Solar Cell, Wireless Researchers Receive Honorary Doctorates

June 11, 2010

Two renowned researchers, one in solar cell technology the other in wireless, radar and communications, were presented with Honorary Doctorates of Science degrees during the Faculty of Engineering’s spring convocation ceremonies on June 11.

Martin Green, research director of the ARC Photovoltaics Centre of Excellence at the University of New South Wales in Australia, and Simon Haykin, distinguished university professor in electrical and computer science at McMaster, were recognized for their breakthrough contributions in their respective fields.

More than 700 engineering students graduated during the spring term.  The Faculty had the largest number of graduate students at McMaster convocating with 115, of which 36 received Ph.D. degrees.  The convocation ceremony was held in the Great Hall at Hamilton Place.

Also of note were the 13 undergraduate students who were presented with a Bachelor of Technology (B.Tech.) degree.  They form the first graduating class for the innovative McMaster University-Mohawk College Bachelor of Technology Partnership.  The four-year program, designed for graduating high-school students looking for a more applied university technology education, was launched in 2006. 

Prof. Green, who earned his PhD from McMaster in 1974, is known and respected internationally as one of the world's foremost experts in photovoltaics. His group established the current record for silicon solar cell efficiency at 24.7 per cent, a benchmark that researchers worldwide are competing to surpass.

Prof. Green will be the inaugural speaker of the new Distinguished Lecturer in Sustainable Engineering on Monday, June 14.  He will discuss efforts now underway to make solar technology more efficient and widely available as a low-cost source of renewable energy.  The lecture is open to the public and free of charge.  It starts at 2:30 p.m. in the Michael G. DeGroote Centre for Learning and Discovery, room 1309, at McMaster University.

Paul Jessop
Simon Haykin, distinguished university professor in electrical and computer science at McMaster and Martin Green, research director of the ARC Photovoltaics Centre of Excellence at the University of New South Wales in Australia.


Prof. Haykin is among the most cited engineering researchers in the world. While he has authored or co-authored close to 50 textbooks and numerous academic papers in leading journals in the world, his two most cited publications are: Neural Networks: A Comprehensive Foundation, first published in 1994, garnering more than 18,000 citations in academic articles: and Adaptive Filter Theory, which has generated more than 12,000 citations. Both are used as advanced university text books on the fundamentals of communications and radar systems.

With his sights still set on finding better ways for wireless communications and radar systems of the future, Prof. Haykin is currently pioneering an area of study which he has coined Cognitive Dynamic Systems. It is a term that describes the process of structuring the digital world patterned on how the human brain works: a neural system that can take in information from multiple sources and instantly make decisions on how best to respond or make reliable decisions.  Read more about Prof. Haykin and his research.


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