The David Turnbull Lectureship Award recognizes the career contribution of a scientist to fundamental understanding of the science of materials through experimental and/or theoretical research, as exemplified by David Turnbull.

Sigurd Wagner, Princeton University
Materials—From Exploration to Application
“for groundbreaking contributions to the science and technology of thin film photovoltaics, amorphous silicon and flexible large-area electronics”

Materials are central to human existence. Three-million-year-old stone tools illustrate our long history of manipulating and employing them. The industrial revolution, crucially reliant on advances in materials, has moved billions of humans from poverty to plenty. With this revolution came an enormous expansion of our tools for studying, making and using materials. Because materials have such reach over human activity, they inspire teamwork– and the Materials Research Society is a stellar example. Increasingly, the ease of collaboration and the many available tools are enabling and encouraging researchers to move back and forth between study, exploration and application of materials. I will illustrate this facility through work with solids and liquids;  research on electrical, optical and mechanical properties; and making silicon memory, solar cells, microfluidic devices, flexible and stretchable electronic surfaces and large-area sensor arrays. 

Sigurd Wagner received his PhD degree in physical chemistry in 1968 from the University of Vienna. Following postdoctoral research at The Ohio State University, he worked from 1970 to 1978 at Bell Telephone Laboratories, within their first silicon dynamic random access memory project and then on devices of chalcopyrite-type semiconductors. In 1978, he joined the Solar Energy Research Institute (now the National Renewable Energy Laboratory), as the founding Chief of its Photovoltaic Research Branch. Since 1980, he has been Professor of Electrical Engineering at Princeton University; in 2015, he became Professor Emeritus and Senior Scholar. He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, and a corresponding member of the Austrian Academy of Sciences. Wagner has been an Alexander von Humboldt Foundation Senior Fellow and received the 2009 Nevill Mott Prize "for groundbreaking research, both fundamental and applied, on amorphous semiconductors as well as chalcopyrites," and the 2014 ITC 10th Anniversary Prize “for pioneering research on flexible and stretchable large-area electronics, and the comprehensive study of the mechanical behavior of the same, which will be applied to various products in the near future.”