Engineering | School of Electrical, Computer and Energy Engineering

Comeback story: Roedel’s return after retirement has boosted solar energy engineering education

Comeback story: Roedel’s return after retirement has boosted solar energy engineering education

When Emeritus Professor Ron Roedel retired in 2011 after 30 years of teaching and research in electrical engineering, there was one thing his longtime colleague and friend Michael Kozicki thought was inevitable.

“I knew it wasn’t going to last,” he says.

The promising work being done in Roedel’s area of expertise — solar energy engineering — in Arizona State University’s Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering “was just too strong of a lure for him,” Kozicki says.

Roedel’s focus had been on semiconductor technology when he earned his doctoral degree in electrical engineering from the University of California, Los Angeles in the mid-1970s and then started work at the internationally prominent Bell Telephone Labs in New Jersey.

Roedel says he gained some “really high-quality research experience” there, but after five years in the eastern part of the country he missed the West. And he was restless to pursue what he felt was his true calling: teaching.

He joined Arizona State University’s faculty in 1981 and began conducting research in a new area that the engineering college leaders asked him to tackle — experimenting with various materials for solar cells to see if those materials could make cells more efficient in converting sunlight into electricity.

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September 29, 2017