts, and professional society leadership in the PV and energy arenas. He is an IEEE Fellow and has published over 500 technical papers and has been issued 41 patents. Prior to his arrival at Georgia Tech, he was named a Westinghouse Fellow in 1984 for his achievements in the design and development of high-efficiency silicon solar cells. 

In 1996, Rohatgi received the Georgia Tech Distinguished Professor Award for excellence in teaching, research, and service. He received the prestigious IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference William Cherry Award and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory/Department of Energy Rappaport Award in 2003 for his outstanding contributions to the field of photovoltaics. In 2009, he received the Environmental Protection Agency Climate Protection Award, and the American Solar Energy Society Hoyt Clark Hottel Award for outstanding educator and innovator in the field of photovoltaics.

In 2009, Rohatgi was asked to join a delegation of clean technology entrepreneurs at the White House in support of President Barack Obama’s efforts to increase R&D funding in this area. He was also named a Champion of PV by Renewable Energy World magazine. In 2015, he was inducted as a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors.

Last revised November 8, 2019