Tonio Buonassisi is an Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He heads the MIT Photovoltaic Research Laboratory (PVLab), with an interdisciplinary focus on accelerated materials development, solar energy, and system design that operates in Cambridge and in Singapore. His research interests include applying machine learning to accelerate materials development and discovery, designing of innovative manufacturing processes, predictive manufacturing process simulation, end-to-end and multiscale defect characterization, demonstrating higher-margin solar applications including solar-to-fuels and information systems, and technoeconomic analysis. Working in collaboration with over two-dozen solar-energy companies, he contributed to the development of processes, equipment, and products in commercial production today.
He co-founded the Fraunhofer Center for Sustainable Energy Systems in Boston. The PVLab has a strong focus on education and community building; his online course “Fundamentals of Photovoltaics” received over 110,000 unique visits on MIT OpenCourseware, and videos in iTunes U were downloaded over 24,000 times. He co-authored 200 peer-reviewed journal articles on solar energy and materials science.
He has received a National Science Foundation CAREER Award, a Google Faculty Award (2015), an Everett Moore Baker Memorial Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching (2015), and a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE).