At the 101st Ex-Co meeting held October 4th, 2021, PROMES-CNRS Research Director Gilles Flamant was elected as new Chair of the SolarPACES Executive Committee for the next 4-year term.
Flamant is an internationally recognized expert in solar thermochemistry who holds 10 patents, has authored or co-authored approximately 300 peer reviewed publications in international scientific journals, authored 10 book chapters, and served as Editor in Chief of ASME Journal of Solar Energy Engineering.
At CNRS, he has directed solar research since 1989, driving the development of volumetric and particle solar receivers and thermal energy storage solutions focused on solar fuels, high temperature particle receivers and reactors, solar thermochemistry and thermal energy storage and led major solar research programs over the last 15 years, notably SOLPART; the use of solar thermal energy in processing cement.
Flamant facilitated Europe-wide collaboration among CSP researchers through SOLLAB, connecting the major EU laboratories in France, Germany, Spain and Switzerland (CNRS-PROMES, DLR, CIEMAT-PSA and ETH respectively)
His self-described “long and exciting” career in high temperature solar thermochemistry has focused on high temperature heat for materials and commodities and began in 1977 when as a PhD he first posed the question whether solar thermal energy could be used to produce hydrogen.
Flamant obtained his engineering degree in 1975 at ENSCP (now Chimie-Paristech), his PhD in 1978 at Université Paul Sabatier in Toulouse and his Doctorat es-Sciences at the Institut National Polytechnique de Toulouse in 1985.
At the same SolarPACES Ex-Co meeting, CSIRO’s Chief Research Scientist for Solar Technologies Wes Stein was elected the new Vice-Chair.
Stein has championed CSP technologies within CSIRO’s broader portfolio since 2009, and led the development of next-generation CSP since 2018, Stein currently also serves as Chief Technology Officer of ASTRI (Australian Solar Thermal Research Institute).
Stein advocated for and executed a CSP strategy for CSIRO, securing funding of over $45 million (Australian) dollars for CSP research, and was responsible for an annual $12 million budget overseeing 35 scientists and engineers, leading projects in central receiver optimization, high temperature steam; advanced thermal storage; air and supercritical CO2 Brayton systems and solar fuels.
He established Australia’s National Solar Energy Centre (NSEC), enabling collaboration in solar concentrating technologies development, demonstration and commercialization.
He has fostered a practical solar thermal research culture focused on creating commercial relationships with Australia’s carbon-intensive industries, to develop, demonstrate, license and deploy solar concentrating technologies for industries.
As a CSP expert, he has been a Lead Author for the IPCC, advised the ACT government on solar deployment, been a keynote speaker at conferences, and led the creation of roadmaps on Australian CSP development strategies.
Stein obtained his Bachelor of Engineering with First Class Honors at the University of Technology, Sydney, in 1987, and his Master of Engineering at the University of New South Wales in 2000.