Hugh W. Hillhouse is a Professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of Washington and currently holds the Harry A. and Metta R. Rehnberg Endowed Chair, which is the oldest endowed professorship in the College of Engineering. He received his Bachelorís degree in Chemical Engineering from Clemson University in 1995. He earned a Masterís degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Washington in 1996 while studying colloidal phenomena under John Berg and then earned a Doctorate in Chemical Engineering from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst in 2000, working with Michael Tsapatsis and Jan van Egmond on the self-assembly of nanostructured thin films. In parallel with his doctoral research, he earned a Master's in Physics from the University of Massachusetts in 2000 working with Mark Tuominen focusing on nanoscopic physics and thermoelectric phenomena. He then received an NSF International Postdoctoral Fellowship with which he focused on nanoscopic physics and organic semiconductors at the Kavli Institute for Nanoscience in the Netherlands working with Teun Klapwijk. In 2002, he joined the School of Chemical Engineering at Purdue University. While working on nanostructured thin films, continuous nanowire arrays, semiconductor nanocrystals, and nanocrystal-ink based solar cells, he attained the rank of Associate Professor in 2007 and the honor of University Faculty Scholar in 2009. He spent a year on sabbatical, 2008 to 2009, at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden Colorado working with Matt Beard and Art Nozik on multiple exciton generation and quantum dot solar cells. In 2010 he accepted the Rehnberg Chair Professorship and moved to the University of Washington. His research publications have garnered over 4200 citations with an h-index of 32 (see Google Scholar Page for up to date information). In addition, he is an author and inventor on 11 patents at various stages of prosecution (6 owned by University of Washington). He has received the CAREER Award from the National Science Foundation, the Early Career Research Excellence Award from Purdue University, the Shreve Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, the Sharma Medal from the Indian Institute of Chemical Engineers, a Research Corporation Scialog Fellowship, and was recently honored with the Outstanding Young Alumni Award from Clemson University. He is also on the editorial advisory board for Chemistry of Materials and is the Thin Film Thrust leader for the Bay Area Photovoltaic Consortium.
His research and teaching interests lie at the nexus of nanotechnology and solar energy conversion. Currently he is focused on developing sustainable chemistries and solution-processing methods that yield high-efficiency low-cost solar cells from Earth abundant resources. In addition to his research and teaching roles with the University, Prof. Hillhouse consults for companies and serves as an advisor, vetting technology for angel investors and venture capital groups, on topics in nanotech and cleantech including thin film photovoltaics (CIGS and CZTS), novel solar energy conversion schemes, and semiconducting nanocrystals and nanowires.
Photo: Hillhouse on the roof of the Sierra Nevada Brewery in Chico CA, site of the largest private solar installation in the U.S. (as of summer 2010).