Observing International Day of Women and Girls in Science!
Alex "Solar Girl" Steele
This Thursday, February 11, was the day people around the world take to acknowledge the contributions of women to science fields, as well as the importance of empowering girls and women to get involved in the sciences. We wanted to talk about this topic, because women in science fields are important to us. A large portion of our leadership team is women, and we wouldn't have the successful company we have today without them. We all owe our success to women in our lives, so let’s learn a little about the historic ladies of the clean energy world and the positive influence they’ve had!
Maria Telkes - The Sun Queen
Nicknamed for her extensive experience in solar energy research, Maria Telkes paved the way for further photovoltaic development and invented some unique technology herself! Telkes was born in Hungary, and moved to America after earning her PhD at University of Budapest. She later did research with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and worked for Westinghouse Electric. During her time with UMass, she designed a solar-heated home, which was later constructed with the help of an architect. Telkes also developed equipment to purify water for soldiers using solar power during WWII. Possibly most notably, Telkes worked with the U.S Department of Energy to develop the first solar electric rooftop systems. She will surely go down in history as one of the founding mothers of the solar energy movement!
Olga Gonzalez-Sanabria - Energy Storage Extraordinaire
This scientist was integral in developing technology that will no doubt improve human life for generations. Olga Gonzalez-Sanabria, a Puerto Rican national who earned a Master’s Degree in chemical engineering at University of Toledo, worked with NASA to develop long-cycle nickel-hydrogen batteries which were utilized by the International Space Station! These batteries were charged with solar energy, keeping the Space Station functional when its orbit brings it out of the sunlight. Thanks to her, the ISS has been operating continuously since 2000, and her research helped develop solar energy and storage on the ground!
Stephanie Kwolek - Developing Materials to Transform our World
There’s no doubt about it, clean energy resources wouldn’t be as affordable and efficient as they are today if it wasn’t for the development of cutting edge materials used to make the infrastructure great. Stephanie Kwolek, a chemist from Pennsylvania, invented Kevlar! This incredible material is based on super-strong polymers and can be used in a number of valuable applications. Kevlar is popular to use in the construction of wind turbines, because it is extremely light weight, so it can reduce the total weight of huge machinery. In turn, this increases the energy efficiency of the wind power generation process, bringing more efficient energy for all!
As time goes on, we’re sure we’ll continue to hear about women innovating in the sciences. Despite the stigma that most STEM fields aren’t as welcoming to women, we at Solar Wolf know that letting women lead the way in terms of scientific research and development bring groundbreaking technological advances. We are proud to be in a field that was established and improved by women!