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Sebastian Bonilla

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Electronics and materials engineer

I am an electronics engineer and scientist working on the improvement of solar energy generation. Climate change is one of the defining challenges of our time and I firmly believe that we must do everything possible to achieve a low-carbon future. This is why I am committed to working on materials and technologies that can result in better renewable energy, and an efficient use of electricity. One of the most important forms of renewable energy is photovoltaics, producing electricity from sunlight. Sunlight is freely available across the globe, and can be scaled from single panels for lighting in developing countries to rooftop installations for residential homes, and utility-scale plants feeding megawatts of power into national electricity grids. Improvements in photovoltaic solar panels are therefore key to a green future. My interest in solar started after I finished my undergraduate degree in Electrical and Electronics Engineering at Universidad de los Andes, in my home country, Colombia. I’ve since had the opportunity to obtain an MPhil degree in Nanotechnology from the University of Cambridge, lecture in Electronics at my home University, and complete a doctorate in Materials at Oxford. I’ve held different research fellowships and I’ve continued to focus on ways to improve photovoltaics energy generation. For links to our outreach and teaching please visit

Friday 23rd Oct 2020, 11.00am

Lockdown Walks - What's that solar panel doing?

Have you ever walked down the street and seen a rooftop covered in black shiny panels? Ever wondered exactly what they are and what they're doing? In this episode of 'Lockdown Walks' we're talking SOLAR PANELS. Sit back, relax, and let Sebastian Bonilla tell you all about them...Then why not see if you can spot some on your next walk?

What's that solar panel doing?