Honolulu, Hawaii, June 2010.
We visited the IEEE Photovoltaic conference with Jess Adams a soon to be PhD from Imperial College London where she was giving the inaugural speech of the conference. Jess talks about the uses of Photovoltaics not only in the fight against climate change but also as a means of bringing energy to remote locations.
Picnic was in Hawaii for about 6 days! Jetlagged the whole time, it is an 18 hour flight from the UK, and a 10 hour time difference, which really messes your head up! We also had all our kit as hand luggage on the way there, which when our flight was delayed, and we were waiting to come through customs at LAX and the ground staff’s advice on how to catch our connecting flight was ‘run’, nearly saw us losing our lunch We were in Hawaii by invitation of the amazing Dr. Rob Walters, a physicist from the United States Naval Research Laboratories. He has been an informal mentor to Jess though her PhD and is an inspiring man – he was also chair of the IEEE conference in 2010. The conference brings together the top physicists to show the developments they have made this year in photovoltaics, and the sense of challenge and aspiration, and lets face it desire to save the planet was a joy to be involved with.
In this film, which is for teenagers considering whether they should take an Alevel in physics, we wanted to show the lifestyle of a physicist. One aspect of that life is international collaboration, and opportunities for travel. Jess has already travelled the world, and she is still completing her PhD. Hawaii is a dream destination for many, but Jess and her lab partners tickets were sponsored by travel grants from Imperial College. So, if you are a teenager, and kind of like physics, think about doing that Alevel – and you never know it might be you sitting on a beach in Hawaii in a few years time.
In the second half of the film we visited Imperial College, London where Jess showed us the machinery she works with and how she works on the next generation of solar cells. Jess is now writing up her PhD, and has given herself a deadline of early Feb! So good luck with that.
This film has animation created in-house explaining the physics of solar power.
We’d also like to thank Rahul, for making us welcome, and Alvin, for keeping us laughing, and sharing his photographs with us for the film – thanks boys!
Filmed in Hawaii and Imperial College London, using Canon 7D & 550D, Sigma 30mm, Tokina 11-16, Canon 18- 135mm.
Produced for the Institute of Physics.