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Scientific Committee

Stefano Amaducci (Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Italy)

Associate professor of Agronomy and Field Crops at the Department of Sustainable Crop Production, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore. Research interests span from the agronomic evaluation of industrial crops, particularly for fibre and biomass production; management strategies to increase sustainability of agricultural systems; remote sensing and precision agriculture; studying and modelling the response of crops under agrovoltaics.

Greg Barron-Gafford (University of Arizona, USA)

Greg Barron-Gafford’s work has largely been based in the drylands of the world. He has worked for the last 18 years in the southwestern US studying Earth System science, plant ecology, and the impacts of climate and land use change. In 2011, he began studying photovoltaic installations and pushing for ways to co-locate native plant restoration and food production alongside renewable energy from photovoltaics (agrivoltaics). In recent years, his work has extended globally thanks to multi-national partners that span physical and social sciences, engineering, and community development. Greg Barron-Gafford is author or co-author of about 80 articles in scientific journals and is excited to participate in this meeting around this great food-energy-water solution.

Jan Cappelle (KU Leuven, Belgium)

Jan Cappelle is Associate Professor at the KU Leuven university in Belgium. He is leading the energy research at the campus in Ghent, with focus on innovative electrical energy technology. He was leading several national and internal projects on stand-alone power systems, light electric mobility and photovoltaic systems. His research group is currently realizing 3 different agrivoltaics sites and developed simulation software to predict energy and crop yield.

Frank de Ruijter (Wageningen University and Research, The Netherlands)

Frank de Ruijter is an experienced researcher on farming systems and sustainable agricultural production at the unit Agrosystems Research of Wageningen University and Research, the Netherlands. He obtained his PhD in 1998 on the topic ‘Potato crop growth as affected by potato cyst nematodes’, and has worked on nutrient cycling and nutrient use efficiencies in dairy farming and arable farming (agriculture, horticulture and flower bulb production), both with farmers’ groups and for policy makers, and on quantification of sustainable agricultural practices at global scale. Latest research topics are on exploration of biomass production options for a biobased circular economy, on efficient recycling of nutrients derived from plant material, animal manure or human waste (sanitation), and on combining agriculture with solar panels (agrivoltaics).

Christian Dupraz (INRAé, France)

Christian Dupraz is a senior researcher in agroforestry and agrivoltaism at INRAé (formerly INRA), Montpellier, France. He suggested for the first time the "agrivoltaism" word in a paper published in 2011. He was involved in agroforestry research for more than 30 years, with a focus on modelling tree and crop interactions. He manages long-term experimentations to document the productivity of agroforestry and agrivoltaic systems, putting in evidence that both agroforestry and agrivoltaic systems are more productive and efficient than the monocropping systems. He chaired the 4th World Agroforestry Congress in 2019 and is currently the president of the International Union for Agroforestry.


Professor Sue Hartley OBE is the Vice President for Research at the University of Sheffield, with responsibility for overseeing all of the University’s research activity.  She is also a Professor of Ecology and her research focuses on improving the sustainability of agriculture; current projects investigate crop-soil interactions, crop defences against pests and pathogens, increasing the resilience of crops to climate change, and agri-environmental policy. She is the principal investigator of a £1.4M project on agrivoltaics in East Africa, a collaborative partnership with 2 UK Universities, World Agroforestry (ICRAF) and partners from Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. The project is testing the livelihood benefits AV systems bring to smallholder farmers through simultaneous increases in energy access, food security, and resilience to climate change by rainwater harvesting.


Richard Randle-Boggis is leading the development, operation, and research of two agrivoltaic systems in Kenya and Tanzania, as part of a project studying the livelihood benefits derived from agrivoltaic systems in East Africa. Previously he developed a decision-support tool that guides solar park management for enhanced ecosystem services, and it was during his research here that he first considered the agrivoltaics concept. For his PhD he studied the impacts of increased flooding severity on soil microbial communities and associated greenhouse gas emissions, and as a postdoc he characterised the ecology of novel solar-heated septic tanks in South East Asia. Prior to his research career he worked in industry as an environmental engineer, where he created a carbon management strategy and monitoring tool.

Jijiang He (Tsinghua University, China)

Dr. Jijiang He earned his Ph.D. from Tsinghua University, China, started his career from being a postdoctoral researcher for climate change, low-carbon development, and low-carbon cities. He is the Executive Deputy Director of Institute of Energy Transition and Social Development at Tsinghua University, with responsibility for more than a dozen research projects and initiatives for the Ministry of Science and Technology, the National Development and Reform Commission, and the National Energy Administration on climate change and energy policies such as "One Person, One Kilowatt Solar PV," "Energy Transformation to Promote Ecosystem Restoration and Sustainable Livelihoods," and "Energy Transition Investigation Tour" in China and Europe. He has been the leading member in drafting the "Guideline on Promoting the Development of Energy Internet" issued by the National Energy Administration and several other documents related to photovoltaics. He is the Head of the REPER project department of Tsinghua University - United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD).From 2019 to 2020, he presented for the UNFCCC, the UNCCD, and the WWF on sustainable energy.


Petra Högy is Associate Professor at the Institute of Landscape and Plant Ecology of the University of Hohenheim, Germany. From 2008 to 2018 she was involved in the DFG Research Unit “Agricultural Landscapes under Global Climate Change - Processes and Feedbacks on a Regional Scale” (FOR 1695) and in the Integrated DFG Project “Structure and Functions of Agricultural Landscapes under Global Climate Change - Processes and Projections on a Regional Scale” (PAK 346). As project leader of APV-Resola (BMBF-funded), she was involved in the establishment of the first German Agrophotovoltaic Research Plant and responsible for the experimental design of the related field experiments in terms of agriculture, biodiversity, environment and microclimate. Her main topics are experimental research on the effects of climate change on agroecosystems, the mechanistic understanding of wheat growth, yield formation and yield quality, including crop physiology, ecophysiology as well as proteomics and metabolomics. She provides experimental data for model improvement and has a strong interest in innovations in resource-efficient land use and bioeconomy.

Lisa Pataczek is an agronomist at the Center for Organic Farming at the University of Hohenheim. She graduated in 2015 from Aarhus University (M. Sc. Agrobiology) and University of Hohenheim (M. Sc. Organic Agriculture and Food Systems) and worked in a BMZ-funded research project in Central and South Asia, investigating options to improve crop rotations of smallholder farmers. In this context she is working on her PhD at the Institute of Agricultural Sciences in the Tropics (Hans-Ruthenberg-Institute, University of Hohenheim) on improved mungbean cultivars and cultivation techniques to increase the adoption potential for crop rotations in South Asia. She joined the BMBF-funded agrivoltaic research project APV RESOLA at the University of Hohenheim in 2020, was part of the consortium to develop a DIN specification for agrivoltaic systems in Germany and is coordinating data collection in Germany’s largest agrivoltaic research plant.

Xiaoxia Jia (UNITED NATIONS Convention to Combat Desertification, Germany)

Xiaoxia Jia works for the UNCCD secretariat heading the integrated support to the Committee of Science and Technology (CST) of the UNCCD convention, and as Programme Officer coordinating the thematic work team on Land-Drought-Energy Nexus and lead the partnership on the land and solar energy with relevant institutions.    

She was educated in dryland management and afforestation, and public administration in Universities  in China  and got her Master Degree on Natural Resources Management in Australia. Before she joined in the UNCCD secretariat, she was a senior governmental officer in China, has been involved in planning, policy making and implementation of national key programme on land degradation restoration and monitoring and assessment. She had coordinated serval international cooperation projects including the GEF-ADB technical assistance project on Northeaster Asia dust and sandstorm early warning & mitigation, GEF-FAO project on Land Degradation Assessment in China. She has been involved in the UNCCD and other land relevant international negotiation and initiated the development of the first UNCCD 10-year strategic framework, and one of the working group members establishing the scientific definition of Land Degradation Neutrality and had ever served as acting president of the 13rd session of the UNCCD Conference of the Parties.

Ricardo Rüther (Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, Brazil)

Ricardo Rüther is a Full Professor at Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina in Florianopolis-Brazil, leading the Solar Energy Laboratory Fotovoltaica/UFSC ( He carries out research and development in the field of solar photovoltaics, energy storage, electrical vehicles and solar irradiation resource assessment. He completed a BE with honours (1989) and a M.Sc. degree in Metallurgy and Materials Science (1991) at Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul in Brazil, and obtained his Ph.D. (1995) from the University of Western Australia, at the Department of Electrical & Electronic Engineering. He was a post-doctoral research fellow at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems in Germany (1995-1996), and was tenured at Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina in 2000. He is currently serving in the Board of Directors of the International Solar Energy Society - ISES, and is the President of the Brazilian Section of ISES.

Alessandra Scognamiglio (ENEA, Italy)

Licensed architect, PhD in Technologies for Architecture and Environment. Since 2000 she works as researcher at ENEA (Italian National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development), Photovoltaic Technologies Area. Her main interest is working on the hybrid border between scientific research and design, to create a domain of common understanding and possibilities for experimentations in the real living environment. Her main topics are: the use of photovoltaics in buildings (BIPV), and landscapes, with focus on trans-disciplinary perspectives and innovative cognitive frameworks for sustaining new design visions.
Since 2008 topic organizer of the European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference (EUPVSEC), on the use of photovoltaics in buildings and nature; idea person and chairperson of the event “Photovoltaics, Forms, Landscapes. Beauty and power of designed photovoltaics” (; Italian alternate ExCo IEA SHC; member of ETIP PV, Integrated PV;  Coordinator of the task force ENEA “Sustainable Agrivoltaics”.

Francis Sourd (Sun'R, France)

Francis Sourd’s work has always been driven by optimization models also known as Operations Research. He first worked for twelve years on rather theoretical approaches of scheduling as a PhD student and then a tenure researcher at CNRS and as a scientist for a software company (ILOG). In 2008, he decided to study more practical scheduling and optimization problems at the Innovation & Research department of the French railway company (SNCF). He has been working for Sun'R since 2014 to build new solutions to speed up the energy transition. He discovered agrivoltaics at Sun'R and since then he has been excited by this extraordinary rich multidisciplinary field. He is also happy to use his knowledge in Operations Research and Artificial Intelligence to optimize the design of their agrivoltaic systems and the operational move management of the PV panels to improve the environment for the crop growth. Francis Sourd is author or co-author of about 40 articles in scientific journals.

Makoto Tajima (Institute for Sustainable Energy Policies (ISEP), Japan)

Makoto Tajima has over 25 years of experience in international development work and research working overseas for NGOs and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) as expert/advisor, which fostered his practical knowledge and experiences in international development assistance in developing countries. He currently acts as director / senior research fellow of the Institute for Sustainable Energy Policies (ISEP), advisor on disaster risk reduction and response of Japan NGO Center for International Cooperation (JANIC), director of CWS Japan and director of Women’s Eye. He recognizes a great potential of agrivoltaics seeing it as “modern agroforestry” from his professional and academic background of BS in natural resources management from the University of Michigan and MSc in agronomy and soil science specialized in agroforestry from the University of Hawaii and East-West Center, Honolulu.

Max Trommsdorff (Fraunhofer ISE, Germany)

Max Trommsdorff is project manager and junior scientist specialised on agrivoltaic systems at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE. In 2015, Max Trommsdorff received his M.Sc. in Economics and Politics at the University of Freiburg. He wrote his master thesis at the Fraunhofer ISE titled “Agrophotovoltaic: Opportunities, Risks and Strategies Towards a More Efficient Land Use”. Since then he is project manager and expert for APV with a focus on economic feasibility, technology transfer and institutional designs. Recently he developed APV projects on aquaculture in Vietnam and horticulture in India. As assistant project manager he was further responsible for legal aspects of Germany's largest APV research plant at Lake Constance.

Harry Wirth (Fraunhofer ISE, Germany)

Dr. Harry Wirth, born in 1968, studied physics at the University of Freiburg, Germany, and at the University of Massachusetts, USA. He earned his PhD from the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL) and from Fraunhofer ISE. From January 1999 he headed the R&D group of a specialty insulating glazing manufacturer. In 2005, he returned to Fraunhofer ISE to build the group “Photovoltaic Modules” and to conduct the setup of the PV Module Technology Center. In October 2010 he took charge of the new division “PV Modules, Systems and Reliability”. Since August 2017, he is a director of the division “Photovoltaics” and responsible for activities in Modules and PV Power Plants. Harry Wirth is also Executive Committee Member of the European Technology and Innovation Platform for Photovoltaics.

Organizing Committee

Christian Dupraz, INRAé, France
Beatrix Feuerbach, PSE Conferences & Consulting, Germany
Stefanie Hermann, PSE Conferences & Consulting, Germany
Frederik Schönberger, Fraunhofer ISE, Germany
Max Trommsdorff, Fraunhofer ISE, Germany
Harry Wirth, Fraunhofer ISE, Germany

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Dates and Deadlines

Deadline for Full Papers: June 16, 2021
AgriVoltaics 2021: June 14-16, 2021
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