Google Doodle is celebrating the life and innovative work of Maria Telkes today. Her creations include a solar oven design, Dover Sun House, among others.
Google Doodle on Monday is celebrating the life and innovative work of Dr Maria Telkes. Being one of the first pioneers of solar energy, Telkes believed that the power of the Sun could change human lives. Dr Telkes created a solar oven design that’s still used today; Dover Sun House in partnership with architect Eleanor Raymond and more. She was the first to receive The Society of Women Engineers Achievement Award on December 12, 1952. Dr Telkes earned more than 20 patents and worked as a consultant for many energy companies and is remembered as the Sun Queen.
“Today’s Doodle celebrates the life and innovative work of Dr. Mária Telkes, one of the first pioneers of solar energy. She believed the power of the sun could change human lives, and she was right!,” Google said.
Here is all you need to know about Dr Maria Telkes life and innovations
Dr Telkes was born in Budapest, Hungary in 1900 and studied physical chemistry at the Eotvos Lorand University of Budapest. She graduated with a B.A. in 1920 and received her PhD in 1924. The following year, she moved to the United States and accepted a position as a biophysicist and in the year 1937, she became a U.S. citizen.
She continued her career at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) as a member of the Solar Energy Committee. During World War II, she was called upon by the U.S. government to help develop a solar distiller that converted seawater into fresh water. This life-saving invention was used by soldiers stationed in the Pacific theater.
After the war, Dr Telkes returned to MIT as an associate research professor. She and her MIT colleagues were tasked with creating habitable solar-heated homes. Unfortunately, she proposed and developed a design that failed, and was removed from the committee, but she persisted.
In 1948, after securing private funding from philanthropists, she created the Dover Sun House in partnership with architect Eleanor Raymond. The solar-heated home was a success and the women were featured in the media, popularizing the term ‘solar energy’ among the public.
She was commissioned by the Ford Foundation and created a solar oven design that’s still used today. She also helped research solar energy at prestigious institutions such as NYU, Princeton University, and the University of Delaware.