Solar Impulse: Around the World in a Solar Airplane

Solar Impulse in flight

Solar Impulse in flight over Switzerland, 2010. Photo by Jean Revillard.

Date: June 3, 2013
Time: 3:00 p.m. program, 4:30 p.m. reception

315 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106

Event Type: Open to the Public
Fee: Free
RSVP Online: Online registration is now closed.

Solar Impulse is heading toward the East Coast! Join us June 3, when Claude L. Michel and Francine Palmer will come to CHF to discuss this innovative solar-powered airplane and its mission—through a video presentation and an interview with Michal Meyer, editor in chief of Chemical Heritage magazine.

Watching remotely? Visit at 3:00 p.m. (Eastern Standard Time) to view the live webcast. 

Following on Twitter? Tweet your questions @chemheritage using #chemheritagelive. 

Coming in person? Register using the links above.


This event was made possible with generous support from Solvay. Solvay is a founding partner of the Solar Impulse consortium providing special materials and expertise that optimize the aircraft’s energy chain and contribute to the plane’s innovative light yet sturdy structure.

About Solar Impulse

Solar Impulse is the first airplane that can fly day and night without fuel. This revolutionary carbon-fiber plane has the wingspan of a Boeing 747 and the weight of a small car. The 12,000 solar cells built into the wing provide four 10-HP electric motors with renewable energy. By day the solar cells recharge the plane’s 881-pound lithium batteries, which allow the plane to fly at night.

This spring the Solar Impulse team is attempting a coast-to-coast flight across the United States without using a single drop of fuel. In 2015 the team aims to fly around the globe with its second-generation aircraft, which is currently under construction.

About the featured speakers

Claude Michel

Claude Michel.

Claude Michel is head of the Solvay Solar Impulse Partnership. In this role Michel manages the partnership and serves as Solvay’s liaison with the Solar Impulse team, including pilots Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg. Michel ensures consistent internal and external communications and events and oversees technical collaboration with Solar Impulse. He also develops relationships with the other Solar Impulse partners, government authorities, and the innovation community.

Michel is a French national. He earned a degree in chemical engineering from the National Institute of Scientific Application in Lyon and a Ph.D. from the Université de Lyon.


Francine Palmer.

Francine Palmer is the Solvay research and innovation director for North America, responsible for the company’s R&I Center in Bristol, Pennsylvania. Research at the Bristol laboratory is focused on nanotechnology and advanced materials, organic electronics, and consumer chemicals. In addition to overseeing key competency and talent management and recruitment, Palmer is a regional ambassador for academic and government lab institutions and collaborations.

She earned a Ph.D. in organic synthesis at the University of Adelaide, Australia. 


3:00 p.m. Presentation
4:30 p.m. Reception


More information

For more information please contact Robert O. Kenworthy, manager of affiliate relations, at 215.873.8292 or


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