Winning Team Announced for NSERC CREATE TOP-SET First Annual Challenge

The first NSERC CREATE TOP-SET Annual Challenge was launched at this year’s Summer School at the end of May 2018.  Small teams of two to four undergraduate and graduate students as well as postdoctoral fellows from the University of Ottawa, Université de Sherbrooke and McMaster University were formed during the Summer School.  Over the course of the summer, each team  analyzed future prospects for new devices or systems, drawing together science, engineering, and economic analysis.  Teams reported back via videoconference on September 4 and a panel of two judges picked a winning team.  Congratulations to Pierre Albert and Jules Voisin, respectively PhD and MASc students in electrical engineering at the Université de Sherbrooke, as well as Amanda Lewis and Emily Zhang, respectively MASc student in electrical engineering and BSc student in physics at the University of Ottawa for winning this year’s Annual Challenge with their work on the “Comparison of rates of return of bifacial and monofacial solar cells”.

NSERC CREATE TOP-SET Holds Its First Summer School Program

The NSERC CREATE TOP-SET program held its first summer school program from May 28 to June 1, 2018, at the University of Ottawa.  A total of 78 participants hailing from five universities as well as the public and private sectors took part in the program which focused this year on high efficiency photovoltaics.  Guest speakers included Dr. Yves Poissant from Natural Resources Canada, Dr. Kevin Schulte from the U.S. Renewable Energy Laboratory, Dr. Matthew Lumb from George Washington University & U.S. Naval Research Laboratory, Dr. Stefan Myrskog from Morgan Solar, as well as NSERC CREATE TOP-SET co-investigators and collaborators.

Awards were given to the best student poster and oral presentations.  Ms. D. Paige Wilson won first place in the oral presentation competition for her presentation titled “Increasing nanowire diameters for solar cell applications”.  Ms. Wilson is a PhD student in engineering physics under the supervision of Dr. Ray LaPierre at McMaster University.  Ms. Meghan Beattie won first place in the poster presentation competition for her poster titled “III-V multi-junction solar cells on Si substrates with a voided Ge interface layer:  A modeling study”.  Ms. Beattie is a PhD student in physics under the supervision of Dr. Karin Hinzer at the University of Ottawa. Congratulations to both!

Planning for the 2019 NSERC CREATE TOP-SET summer school is already under way.  Watch this page for details.


We are pleased to announce the launch of the NSERC CREATE TOP-SET website.  The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada Collaborative Research and Training Experience Program titled “Training in Optoelectronics for Power: from Science and Engineering to Technology” (NSERC CREATE TOP-SET) is a training program that aims to form a cohort of highly qualified personnel with comprehensive understanding of optoelectronics including high-efficiency photovoltaics and systems for solar cells, energy systems, communication and control systems for the power grid, as well as cost-modeling and business analysis.  The program, led by associate professor Karin Hinzer from the University of Ottawa in collaboration with the Université de Sherbrooke and McMaster University, will provide students with regular seminars, advanced summer school classes, hands-on interdisciplinary activities at other partner universities, as well as internships at leading national and international academic, government and industry institutions.

Browse our new website and direct any questions to