The National Council for Scientific Research (CNRS) launched, on the 14th of December 2018, the Eighth Annual Research Excellence Award under the patronage of Prime Minister Saad Hariri at le Grand Serail.
The award is given annually to distinguished researchers working in each of the fields of Engineering and Sciences, Medical Sciences and Public Health, Environmental and Agricultural Sciences, Human and Social Sciences, in addition to a Life-long Scientific Achievement Award.
Chairperson Tarek Ghaddar was selected to receive the 2018 Research Excellence Award in the field of Engineering and Sciences for his great contribution to the fields of solar energy and solar cells, in addition to the development of efficient solar systems.
"I'm honored today by being here; this achievement was only made possible thanks to the distinguished Council and the American University of Beirut's continuous support to complete and publish my research work in renowned scientific journals," said Ghaddar.
He added, “I take this opportunity to thank my prestigious university's current and previous administration for supporting research and providing state of the art laboratories and equipment for scientific researches."
He continued, "Let me assure you that Lebanon has great human potential in the fields of science, medicine, and engineering and agriculture, but all of them need support – especially financial support for high-quality research." Ghaddar concluded by stating, “My last thanks go to my students, whom I owe the most since 2003 to this day. Last but not least, I would like to dedicate this award to everyone who helped in realizing it, starting with my family and certainly my students and my university and the National Council for Scientific Research."
Dr. Ghaddar received his BS and MS in Chemistry from AUB and his PhD in Chemistry from Rutgers University, New Jersey. He joined AUB as an Assistant Professor in 2003 and was promoted to the rank of Professor in 2016. Dr. Ghaddar's research is in the area of photo-induced charge transfer (CT) reactions, and particularly in the area of solar-to-energy conversion.
For the past 10 years, Dr. Ghaddar has been working on a 3rd generation solar cell known as the Dye Sensitized Solar Cell (DSSC). He has vast contributions in this important field, where novel dyes, electrolyte systems and counter electrodes have been engineered and fabricated by his lab at AUB. Dr. Ghaddar has published his work in the area of renewable energy in highly reputed scientific journals such as Journal of the American Chemical Society, Advanced Materials, Energy & Environmental Science and Nano Letters. He also has a patent application for making dyes and their use in long-term stable solar cells. One of his dye compounds, the TG6 dye, has been picked up by a few companies such as Borun chemicals, Sinopharm Chemical Reagent Co. Ltd. and SICCAS and made it commercially available. His future research plans are geared towards the synthesis of new organic, inorganic dyes and aqueous redox systems to be used in eco-friendly 100% water-based solar cells.