Solar technology entrepreneur to deliver engineering school’s Chambers Lecture

A highly-recognized solar energy leader who is developing transparent films that, when applied to any piece of glass or plastic, absorbs light and converts it to electricity, will deliver the School of Engineering’s Chambers Family Entrepreneurial Lectureship Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2016.

Miles Barr

Miles Barr is founder and CEO of Ubiquitous Energy, a Silicon Valley technology company leading the development of transparent solar technology that could turn everyday products such as windows and electronic devices into power generators. Barr has been recognized by MIT Technology Review as one of the world’s top innovators under 35 and by Forbes 30 Under 30 in Energy.

The lecture – “Invention, Engineering, and Entrepreneurship”will begin at 2:10 p.m. in the auditorium of the university’s new Engineering and Science Building, followed by a reception at 3 p.m. in the Wond’ry, a new cross-disciplinary creative space that is the centerpiece of the ESB’s Innovation Pavilion.

“Launching a successful new venture requires developing a great idea (invention) into a valuable product (engineering) that solves a problem through a sustainable business model (entrepreneurship). The process is often nonlinear and highly multidisciplinary, requiring iteration, teamwork, and perseverance,” said Barr, who earned bachelor’s degrees in chemical engineering, mathematics and music in 2006 from Vanderbilt University.

In this lecture, Barr will discuss this process and the interplay between invention, engineering, and entrepreneurship using his experience launching Ubiquitous Energy as a case study. Ubiquitous Energy is a Silicon Valley technology company spun out of research at MIT to commercialize transparent solar technology.

Barr holds a Ph.D. in chemical engineering from MIT, where he developed vapor deposition technologies for thin film electronics. At MIT, he was a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow and winner of the prestigious Lemelson-MIT Prize for his innovations in solar energy and thin-film electronics.

With a mission to eliminate the battery life limitations of mobile devices and power smart glass for buildings, Ubiquitous Energy is implementing its ClearView Power technology into a wide range of products as an invisible, onboard source of electricity. The company sees its main marketplace in mobile devices, windows and digital signage.

Ubiquitous Energy has raised more than $10 million to date and has won numerous awards for its business and technology, including the 2015 Display Week Innovation Award, the MIT Clean Energy Prize, a Fraunhofer-Techbridge U-Launch Award, a MassCEC MTTC Catalyst Award, and several United States National Science Foundation grants. The company has been featured in The Economist, Bloomberg, National Geographic, Popular Science, and a variety of other media outlets.

The Chambers Family Entrepreneurial Lectureship in the Vanderbilt School of Engineering is a semi-annual lecture series is endowed by the Chambers Medical Foundation.

Brenda Ellis, (615) 343-6314
Twitter @VUEngineering