To commemorate POWER-GEN International’s 25th anniversary, Power Engineering will be recognizing the power generation industry’s 25 most influential people over the last 25 years. Beginning Oct. 7, the countdown will begin. The top 25 most influential figures will be unveiled daily, one person at a time, leading up to the week of POWER-GEN 2013. The industry’s most influential person will be named Nov. 12 during the keynote session in Orlando, Fla. The 25 most influential people were nominated and selected based on a poll of industry professionals.
#25: Charlie Gay, President, Applied Solar
Dr. Charlie Gay was named president of Applied Solar and chairman of the Applied Solar Council at Applied Materials, Inc. in 2009. An industry veteran with more than 35 years of solar experience, he joined Applied in 2006 as corporate vice president, general manager of the Solar Business Group. In July 2011 he was recognized as an Applied Materials Fellow for his outstanding technical contributions to the company’s success.
Dr. Gay is also founder of the Greenstar Foundation that delivers solar power and Internet access for health, education and microenterprise projects to villages in developing countries.
Dr. Gay began his career in 1975 designing solar power system components for communications satellites at Spectrolab, Inc. and later joined ARCO Solar Inc. In 1990, Dr. Gay became president and chief operating officer of Siemens A.G.’s Solar Industries group and from 1994 to 1997, he served as director of the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory. In 1997, Dr. Gay served as president and chief executive officer of ASE Americas, Inc., and in 2001 he became chairman of the advisory board at SunPower Corporation.
In 2013 Dr. Gay was elected to the National Academy of Engineering. He holds a doctorate degree in physical chemistry from the University of California, and holds numerous patents for solar cell and module construction, and is the recipient of the Gold Medal for Achievement from the World Renewable Energy Congress.