A “pioneer” of solar energy utilization research has been appointed professor at the University of California Merced.Merced, California – April 23, 2003 [SolarAccess.com] Roland Winston, Ph.D. will bring Renewable Energy alternatives to the research department at UC Merced, the newest campus of the University of California system, and first major research university to be built in the 21st century. “We are delighted that Roland Winston will lead UC Merced’s effort in Renewable Energy,” said Maria Pallavicini, Dean of Natural Sciences. “His inventions and patents have been widely recognized nationally and internationally, and his expertise will help the University provide unprecedented opportunities in the San Joaquin Valley and California for Renewable Energy studies.” As a distinguished physicist and one of the country’s leading solar power experts, Winston, who holds the title of Professor in the Division of Natural Sciences, comes to UC Merced from the University of Chicago, where he has taught and conducted research for the past 39 years. For six years he chaired the Department of Physics. “Renewable energy – more specifically solar power – is experiencing a resurgence as the need for alternative energy sources is once again brought to national attention,” said Winston. “There were several solar-energy based power plants constructed in the 1980s, but for a number of reasons they were not actively pursued. Now, state and federal requirements mandating a certain percentage of Renewable Energy sources is reviving interest in these alternatives.” Winston’s research interests include elementary particle physics, where he and his colleagues have carried out the definitive investigation of hyperon beta decay, a cornerstone of the standard model of elementary particles, and a new discipline of optics he helped invent called nonimaging optics. In joining the founding faculty at UC Merced, Winston says he has a goal of helping establish an “absolutely world-class academic program” in Renewable Energy. “Given UC Merced’s emphasis on a multi- and cross-disciplinary approach to teaching and research, I think the new campus will provide a wonderful setting for training students and eventual leaders in all aspects of Renewable Energy,” said Winston, the University’s first physics professor. “In order to fully grasp the many sub-fields of Renewable Energy, students will need balanced backgrounds in areas such as the physical sciences, engineering, computer sciences and applied mathematics. UC Merced is committed to providing this curricular balance.” UC Merced will welcome its first 1,000 students in fall of 2004, with an eventual student capacity of 25,000.