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Dr. James Zahler

ARPA-E Technology-to-Market Advisor James Zahler

Dr. James Zahler is a member of ARPA-E’s Technology-to-Market team, where he focuses on preparing breakthrough energy technologies for successful transition from lab to market. He is responsible for advising teams within the Full-Spectrum Optimized Conversion and Utilization of Sunlight (FOCUS) and OPEN portfolios, which include photovoltaic (PV), concentrated solar power (CSP), and heat engine technologies.  Additionally, Zahler will support potential performers in the Micro-Scale Optimized Solar-Cell Arrays with Integrated Concentration (MOSAIC) portfolio, which is designed to develop novel PV and optics technologies for concentrated photovoltaics (CPV). 

Zahler joined ARPA-E from GT Advanced Technologies in Merrimack, NH. As the Senior Director of Product Technology, he managed research and application development activities for industrial sapphire materials and growth equipment. These activities included leadership in equipment design, process development, and materials characterization for projects that supported more than $250 million in equipment sales. Zahler also played a key role in adapting and scaling-up ASF™ technology in support of GT’s contract with a Fortune 50 consumer electronics manufacturer.  Prior to GT Advanced Technologies, Zahler was a Cell Technology Manager at BP Solar, co-managing its advanced solar cell technology development activities. He also supported BP Alternative Energy Ventures by assessing commercial and strategic value of clean-tech opportunities, including the spinout of a BP-supported technology through co-investment with a Silicon Valley venture capital firm. Zahler started his career co-founding Aonex Technologies to develop and commercialize his thesis technology.  As VP of Technology, he led an effort that resulted in development of a novel substrate technology for III-nitride semiconductor growth and processing that was acquired by a major microelectronics manufacturer.

Zahler earned both a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering and a M.S. in Applied Physics from the California Institute of Technology. He holds a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Texas A&M University.

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