Subhendu Guha, a scientist noted for his pioneering work in amorphous silicon, is now executive vice president of United Solar Systems Corporation in Troy, Michigan, and the leading inventor of flexible solar shingles, a state-of-the-art technology for converting sunlight to electricity. The shingles operate on the same principles as conventional solar cells: sunlight falls on thin layers of silicon and stimulates an electric current. Subhendu Guha’s company has received R&D Magazine’s “R&D 100” award, which has often been described as the “Nobel Prize of applied research.” It was selected for the award after R&D Magazine’s editors and staff, together with over 70 external experts, reviewed new innovations to determine the 100 most significant advances of 1998. United Solar was chosen for its triple junction solar module.
Guha was born and brought up at Calcutta. He studied at Presidency College with Physics major . After earning PhD from University of Calcutta he joined TIFR ( Tata Institute of Fundamental Research ) and started working on semiconductors. In 1974-1975, Guha did a year of post-doctoral training at the University of Sheffield in England. In 1982 , Guha left TIFR and joined ECD ( Energy Conversion Devices ) in USA. In 1990 he co-founded United Solar Systems, a joint venture company ECD and Canon Inc. of Japan to manufacture solar cells. The importance of Guha’s innovation has already been recognized, not only by the U.S. Department of Energy, but by others who are concerned about environmental technologies. In 1996, the flexible solar shingles were named the “Best of What’s New,” receiving the Grand Award from Popular Science. In 1997, they were selected by a panel of environmental experts for Discover Magazine’s Technology Innovation Award, which recognizes contributions that “improve the quality of our everyday life and alert us to what is next from the frontiers of human achievement and ingenuity.”