Dr. Chetan Singh Solanki, besides being a Professor at the Department of Energy Science and Engineering, IIT Bombay is also an educator, innovator, researcher, entrepreneur, author and philosopher, known for his remarkable work in the solar sector. Prof. Solanki was born in a small village called Nemit in the Khargone district of Madhya Pradesh. His primary school had just one classroom and a teacher at that time. Having studied in the light of the kerosene lamp himself, Prof. Solanki is now committed to providing clean light to all. He received his Ph.D. from IMEC (KU Leuven), Belgium, a leading R&D and innovation hub in micro and nano-electronics.
He is currently leading two projects of national importance on the dissemination of affordable solar technology. The National Center for Photovoltaic Research and Education (NCPRE) houses one of the best research facilities on Photovoltaic (PV) technology in India. Prof. Solanki is also the Principal Investigator in the Solar Urja through Localization for Sustainability (SoULS) Initiative at IIT Bombay, which aims to provide solar study lamp to every child in rural India as part of its ‘Right to Light’ mission. Dr. Solanki has taken several initiatives at the social front as well. He is the founder of Education Park, an initiative in school education, which provides “high quality and affordable educational training in rural India”. Education Park has been built through public support with unique solar passive infrastructure, and its 14-acre campus runs on 100% solar energy. Dr. Solanki’s SoULS Initiative earned many awards. Notable awards include Prime Minister’s award from Honorable Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi in April 2017 under ‘Innovative Project’ category. The Student Solar Ambassador workshop organized on 2nd Oct. 2018 has entered in Guinness World Record. SoULS initiative also won Grand Prize (South Asia Regional Round) in ‘Empowering a Billion Lives’ competition organized by IEEE. He has won the European Material Research Society’s young scientist award in 2003 and IIT Bombay’s Young Investigator Award in 2009. He has published over 100 research papers in reputed international journals. He has 4 US patents to his credit. Prof. Solanki has authored 4 books on solar and renewable energy. One of his book titled “Solar Photovoltaics: Fundamentals, Technologies and Applications is widely used.