Tonio Buonassisi

Brief Bio:

Tonio Buonassisi received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Notre Dame in 2001, and a Ph.D. at the University of California, Berkeley under the supervision of Eicke R. Weber in 2006. He was a visiting researcher at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems (ISE) and the Max-Planck Institute for Microstructure Physics, and a crystal growth research scientist at Evergreen Solar, Inc. He joined the faculty at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2007, where he is currently an Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering.


Tonio Buonassisi is Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He heads the MIT PVLab, a research laboratory with an interdisciplinary focus on photovoltaics and system design. His research interests include solar energy conversion, predictive process simulation, defects, multiscale characterization (synchrotron), photoelectrochemistry, system design and modeling, including technoeconomic analysis. Working in collaboration with over two dozen solar-energy companies (including TOTAL since 2015), he contributed to the development of various solar-cell technologies in commercial production today, including the initial technology for Calisolar (now Silicor Materials). He co-founded the Fraunhofer Center for Sustainable Energy Systems in Boston, and is now using his 2017–2018 sabbatical in Singapore to commercialize solar-powered sensors for IoT applications. The PVLab has a strong focus on education and community-building, and international research collaborations in Singapore, Mexico, Spain, and Brazil, among others.

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