Hoyt Clarke Hottel Award

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Background of Award

Prof. Hoyt Clarke Hottel was in charge of the Godfrey L. Cabot solar energy R&D program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) from the late 1930s to the mid 1960s. The Cabot program at MIT involved research on non-biological uses of solar energy by humanity. A parallel program at Harvard University involved the use of plants.

Although solar heat collectors of a number of types had already been used in test centers for several centuries, Prof. Hottel and his coworkers were the first to develop accurate analytical models for solar heat collectors. Their modeling and testing work on flat plate collectors led to what is currently known as the Hottel-Whillier model. Original work by Prof. Hottel and Dr. Byron Woertz was so careful and precise that in the early 1940s it led to a calibration adjustment in the Eppley pyrheliometer. Prof. Hottel also developed the “utilizability” method for solar energy calculations, invaluable for long term system predictions before computer programs like TRNSYS and F-CHART were available.

At the MIT Cabot program, work was also done on house heating and cooling, selective surfaces, thermoelectrics, solar stills, phase change heat storage, and non-biological photochemistry. Three experimental solar houses were built and tested extensively. Another project of the Cabot team involved the development of lightweight solar stills to provide drinking water to the crew members of U.S. planes shot down over the ocean in World War II.

Prof. Hottel was an extremely dependable and helpful thesis advisor to a large number of B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. candidates in solar energy and other engineering topics. Sometimes Prof. Hottel forgot how helpful he had been: he paid students compliments on their work and had to be reminded that he had suggested that approach to begin with. The International Solar Energy Society honored Prof. Hottel with the very first Farrington Daniels Award in 1975. MIT honored him by establishing the Hoyt C. Hottel Lectureship in 1985 and the Hoyt C. Hottel Professorship in Chemical Engineering in 1995.

Nomination Information

The Hoyt Clarke Hottel Award recognizes unique solar applications that lead to commercial advancements. This award, established by ASES in 2000, was originally set up to recognize accomplishments in the field of solar thermal technologies. In recent years, this award has shifted its focus to recognize significant contributions in the unique and innovative application of one or more solar technologies or tools that support the enabling of solar technologies resulting in successful commercial endeavors.

The criteria for the Hottel Award are as follows:

  • The primary requirement is that the recipient has made a significant contribution to the commercialization of a unique and innovative solar energy application, or a tool or tools that enable successful solar energy applications.
  • Specific solar applications can include Solar Thermal, Solar PV, Concentrating Solar Power, other solar energy conversion processes, solar heat and power storage technologies, grid integration of variable solar energy, microgrids, solar resource assessments and forecasting, and analytical models and software tools that enable the application and commercialization of these technologies.
  • Preference will be given to Hottel Award nominees who have demonstrated unique and innovative applications or tools that have been successfully commercialized and that support the U.S. solar industry.
  • Preference will also be given to Hottel Award nominees who are members of ASES or to individuals or companies who have supported ASES through its conferences, webinars, and publications.

ASES requests that nominations include the submission of the nomination form and two letters of support for each nominee. The nomination form must be submitted by a current ASES member. Please access and submit the nomination form below; however, the letters of support should be emailed to awards@ases.org, using the file naming protocol Hottel_NomineeLastName_LetterWriterLastName. If possible, include the nominee’s CV or resume or a link to it. Please, no self-nominations.

Please include at least two letters of recommendation with your Hottel nomination form and submit all nomination materials to awards@ases.org.

Check back in August for 2025 Awards Nominations.

Past Hottel Award Winners

2023 Dan Shugar
2022 Steven Johnston
2021 Not Awarded
2020 Dr. Thomas Hoff
2018 Teresa Zhang
2017 Ranga Pitchumani
2016, 2015, and 2014 The Hoyt Clarke Hottel Award was not presented these years
2013 Sanford (Sandy) Klein
2012 Frank Kreith, retired from University of Colorado
2011 Mark Thornbloom, Kelelo
2010 Charles E. Andraka, Sandia National Labs
2009 Ajeet Rohatgi, Suniva
2008 Geoffrey Lester Harding
2007 Yogi Goswami, University of South Florida
2006 Jan Kreider, University of Colorado
2005 William A. Beckman, University of Wisconsin, Madison
2004 Stan Ovshinsky, Energy Conversion Devices
2003 Gary C. Vliet, University of Texas at Austin
2002 Gilbert Cohen, Duke Solar Energy
2001 Paul B. MacCready, Aerovironment
2000 Randy Gee & Ken May, Industrial Solar Technology Corporation

Questions? Contact awards@ases.org.

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