In Memoriam - Enn Mellikov
On July 23, 2018, Academician ENN MELLIKOV, the grand old man of solar energy, passed away.
Enn Mellikov was born on April 1, 1945, graduated from Pärnu Secondary School No. 4 in 1963 and from Tallinn University of Technology cum laude in 1968. His entire scientific career happened at Tallinn University of Technology. He began as senior engineer in 1968, was promoted to senior researcher in 1972, worked as an associate professor and professor of semiconductor technology in 1992-2016 and was responsible for the Institute of Materials Science as its director for 2003-2014. From 2016 on, he contributed as an emeritus professor as much as he could.
In addition to teaching and research, he contributed to the development of the entire Estonian science and research system on both societal basis as chairman of the Estonian Materials Science Association from 1995 to 2005, as well as for the country's needs for many years as a member of the Evaluation Committee of the Scientific Competence Council, the Scientific Awards Committee and the Estonian Research Council.
Together with classmates, Enn Mellikov laid the groundwork for research of semiconductor materials at the end of the 1960s at the Physical Chemistry Department of Tallinn Polytechnic Institute. He defended both the candidate of sciences (in 1977, today's PhD) and his doctorate in science degrees (at unusually young age in 1988) at the Ural Science Center in Sverdlovsk, the USSR Academy of Sciences. The results and technology tested there were a good foundation for Estonian science in difficult times.
During the re-independence of Estonia, the work led Enn Mellikov to German researchers. The idea to associate his and his colleagues’ research with the use of solar energy was realised together. It became the essence of his scientific life. The aim was simple in words, but essentially and technically extremely complex: to create cheap and flexible solar panels from widely available materials.
Throughout his life, Enn Mellikov ignored opinions as something would be impossible because it was simply impossible, and thought that dreams should always be greater than one achieves. Swedish colleagues concluded in 1992, for example, that in Estonia it is not possible to achieve success in such high-tech microelectronics materials field as solar energy. Enn Mellikov proved them wrong, taking this field to the top in the world of science. The next assessment in 2002 discovered an innovative and original science lab and the famous school around the world.
Enn Mellikov goes down in history of this field in the world as a developer of unique solar panels made of powder. His so-called monogranular solar panel technology is further developed to a variety of unique products by the international technology company Crystalsol.
Enn Mellikov also made a significant contribution to the education of new generations of scientists and engineers through day-to-day teaching, supervising of eight doctoral theses, as well as developing of a joint international master’s degree in Tallinn University of Technology and University of Tartu in his field.