The Leigh Ann Conn Prize for Renewable Energy


The purpose of this annual award is to acknowledge, publicize and disseminate outstanding ideas and achievements in research related to the science, engineering, technology and commercialization of renewable energy. Nominations may address a wide range of topics involving renewable energy and energy efficiency with a demonstrated or clear potential global impact. The award is designed to recognize and reward the impact of specific ideas or achievements, rather than a lifetime of achievements in the field.

The Prize

The Leigh Ann Conn Prize in Renewable Energy Research consists of the award of a medal and a cash prize of $50,000.


Ideas eligible for nomination may have an individual author or multiple authors; however, the total cash prize will be shared in the case of multiple authors. The competition does not limit the format in which the idea or achievement appears. Consideration will be given to documentation appearing in printed books and monographs, articles published in scholarly journals, technological advances, software, research reports, conference presentations, patent documents or other widely and publicly disseminated forms. Consistent with the intent of prize benefactors, Hank and Rebecca Conn, the award will not be given posthumously.

The Nomination Process

The University of Louisville invites nominations from throughout the world by individuals, professional associations, university administrators, publishers or editors of journals and books, and scientists, entrepreneurs, technologists, and engineers, including those working in national laboratories. Self-nominations and nominations from or for individuals holding appointed or elected political offices will not be accepted.

Nominators must submit the following:

  • A two-page letter in English identifying the specific idea/accomplishment being nominated, the author(s) of the idea/accomplishment, and why the idea and its impact merits consideration for the award recognition.
  • A current mailing address, telephone number, fax number and e-mail address for the nominee(s).

Deadline for Nominations

The prize is awarded biannually on odd number years. Nominations will be accepted from January 1, 2014 to December 31, 2014. Applications received after December 31st will be considered for the 2017 competition.
Send nominations by regular mail, fax, or e-mail to:

Mr. Andrew Marsh, Assistant Director
Conn Center for Renewable Energy Research
University of Louisville
Ernst Hall, Room 102A
Louisville, KY 40292, U.S.A.
Telephone: (502) 852-8597; Fax: (502) 852-8619

Supporting Materials for Review

Additional supporting materials will be requested directly from the nominee(s), and nominees will be sent a nominee agreement explaining the award conditions. Each nominee must then submit the following supporting materials. (All in English; note that items 2-4 must be submitted in electronic format)

  1. A signed copy of the nominee agreement
  2. A one-page statement describing the candidate's significant achievement and the impact on renewable energy.
  3. The nominee's curriculum vitae.
  4. Supporting documents (publications, reviews, etc.)
  5. A techno-economic analysis impact statement.
  6. A statement regarding commercialization, or potential commercialization, of the idea for widespread implementation in the world.

Deadline for Supporting Materials

All supporting materials for the nomination listed above must be received by December 31, 2014.

Criteria for Judging Nominations

Nominations will be subject to administrative review for completeness and responsiveness to the call for submissions, then judged on the basis of overall impact based on various factors: economic impact through renewable energy innovations, the extent of addressing grand challenges, originality, creativity, scientific merit and breadth of global impact on energy consumption and demand reduction, and commercialization.

The Review Process

The Leigh Ann Conn Prize for Renewable Energy screening committee will consist of members of the faculty advisory committee for the Conn Center for Renewable Energy Research. This committee will review the submissions and select nominations for further consideration. These submissions will be forwarded to an external review panel. The external review panel will be comprised of eminent people from industry, academia and national labs. The external review panel will review the nomination packages and select top submissions to be recommended to the Conn Center Technical Advisory Board for final consideration. This board will recommend one (or no) award winner from the nominee pool to the President of the University of Louisville, who will grant the award.

Awardee Requirements

The winner of the 2015 Leigh Ann Conn Prize for Renewable Energy will be publically announced in fall 2015. In addition to requirements specified on the nominee agreement, acceptance of the award requires in-person delivery of a public address at the University of Louisville that conveys the importance and impact of the winning idea. Winners must also participate in four days of community and campus events associated with the award ceremonies in the spring of 2016.

Download 2015 prospectus & entrant agreement

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