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Thirty-six years of experience as a solar researcher and engineer, leading research teams and advancing the state-of-the-art of Concentrating Solar Thermal (CST) technologies. Expert on Thermodynamics, Heat Transfer, Optics, and Modelling of Energy Systems.
Full Professor with Tenure of the Cyprus Institute (CYI) and Holder of the European Research Area (ERA) Chair in Solar Thermal Technologies for the Eastern Mediterranean (ERA Chairs is a program of the European Commission (EC) devoted to bring “outstanding academics, with proven research excellence and management skills, to universities and research institutions in ‘Widening’ countries with potential for research excellence”.) Current Vice-Chair and former Chair of the Executive Committee of SolarPACES, the Technology Collaboration Program of the International Energy Agency responsible for promoting the development and deployment of solar thermal power technologies and the solar-assisted manufacture of fuels and chemicals.
Earlier, Prof. Blanco served as Science Leader of the Solar Energy Systems Research Group of CSIRO (Australia’s National Research Agency); Director of the Australian Solar Thermal Research Initiative (ASTRI) -a research program to increase the cost competitiveness of CST technologies, involving the participation of CSIRO, six Australian universities and three US Institutions (NREL, Sandia National Labs and Arizona State University); General Coordinator of EU-SOLARIS, an EC project whose goal was to carry out the preparatory activities needed to create an international organization to manage the CST research infrastructures of eleven European and Mediterranean research centres; Director of the Solar Thermal Energy Department of CENER, the National Renewable Energy Centre of Spain; Chair and Full Professor of the Engineering Department of the University of Texas at Brownsville; Director of the Plataforma Solar de Almería of CIEMAT -the largest European solar research infrastructure; and Principal Investigator of the EC SOLGAS and SIREC solar tower technology R&D projects, which paved the way towards PS10, the first commercial solar tower power plant.
Author of numerous scientific publications, and participation in a senior capacity in a large number of national and international expert groups and committees.